The type of insomnia that causes you to wake through the night or in the early morning hours can be caused by both external and internal factors, explains Dr. Yan-Go, a neurologist and psychiatrist, as well as the medical director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center.
While it's normal to experience an occasional bad night of sleep, if your sleep problems become chronic, it's time to do something about them.
If you wake in the morning feeling sleepy, irritable, sad, forgetful, and headachy, there's a good chance that you have sleep apnea, a sleep-related breathing disorder that affects 20 million of us -- particularly when we're pregnant. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex.
If you're gaining weight and discovering a mess in the kitchen every morning, talk to your doctor about whether or not you might have Sleep-Related Eating Disorder.
There are 15 million of us who fly across multiple time zones every year, with 500,000 of us in the air at any given moment. And for those of us who fly more than a couple of time zones from home-particularly those who fly eastward around the globe-jet lag can be a serious challenge. It takes away our edge, makes us groggy, and disrupts our sleep.
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Unfortunately, the closer women get to menopause itself, the less they sleep. According to a 2007 National Sleep Foundation poll, by the time women actually stop menstruating, somewhere between the ages of 45 and 51, a full 61 percent will report that they can't get to sleep or stay asleep several nights each and every week.
Narcolepsy is thought to be caused by a genetic glitch that prevents the body from either absorbing or producing enough of the neurochemical hypocretin. In either case the brain's sleep/wake switch behaves erratically, and those with the condition unexpectedly fall asleep multiple times throughout the day and, conversely, wake up unexpectedly throughout the night.
Restless legs syndrome is a condition that ranges from a creepy-crawly sensation that runs up and down your legs to quivers, jerks, pins and needles, numbness, pain, or a burning sensation. It affects millions of individuals every day, and their chief complaint is difficulty falling asleep -- and staying asleep.