On their own or as a symptom of an underlying mental illness, sleep disorders can be extremely disruptive. We are here to help you overcome your sleep disorder so that you can get the rest you need.
Getting enough sleep is an essential part of maintaining physical and mental wellness. Everybody tosses and turns sometimes, but when poor sleep becomes a pattern, it can have a dramatic impact on a person’s ability to function properly during their waking hours.
Certain mental illnesses are associated with disturbed sleeping patterns – people with anxiety might lay awake worrying, and people experiencing post-traumatic stress may suffer from night terrors. But sleep disorders are common in individuals without other mental health concerns, as well. An estimated 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders that affect their ability to get a good night’s rest.
If you or someone you care about is stuck in an unhealthy sleep pattern, you are not alone. Keep reading to learn more about:
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact emergency services or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s free, confidential, 24/7 national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for immediate assistance.
Sleep disorders are conditions that interfere with a person’s ability to get a good night’s sleep by impacting the amount or quality of sleep. Even though they are common, sleep disorders should be taken seriously because poor sleep can affect your physical and emotional health and even pose serious safety risks.
Driving while sleepy, for example, is sometimes compared to driving drunk because poor sleep can impact your concentration, coordination, and reaction time. Getting behind the wheel after being awake for over 18 hours impairs driving ability to the same degree that a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05% would, and being awake for 24 hours is comparable to getting behind the wheel with a BAC of 0.10%, which is higher than the legal limit in every state.
“Sleep disorders” is a broad term that includes many distinct conditions that can range in severity from mild to severe. Here are a few of the sleep-wake disorders defined in the DSM-5, the current diagnostic manual that mental health professionals use to identify and diagnose mental disorders.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting as many as 35% of adults. Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, which can either mean waking up throughout the night or waking too early in the morning.
Many people who suffer from depression or anxiety disorders such as General Anxiety Disorder suffer from insomnia.
Learn more about anxiety causes, symptoms, and treatments >>
Hypersomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person sleeps too much. This can present as extreme daytime drowsiness or sleeping for too much of the day.
Many people who suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders like Major Depressive Disorder may also experience hypersomnia.
Learn more about depression causes, symptoms, and treatments >>
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder in which a person may fall asleep very suddenly during the day. During a cataplectic attack, a person may lose control of their facial expression, droop their head, or even collapse completely. People with narcolepsy also experience other sleep-related symptoms, such as daytime sleepiness, disrupted nighttime sleep, and sleep paralysis.
Nightmare disorder is a sleep disorder in which a person experiences extended episodes of distressing, extremely dysphoric dreams. These nightmares can be so severe that they impact the individual’s ability to go to work, maintain social relations, or otherwise function normally in their day-to-day life.
People who are suffering from another mental disorder causing nightmares – such as anxiety disorders like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – do not meet the criteria for nightmare disorder.
Learn more about PTSD causes, symptoms, and treatments >>
As the name suggests, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder characterized by the urge to move one’s legs, particularly in the evening. This urge can interfere with a person’s ability to fall or stay asleep.
Different sleep disorders can have vastly different symptoms – hypersomnia and insomnia, for example, describe sleep disorders that are complete opposites of one another. That being said, there are some general signs and symptoms you can look out for that might indicate a change in sleep quality that could indicate a sleep disorder.
Symptoms of sleep disorders can include:
The treatment plan for sleep disorders depends on the precise sleep disorder being experienced. In general, the treatment for sleep disorder can include:
At Transformations Care Network, we are dedicated to helping people in our communities access life-changing mental health care. If you believe that you are experiencing a sleep disorder like insomnia, hypersomnia, narcolepsy, or any other sleep disorder, contact us today to learn what our compassionate care providers can do for you.