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Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders involve any difficulties relating to sleeping, including difficulties falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time, or abnormal behaviours associated with sleep.

Sleep disorders can be grouped in four main categories:


Insomnia includes any combination of difficulty with falling asleep, staying asleep, intermittent wakefulness and early morning awakening. Episodes may come and go (be transient), last as long as 2 to 3 weeks (be short-term), or be long-lasting (chronic).

Problems with staying awake

Disorders of excessive sleepiness are called hypersomnias. These include:

Problems sticking to regular sleep schedule

This occurs when travelling between time zones and with shift workers on rotating schedules, particularly night-time workers. Sleep disruption disorders include:

Sleep-disruptive behaviours

Abnormal behaviours during sleep are called parasomnias and are fairly common in children. They include: