Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders are divided into four (4) categories: Primary Sleep Disorders, further classified into Dyssomnias and Parasomnias; Sleep Disorder Related to Another Mental Disorder; Sleep Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition; and Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder.

In order to determine any kind of Sleep Disorder, a complete assessment of the individual is warranted. During an assessment, five distinct sleep stages will be measured and recorded: rapid eye movement (REM) and four stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM). REM is the stage of sleep where the most vivid dreams occur; total time spent in REM sleep is approximately 20-25% of total time asleep. The first state of NREM is the time from wakefulness to sleep. This stage occupies about 5% of the total time asleep. The second stage occurs for about 50% of the time spent asleep. The third and fourth stages of NREM are the deepest levels of sleep and occur for about 10-20% of total time asleep.

Polysomnography is the tool used to help assess an individual. It is employed to help monitor and measure many aspects of the patient including brain waves and patters, breathing rate, and heart rate while asleep. Polysomnography is also used to determine an individual’s sleep stages.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) classifies Sleep Disorders into four (4) categories according to their symptoms. Here you will find a brief description of each of the Sleep Disorders as described by the DSM-IV-TR.

Primary Sleep Disorders are thought to present themselves due to changing sleep patterns or timing mechanisms. Primary Sleep Disorders are further categorized into Dyssomnias and Parasomnias. Dyssomnias refer to sleep problems due mainly to the amount, quality, or timing of one’s sleep. Parasomnias are characterized by abnormal behavior or physiological events occurring during sleep phases.

Sleep Disorder Related to Another Mental Disorder refers to a Sleep Disorder that is due to a diagnosable mental disorder. Many mental disorders, such as depression, have an affect on sleep patterns.

A Sleep Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition refers to a Sleep Disorder that results from a medical condition that has an affect on the sleep pattern.

Substance-Induced Sleep Disorder involves sleep disturbance due to the use or discontinuation of a substance, including prescription medication.

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