What Are Common Sleep Disorders That Adults Experience?

Sleep disorders are growing at an alarming rate. Many people suffer with sleep disorders, but may be completely unaware that it is the answer to why they are not able to fall asleep or in some instances, why they are always tired.  Many sleeping disorders are similar to others so it is important to have a basic understanding of what some of the symptoms are for the most common disorders. Here are a few of the most common sleep disorders that have taken over people’s sleeping patterns.


a lady with a sleep problem


In a nutshell, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep as long as the sleeper desires.  Many people who live with insomnia have physical side effects because of their lack of sleep. While they may be unable to rest, their bodies are unable to perform normal activity because of exhaustion. Insomnia can greatly influence reaction time and the ability to focus. Insomnia is often a symptom to another physical, mental, emotional or problems with sleeping so those that think they may have insomnia should certainly seek medical advice. It's a common form of sleep loss.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is also one of the most common sleep disorders. Sleep apnea occurs when sleep is interrupted by a person’s breathing being irregular. Sleep apnea may be caused by being overweight, blocked airways, or the brain not sending the appropriate signals for your body to breathe naturally during sleep. Whatever the cause may be, the risks are high. Sleep apnea can cause heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, and various other health problems.  Some people are unaware that they have this disorder because it occurs while they are sleeping.

Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder

Advanced sleep phase is among the most common sleep disorders. This condition generally occurs in older individuals. This disorder includes people that generally fall asleep before 9 pm and awaken between the hours of 3 to 5 pm and are unable to return to sleep. Light therapy can assist in getting people back on a more typical sleeping regimen.

Work Shift Sleep Disorder

Work shift sleep disorder is a common condition among workers that change their shifts from morning, evening, and night.  This disorder has been linked to cardiovascular disease as well as the increase in alcohol use.  Some tips for treating this disorder are light therapy and regular exercise. We have a more comprehensive article on shift work disorder.


Narcolepsy varies from some of the other most common sleep disorders. This disorder in particular is characterized as extreme sleepiness throughout the day. Some of the most extreme conditions include people falling asleep while conversing or even while walking. Some of the symptoms associated with narcolepsy can be found in other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

    There are a number of sleep issues and disorders that effect many people around the world.  The most important thing about understanding the most common sleep disorders is to ensure that you know which signs to look for and what some of the sleep disorders may lead to. Some sleep disorders may be common, but they do not have to completely disrupt your life.

    Also see our articles on Melatonin to treat sleep disorders and also our article on children sleep problems.

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