A sleep disorder is a persistent disruption in the amount, quality, or timing of sleep. Since sleep restores the body, enhances concentration, and elevates mood, prolonged sleeplessness has a significant effect on quality of life and functional ability.
Sleep disorders and psychiatric illness are often intertwined. Untreated sleep disorders can lead to psychiatric symptoms, and mental illness – particularly mood and anxiety disorders – can lead to sleep disturbances. A sleep disorder is called primary if it is not related to another mental disorder, caused by a general medical condition, or induced by substance intoxication or withdrawal.
Sleep disorders typically fall into four broad categories:
- Insomnia – difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Hypersomnia – excessive daytime sleepiness
- Parasomnias – abnormal behavioral or physiological events occurring during sleep, such as sleep walking or night terrors
- Circadian rhythm sleep disorders – disturbances in the timing of sleep
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy can be effective in treating sleep disorders.
Books on Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders
American Psychiatric Publishing (APPI), a division of the American Psychiatric Association, publishes books on the evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders that help to distinguish sleep disturbances related to psychiatric illness from primary sleep disorders.
View a complete list of books related to sleep disorders