More and more recent evidence shows the pervasive influence the circadian timing of our biological processes naturally occurring over a 24-hour cycle has in almost all of our physiologic functions. Consequently, along with prominent wake and sleep disruptions, circadian rhythm sleep disorders are linked with mood disturbances, cognitive impairment and increased risk of cardiometabolic disorders.
If you have ever been told by friends or a bed partner that you talk or scream in your sleep, thrash around, kick your legs about, or sleepwalk, then you may have a sleep disorder called a parasomnia. Other outwardly visible symptoms and signs of parasomnia can include being confused when waking—for example, saying things that don’t make sense. Other examples include night terrors (common in children), sleep paralysis, sleepwalking, sleep eating, or feeling like you’re being awakened by loud noises that no one else can hear.
Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or trouble getting restful, uninterrupted sleep. It’s the most common sleep disorder in the United States, with short-term insomnia affecting nearly 1 in 3 adults and long-term, chronic insomnia affecting 1 in 10 adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control, up to 70 million Americans experience insomnia to some degree. This frustrating sleep disorder can also disrupt the normal sleep of children and teens. Do you have insomnia? If you’re unhappy with the quality or duration of your sleep, you may well be among the numbers cited above. However, don’t panic. It’s important to note that there are multiple forms of insomnia, and this sleep disorder may be temporary or chronic.