Approximately 80 different types of sleep disorders have been identified so far and almost 70 million Americans have fallen prey to these disorders. Daytime sleepiness, lack of focus, depression, anxiety, and many more mental health problems are only a few symptoms of the many symptoms caused by these sleep disorders. Out of these 80, there are some very commonly observed sleep disorders that large populations have had a slight glimpse of in their lives or the lives of the people close to them. Hence, it is extremely important to be able to identify the symptoms of these sleeping disorders and rectify them when the disease hasn’t progressed a lot.
Restless leg syndrome is a condition experienced by about 10% of adults and 2% of children at varying severities. This is a neurological disorder which develops immense urges in the patient to move his or her legs, during their periods of inactivity. Symptoms include various sensations in legs characterized by pulling, aching, itching, throbbing, burning and creeping. The relief that the patient can receive is only temporary and happens through the movement of the leg, giving the disease its name as restless leg syndrome. Some other symptoms are deprived quality and quantity of sleep, cognitive impairment, daytime sleepiness, memory problems, and depression.
With a ratio of 1 in every two thousand, narcolepsy is a disorder seen in over 200,000 Americans. It is a neurological disorder that makes the patient lose control over sleep and wake cycle leading to extreme daytime sleepiness and suddenly falling asleep in the day without even noticing, termed as ‘sleep attacks’. As mentioned earlier, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is one of the symptoms of narcolepsy. Some other symptoms include sleep paralysis which is characterized by the patient’s inability to speak or move as one falls asleep or is waking up from one. Cataplexy is one other symptom just like sleep paralysis but can occur at various times in the transition of asleep to awake and vice-versa and is triggered by intense emotions. Hallucinations and disturbed nocturnal sleep are the other symptoms of narcolepsy.