1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Causes of Sleep Disorders

Learn about some of the many potential causes of common sleep disorders.

Can Insomnia Be an Early Sign of Pregnancy?
Can insomnia be an early sign of pregnancy? There are certain symptoms early in pregnancy that might lead to insomnia, but difficulty falling or staying asleep is a common occurance. Is it a trustworthy symptom suggesting that you are pregnant?

What Causes Morning Dreams?
You may recall your dreams upon awakening in the morning, but do you remember them more often at that time? Learn the answer and how it relates to sleep stages.

What Causes Thanksgiving Sleepiness?
It is a quintessentially American tradition: gathering with family and friends to feast -- to the point of excess -- and reflect on all for which we can be thankful. And just as much a part of the day as turkey, parades, and football, is the post-meal nap. What is it about the Thanksgiving feast that makes us so sleepy?

How Does Smoking Cigarettes Affect Sleep?
Learn how smoking cigarettes may affect your sleep.

Explore the Causes of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a chronic medical condition that consists of multiple prolonged pauses in breathing while the afflicted person remains asleep. There are many potential causes, most related to problems with the anatomy of the upper airway. Discover more about the causes of sleep apnea, and whether some changes may be within your control.

Sleep Seizures
For those who suffer from sleep seizures, there is a complex interplay that exists between any seizure disorder and sleep. Learn about this relationship, what types of epilepsy are most commonly associated with sleep seizures, and how antiepileptic medications can affect sleep.

PTSD and Nightmares
We have all had bad dreams or nightmares, but how can we tell if these are due to a stressful event in our life and if they may be part of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? Learn about this condition, how it relates to sleep disturbances, and what treatment options are available.

What Tests Are Needed for Cancer-Related Fatigue?
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are suffering from fatigue, you may wonder if there are certain tests that should be done to evaluate your fatigue.

Preventing Heartburn While You Sleep
It is possible to prevent the uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn while you sleep. The occurrence of heartburn may range from infrequently to nightly, but for those with severe disease it is important to seek treatment to prevent significant consequences. Fortunately, there are many treatment options including effective medications.

Can adults have sleep terrors?
Learn whether adults can have sleep terrors or whether it may be due to another syndrome called REM sleep behavior disorder.

When Snoring Is Caused By a Deviated Septum
Learn what a deviated septum is, how it can be one of the more common causes of snoring, and what can be done about it.

Sleep and Aging - How Has Your Sleep Changed As You Have Aged
One of the early signs that may suggest a problem with the brain such as dementia may be a disruption in sleep patterns. Many elderly people, even those without memory problems, experience difficulties with sleep. How has your sleep changed as you have aged? Do you have loved ones, such as parents, who have difficulties sleeping now? What have you found helpful to cope?

Overview of Causes of Sleep Disorders
Explore some of the causes of the most common sleep disorders, including: snoring, insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, and more.

What Causes Sleep Apnea in Children?
Sleep apnea is a common condition in adults and it can also occur in the young, but what causes sleep apnea in children? There are various factors that can lead to a narrowing or instability of the upper airway which can cause the pauses in breathing characteristic of sleep apnea. Learn more about these potential causes.

Can You Sleep With Your Eyes Open?
It may be a useful skill to have when you want to get some rest when you are supposed to appear attentive, but is it really possible to sleep with your eyes open? Find out in what settings this might be possible.

Sleep Disruption May Be an Early Sign of Dementia
One of the early signs that may suggest a problem with the brain such as dementia may be a disruption in sleep patterns called circadian rhythms.

Can Being Overweight Increase the Risk of Restless Legs Syndrome?
It may seem surprising, but can being overweight or obese actually increase the risk of having a movement disorder called restless legs syndrome?

Is it Depression or a Sleep Disorder?
Before chalking your mood problems up to depression, perhaps you should consider a sleep disorder. Many of the symptoms of depression are also common in various sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, insomnia, and circadian rhythm disorders like seasonal affective disorder.

Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Insomnia?
Learn whether a vitamin deficiency can cause insomnia.

What is the Cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
What is the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? This is not clearly understood, but there is a great deal of ongoing research. It is possible that the syndrome results from multiple unrelated causes, including virus infection, transient traumatic conditions, stress, and toxins.

The Relationship Between ADHD and Sleep
What is the relationship between ADHD and sleep? Children who have sleep disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have similar symptoms. These may include: inattentiveness, overactivity and restlessness. The interplay between these disorders is significant, and diagnoses may be mistaken because of the overlap.

All About Children's Sleep
The Nemours Foundation provides guidelines for how much sleep your children should be getting as well as tips to improve their sleep.

Common Sleep Disorders Among Teens
The Nemours Foundation provides information about some of the more common sleep disorders among teens.

Sleep and Men
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine explores some of the more common causes of sleep problems among men.

Sleep and Women
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine explores some of the more common causes of sleep problems among women.

Sleep and Aging
The National Institutes of Health explore some of the issues relationg to sleep among seniors.

Secondary Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome
Although many people with restless legs syndrome (RLS) may never be able to identify a cause of their disorder, often it results from other secondary causes. There are many conditions that may independently lead to symptoms of RLS.

How Does Neck Size Affect Sleep?
It may seem logical that characteristics of your body can impact your health. For example, how does your neck size affect sleep? Learn how neck circumference may predispose you to disorders like snoring and sleep apnea.

How Do Large Tonsils Affect Children’s Sleep?
If your child has enlarged tonsils or adenoids, you may wonder how do large tonsils affect children’s sleep?

How Do Sleep Problems Affect Children’s Behavior?
When the sleep of children becomes disrupted either due to an inadequate amount of sleep or due to sleep disorders, there may be significant effects on their behavior. This can lead to problems with their thinking, concentration, or expression of emotions. How do sleep problems affect children’s behavior?

What Are Bed Bugs?
They may keep you up at night with their bites, and are being found in increasing numbers, but just what are bed bugs? They can cause irritating symptoms such as an itchy rash, yet are unlikely to cause serious disease. Regardless, bed bugs can be quite difficult to eradicate and learning more about them may be the first step in avoiding them.

What Substances Can Be Causes of Nightmares?
For those who experience recurrent distressing nightmares, the first important step is to identify the potential cause, and there are some substances that can cause nightmares. Some causes are common over-the-counter and prescription medications. What substances can cause nightmares?

Can Hypothyroidism Cause Sleep Apnea?
For individuals with sleep-disordered breathing the cause can occasionally be somewhat elusive, but can hypothyroidism cause sleep apnea? Although it may not be a common contributor, hypothyroidism may surprisingly have a role.

What Causes Insomnia in Children?
Insomnia is the inability to fall or stay asleep, or experiencing sleep that is not restorative. The causes of insomnia in children may overlap with those for insomnia in adults, but there are also some unique conditions that may predispose your child to difficulty sleeping. Learn more about the causes of insomnia in children.

How Long Does Fatigue Last in Mononucleosis
Infectious mononucleosis (or mono) is a common disease that may result in profound fatigue, but how long does the fatigue typically last? Learn more about the fatigue that occurs in mono.

Can Smoking Cause Snoring?
You have probably been told countless reasons why you should quit smoking, but can another reason be that smoking can cause snoring? Learn whether this is true, and if so, how this might happen.

How Sleep Position Might Impact Your Snoring
You have likely heard it before: "I only snore when I sleep on my back." How does sleep position really impact your snoring? Is there a cure for it that might leave you sleeping better? Learn more about the relationship between sleep position and snoring.

How Medications May Affect Sleep Apnea
If you use certain medications, you may wonder how these can affect your sleep apnea. As certain medications have impacts on both sleep architecture and breathing, the consequences can be important.

How Alcohol Affects Sleep Apnea
Alcohol may affect sleep and impact sleep apnea in multiple ways, but how does this work? Should people with sleep apnea avoid alcohol altogether? The answers may surprise you.

Can't Sleep - What Are the Reasons Why You Can't Sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep at night or if you wake up before morning, share your experiences. What are the reasons why you can't sleep? Is there a common cause that you have identified? From insomnia to restless legs to your sleep environment, there may be many things disrupting your ability to sleep. Share yours.

Feel Sleepy - What Are the Reasons Why You Feel Sleepy
If you find yourself experiencing excessive sleepiness during the day, you might want to reflect on this. What are the reasons why you feel sleepy? What causes you to feel drowsy or fatigued? There can be many possible reasons including inadequate rest, sleep apnea, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even less common disorders such as narcolepsy....

What Are Clock Genes?
The interplay between genetic factors and medical problems, including sleep disorders, is beginning to be better understand. What are clock genes and how do they relate to circadian rhythm disorders?

Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Hallucinations
If you have ever experienced extreme sleep deprivation, you may begin to question your sanity, especially if you start to see things that are not there. You may even wonder: Can sleep deprivation cause hallucinations?

How Do Divided Sleep Periods Affect the Quality of Your Sleep?
We have all done it at some point in our lives: fallen asleep only to wake up and, a short time later, fall back asleep. But what if you sleep this way every day -- or every night? How do these divided sleep periods affect the quality of your sleep? There may be important consequences that might be enough to deter this habit. Learn more.

What Is Nocturia?
Waking frequently during the night to pee may be a condition called nocturia. What is nocturia? What are some of the potential causes? Learn about nocturia and why it may be more common as we get older.

Causes of Insomnia: Short-Term Insomnia
If you have recently developed trouble falling or staying asleep, you may be interested in learning about some of the potential causes of short-term insomnia. As an example, stress, jet lag, and shift work all may disrupt your sleep. By recognizing the specific cause of your insomnia, you may be better equipped at alleviating it before it...

How Sleep Apnea Occurs
Sleep apnea is a common condition that disrupts breathing during sleep, but what causes it? How does sleep apnea occur? Explore the answers by reviewing an excerpt from UpToDate, a trusted health information resource.

What Are Risk Factors for SIDS
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may be due to a number of risk factors. What increases the risk of your child having SIDS? Learn about what you can do to ensure your child sleeps safely.

What Is the Cause of SIDS?
What is the cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)? Learn about some of the underlying factors that may predispose your child to a risk of developing SIDS. Also consider what you can do as a parent to ensure your child sleeps safely.

What Causes Sleep Paralysis
What are the causes of sleep paralysis? Is there a way to avoid having sleep paralysis? What are some unscientific explanations given for the occurrence? Learn about what leads to sleep paralysis.

Does Shift Work Become More Difficult as We Get Older?
For many professions, the graveyard shift may be a necessary part of the job. As workers age, however, the late shift may seem like it is more difficult to tolerate. Does shift work become harder as we get older?

How Do You Get Sleep Paralysis?
How can I get sleep paralysis? This common condition relates to a disruption in the transition between dream (or REM) sleep and wakefulness. Though there may be some factors beyond your control, you may be able to do a few things to trigger an episode.

What Causes Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome?
What is the underlying cause of obesity hypoventilation syndrome? Actually, there are a handful of factors that may contribute to the condition. By understanding the basic physiology of breathing and the body, you can better appreciate why it occurs. The relationship to obstructive sleep apnea is also vitally important. Learn more about the...

What Factors Lead to Insomnia
What factors lead to insomnia? If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, what is the most likely cause? Consider the role of your sleep drive and circadian rhythm. Finally, explore a model for insomnia that incorporates predisposing, provocative, and precipitating factors. Master these elements and get the rest that you need.

Social Phobia and Sleep Effects
What is social phobia and how does it affect sleep? If you feel anxious in specific situations in which you face scrutiny such as public speaking, you may have social anxiety disorder. This condition may lead to sleep disruption, especially if alcohol use becomes a problem. Learn more about social phobia and how it impacts sleep.

The Effects of Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks on Sleep
What are the effects of panic disorder and panic attacks on sleep? Can panic attacks happen at night? How might this be related to nightmares or insomnia? How should panic be treated? Learn about the relationship between panic attacks and sleep.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the Effects on Sleep
What happens when excessive worry takes over your life? Generalized anxiety disorder may have significant effects on your sleep. Learn how anxiety may lead to insomnia and what treatment options are available.

The Effects of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on Sleep
What are the effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder on sleep? This common anxiety disorder can be disruptive during the day, but can it lead to insomnia at night? Learn about OCD and how it might impact your sleep.

How Does Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (ptsd) Affect Sleep?
How does post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affect sleep?

Nighttime GERD in Pregnancy
What should you do when you develop nighttime heartburn during pregnancy? Heartburn or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be a serious concern that disrupts the sleep of pregnant women. How often does it occur? Learn about the common symptoms and treatment options that are safe during pregnancy.

Restless Legs in Pregnancy
What causes restless legs syndrome in pregnancy?

Leg Cramps in Pregnancy
Painful contractions of the leg muscles often occur in pregnancy. What causes these leg cramps? Are there treatment options that are safe to use while pregnant? Learn about leg cramps in pregnancy and what can be done about them.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and the Effects on Sleep
A rare and rapidly progressive dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) may have significant effects on sleep. It may lead to sleepiness, insomnia, or even dream enactment. Learn about CJD, including its causes and symptoms. Discover its effects on sleep as well as the available treatments and prognosis.

Frontotemporal Dementia and the Effects on Sleep
Learn about the frontotemporal dementias, including Pick's disease and corticobasal degeneration. What are the most common symptoms? How do these conditions impact sleep, including circadian rhythms? These surprisingly common disorders have a unique set of characteristics.

What Is Night Eating Syndrome?
What is night eating syndrome? This unusual condition may lead a person to eat uncontrollably late at night. Consider what distinguishes this condition from sleep-related eating disorder (SRED). Also discover the underlying cause of the disorder.

Causes of Sleep Eating
What causes sleep eating? Episodes of eating during the night may be due to multiple factors. Explore some of the potential causes of sleep eating, including other sleep disorders like sleep apnea or restless legs, medications, and other associated problems.

Why Does Insomnia Happen?
If you find yourself struggling to fall or stay asleep at night, you may wonder: Why does insomnia happen? Learn about some of the factors that can lead to insomnia, including your underlying predisposition and some of the potential causes, and what you might do about them.

Misunderstandings about Parasomnias
What causes parasomnias? There can be misunderstandings about the underlying cause of abnormal behaviors during sleep, including sleepwalking, sleep talking, and other complex behaviors. Is it related to a psychiatric problem like anxiety or depression? Does it suggest the use of alcohol or drugs? Clarify the cause of parasomnias and you may be surprised by what may lead to these common conditions.

Causes of Mouth Dryness at Night
What causes mouth dryness at night? Medications, medical conditions, and sleep disorders including snoring or sleep apnea may contribute. Learn more.

How Do Naps Affect Sleep at Night?
Learn how naps may affect sleep at night, especially if you suffer from insomnia. Review the role of sleep drive and the circadian rhythm in sleepiness.

The Anatomy of Sleep Apnea
Learn about the role of anatomy in your risk for obstructive sleep apnea. In particular, examine the role of these features: weight, neck size, nose, palate, tonsils, tongue, and jaw.

What Makes Sleep Apnea Worse?
Learn about some of the factors that might make obstructive sleep apnea worse. These include: sleep position, REM sleep, alcohol, menopause, prescription medications, and aging.

Menopause and the Risk of Sleep Apnea in Women
Learn how the symptoms of menopause and sleep apnea may overlap, including: sleepiness, insomnia, night sweats, memory problems, and mood complaints. Discover how to distinguish the two.

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.