Sleep disorders can be primary (not associated with the pathology of any organs) or secondary (arising from the other diseases). A sleep disorder can occur with various diseases of the central nervous system or mental disorders. With a number of somatic diseases, patients have problems with sleep due to pain, coughing, shortness of breath, attacks of angina or arrhythmia, pruritus, frequent urination, etc. Intoxications of various genesis, including in cancer patients, often cause drowsiness. Sleep disorders in the form of pathological somnolence may develop due to hormonal abnormalities, for example, in the pathology of the hypothalamic-mesencephalic region (epidemic encephalitis, tumor, etc.)
Classification of sleep disorders
Insomnia – disturbances in the process of falling asleep and sleeping
Psychosomatic are associated with the psychological state, can be situational (temporary) or permanent:
- caused by taking alcohol or medications,
- chronic alcoholism,
- long-term use of drugs that activate or depress the central nervous system,
- withdrawal syndrome of hypnotics, sedatives, and other drugs,
- caused by diseases of the psyche,
- caused by breathing disorders during sleep,
- syndrome of alveolar ventilation reduction,
- sleep apnea syndrome,
- caused by the syndrome of “restless legs” or nocturnal myoclonias,
- caused by other pathological conditions.
Hypersomnia – increased drowsiness
Psychophysiological are associated with the psychological state; they can be permanent or temporary, caused by:
- taking alcohol or medication,
- mental illness,
- various breathing disorders in sleep,
- other pathological conditions.
Sleep and wakefulness disorders
Temporary sleep disorders – associated with a sudden change in the working schedule or time zone:
- constant sleep disorders,
- delayed sleep syndrome,
- premature sleep syndrome,
- syndrome of non-24-hour cycle of sleep and wakefulness.
Parasomnia – disorders in the functioning of organs and systems associated with sleep or awakening:
- bedwetting (enuresis),
- night fears,
- nocturnal epileptic-attacks,
- other disorders.
As a remedy for sleep disorders, benzodiazepine drugs are often used. Preparations with a short duration of action are prescribed for disturbances in the process of falling asleep. But with their admission, there are often side reactions: agitation, amnesia, confusion, as well as a violation of morning sleep. Sleeping pills with long-lasting effect are used for early morning or frequent nocturnal awakenings. However, they often cause daytime sleepiness. In such cases, medications are prescribed for the average time of action. These drugs are less likely to develop dependence or tolerance. Such drugs as Ambien are considered to be potent and universal, they can be purchased at a pharmacy.
Another group of drugs used in sleep disorders is antidepressants. They do not lead to addiction; can be used by aged patients, patients with depressive conditions or suffering from chronic pain syndrome. But a large number of side effects limits their use.