Snoring: Snoring is a sign of obstruction to the airflow at the back of the mouth. When benign, it can cause annoyance to family members, or even marital discord. When more severe, snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the individual stops breathing between snores. Sleep apnea is also associated with sleepiness during the daytime, elevated blood pressure and life- threatening heart rhythm disturbances during the night.
Daytime Sleepiness and Fatigue: The inability to remain alert, reduced concentration or impaired daytime performance may be due to any number of sleep disorders such as: obstructive sleep apnea, nocturnal myoclonus, sleep-wake rhythm disturbances, narcolepsy or an underlying medical disorders.
Insomnia: Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people experience poor sleep or have trouble sleeping. Some people have trouble falling asleep at night; many others wake up during the night or awaken much too early in the morning. Insomnia can have many different causes. For example, it may be related to breathing difficulties at night, or to abnormal movements of the legs or other parts of the body of which the person is unaware. Insomnia can also be caused by, or worsened by, sleeping pills if taken frequently or over a long period of time. Often, it is related to emotional depression or anxiety.
Abnormal Sleep-Wake Rhythm: The biological rhythm of sleep and wakefulness may be disrupted by shift work, frequent travel or certain psychiatric conditions. Other kinds of rhythm disturbances are found in people with long standing difficulty in falling asleep at night and getting up in the morning, as well as in people who suffer from insomnia of other origins.
Other Sleep-Related Disorders: Sleep-walking, sleep-talking, bedwetting, frequent nightmares and nocturnal convulsions are sleep-related disorders that affect children as well as adults. These symptoms can be disturbing not only to individuals but also to other members of the household. Some are potentially dangerous, and some may indicate the presence of an underlying psychiatric disturbance.