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Can't Sleep? Common Sleep Disorders in Adults

Common Sleep Disorders

Difficulty with sleep can cause several side effects ranging from mood swings to blood pressure irregularities.

Not getting enough sleep can be stressful, and you may find yourself waking up feeling exhausted and irritable on more than one occasion. Not knowing why you are having trouble sleeping can be even more uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing.

Don't worry! We have compiled a list of common sleep disorders in adults that you may be experiencing right now.

Keep reading to find out how to solve your issues if you can't sleep.


Insomnia is a condition that makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. People with insomnia may find that they wake up frequently during the night or have trouble getting back to sleep after waking up.

Insomnia can cause a variety of problems, including fatigue, poor concentration, and irritability. There are many possible causes of insomnia, including:

  • stress
  • medical conditions
  • medications

In some cases, making simple changes to your sleep habits can help. If insomnia persists, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.


Snoring can be a nuisance to your partner and can disrupt your sleep, leaving you feeling tired during the day. If you're looking for ways to stop snoring, there are a few things you can try. Avoid alcohol before bed, as it can relax the muscles in your throat and make snoring worse.

Sleep on your side or stomach, as this can help keep your airway open. Try a nasal spray or humidifier to keep your nasal passages clear. If snoring is disrupting your sleep and your quality of life, talk to your doctor about treatment options.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that keeps people from getting a good night’s sleep. It affects millions of Americans and is most common in adults. Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is blocked as you sleep.

This can happen when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses. Sleep apnea can be caused by a buildup of tissue in the airway. Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • snoring
  • daytime fatigue
  • gasping for air

Sleep apnea can lead to serious problems concerning health if left untreated, including heart disease and stroke. If you think you might have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor.


Bruxism is a condition where a person grinds or clenches their teeth unconsciously while they sleep. This can cause a great deal of discomfort and can lead to long-term damage to the teeth. There are many different causes of bruxism, but the most common is stress.

One of the best ways to prevent bruxism is to try and reduce the amount of stress in your life. If you think you may be suffering from bruxism, it is important to see a doctor so that they can properly diagnose and treat the condition.

Sleep Walking

Sleepwalking is a type of sleep disorder where a person physically gets up and moves around while they are asleep. It can happen to people of any age but is most common in children. The exact cause of sleepwalking is unknown, but it seems to be partially hereditary and can be triggered by:

  • fatigue
  • stress
  • medications

Sleepwalking usually happens during the deep sleep stages of the sleep cycle. Most people with this disorder don’t have any memory of their sleepwalking episodes. However, some people may experience sleep terrors, which are very frightening and can cause them to wake up abruptly.

Sleep Talking

Sleep talking, also known as somniloquy, is a sleep disorder that causes people to talk during sleep without being aware of it. Sleep talking can occur in any stage of sleep, but is most common in deep sleep or during REM sleep.

It usually happens when a person is under stress but can be caused by:

  • sleep deprivation
  • sleep apnea
  • medications

Sleep talking is usually harmless, but can sometimes be disruptive to sleep or be a sign of a more serious sleep disorder.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a common sleep disorder that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. This urge is often accompanied by a tingling or burning sensation in your legs. RLS can occur at any age but is most common in adults. Americans suffer from RLS.

There are many possible causes of RLS, including:

  • genetic factors
  • iron deficiency
  • certain medications

Treatment for RLS often includes lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. In some cases, medications may be necessary to relieve symptoms.

Sleep Hypoventilation

Sleep hypoventilation is a condition in which you can't breathe deeply or evenly while you sleep. This causes you to snore loudly and to have pauses in your breathing (apnea). Sleep hypoventilation is a serious sleep disorder that can lead to health problems, including:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart failure
  • stroke

The most common cause of sleep hypoventilation is obesity, but it can also be caused by other conditions, such as heart or lung disease. If you think you might have sleep hypoventilation, talk to your doctor.


Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that affects the brain's ability to control sleep-wake cycles. It's characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and can cause people to fall asleep suddenly and unexpectedly during the day. Narcolepsy can also lead to sleep paralysis, a condition in which you're unable to move or speak for a short period after waking up or falling asleep.

Although narcolepsy can be frustrating and disruptive, it's important to remember that it's a real medical condition that can be effectively managed with treatment. If you think you may have narcolepsy, talk to your doctor.


Most people have experienced a nightmare at some point in their lives. Nightmares are vivid and scary, and often involve themes of danger or fear. Some nightmares may be so realistic that they can cause fear and anxiety even after you wake up. Most nightmares occur during the REM stage of sleep when the brain is most active.

There are many possible causes of nightmares, including:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • medications
  • sleep disorders

If you have nightmares regularly, it may be a sign of a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy.

Learn About Sleep Disorders if You Can't Sleep

If you can't sleep, it's important to learn about potential sleep disorders. Many sleep disorders can be treated effectively. If you think you may have a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor.

To read more informative facts aside from these common sleep disorders in adults, visit our blog page and explore new posts.

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