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The most common sleep disorders

Of all the disorders that affect humans, those related to sleep are among the most common. There are many people who deal with some form of difficulty when sleeping. 

For information, we offer you a list of the most common sleep disorders. If you think you might suffer from any of them, this is NOT a diagnostic tool. Please consult with a specialist.


Insomnia, already mentioned above, is the sleep disorder that most affects the population worldwide: some studies claim that almost half of people suffer from insomnia on a recurring basis. This is an inability or difficulty falling asleep and/or maintaining it. All people have suffered or will suffer from insomnia, to a greater or lesser degree, throughout their lives.

This disorder manifests itself in the general well-being of the person (making it worse); in work and school performance; in the emotional state (frequently producing irritability); and in a feeling of constant tiredness due to lack of sleep during the night.


Narcolepsy consists of sudden “attacks” of sleep during the day, unexpectedly and involuntarily. These episodes of unexpected sleep can last from several seconds to about 30 minutes or even longer.

It is characterized by falling asleep suddenly during the day; due to the temporary loss of muscle control; and temporary paralysis of the body.

This disorder is usually hereditary, but it can also occur in people with bruises or head injuries.

Sleep apnea

This sleep disorder occurs when there are pauses in breathing while sleeping and is usually accompanied by loud snoring.

Sleep apnea can be of different types:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea: it is the most common, it consists of the relaxation of the throat muscles.
  2. Central sleep apnea: occurs when the brain does not send the correct signals to the muscles and organs responsible for carrying out the respiratory process.
  3. Complex sleep apnea: results from the combination of the two previous types.

Some of the aggravating factors of this disorder are: being overweight; age; and being a man (more cases occur in men than in women), among others.


Parasomnias are a type of sleep disturbances that usually appear during childhood and adolescence and, although they usually disappear with growth, they can also continue into adulthood. The most common parasomnias are:

  1. Sleepwalking : walking and performing different actions while asleep.
  2. Night terrors.
  3. Nightmares.
  4. Confusing awakenings: this happens when you wake up abruptly, with a feeling of space-time disorientation.


Bruxism consists of grinding, clenching or grinding the teeth while sleeping. This action usually causes headaches, jaw pain, and a feeling of a lot of pressure under the eyes. 

This disorder appears in people who are enduring high levels of stress: the greater the stress, the more intense bruxism can become.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (known as RLS) produces a sensation of tingling, itching and general discomfort in the legs and feet, causing them to move to try to stop it.

This syndrome results in sudden jerks of the legs, being especially annoying if you sleep with people. It is also common for people who suffer from it to wake up repeatedly during the night.

Most of the mentioned disorders have different personalized medical or therapeutic treatments to alleviate them. Again, if you consider that you may suffer from any of them, it is best to contact an expert who will provide you with personalized treatment for your specific case.

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