Early Symptoms Of Sleep Disorder: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis

sleep disorder

Sleep disorder is a disorder that is characterized by irregularity and abnormalities in sleeping patterns. Sleep disorder is a terminology that can cover a range of topics that relate to mental, physical, and emotional health. Sleeping disorders may or may not have common symptoms, therefore, considering all of them as one would be fallacious. 

Some of the types of sleeping disorders are as follows:


Apart from being a symptom of other sleeping disorders, snoring is a minor sleep disorder in itself. Snoring is the annoying sound caused due to the vibration of the tissues in the upper airway. This nasal sound can lead to multiple problems. It not only deprives the snorer of necessary sleep quality but also deteriorates the sleep quality of those around the snorer. 

Symptoms of snoring:

  • Experiencing headache upon waking up
  • Sore throat
  • Sinus
  • Irritability
  • High blood pressure
  • Suffocation while lying down and in sleep
  • Abrupt pauses in breath 
  • Declining libido


Insomnia is a category of sleep disorder that is characterized by sleeplessness. A person suffering from insomnia struggles to fall/stay asleep. There are several sub-types of insomnia that can affect a person. Thus, framing insomnia as any kind of sleeplessness would be wrong. There are certain symptoms unique to each type of insomnia. 

Types of insomnias:

Adjustment insomnia 

Also called as acute insomnia, adjustment insomnia is a short-lived sleeping disorder that happens when a person experiences eustress (negative stress) in a life situation. Stressful life scenarios such as fear of the unknown(future), examination, etc., are some examples.

Symptoms of adjustment insomnia:

  • Frequently crying 
  • Inability to carry out daily activities
  • Pessimism (hopelessness)
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness

Behavioral Insomnia in Children

This sleeping disorder is commonly found in children between 4 to 10 years of age. Approximately 25% of children suffer from BIC (Behavioral Insomnia In Children).

There are two types of behavioral insomnia in children. They are:

Sleep Onset Association

Sleep onset disorder is characterized by difficulty in falling asleep. In this technologically advanced era, mobile phones and other gadgets are the cardinal reason behind sleeping disorders in children. Excessive screen time makes it difficult for the brain the transmit sleep signals to the body.


  • Need to rock or cuddle the child to sleep
  • Child’s habit of mandatory hugging of pillows or soft toys to sleep

Limit-setting disorder

This disorder prevails in kids having improper and unhealthy sleep hygiene. Irregular sleep patterns lead to a limit-setting disorder. This happens when one is not suffering from any condition, but yet denies sleeping on-time.


  • A child refusing to sleep
  • Tantrums like bedtime stories
  • Making urges to delay bedtime

Paradoxical insomnia

In this type of insomnia, a person experiences the outcomes of insomnia or sleep deprivation even after getting an adequate amount of sleep. Such patients have a heightened awareness of their surroundings even when asleep. Despite keeping their eyes shut, their mind is semi-aware of movements and sounds.


  • Complaining about sleep deprivation after a good night’s sleep
  • Lethargy

Psychophysiological insomnia

Patients suffering from psychophysiological insomnia are those who have experienced insomnia in the past and are aware of its fatal impact on health. Such patients start worrying about not getting sufficient sleep the moment they go to sleep. 


  • Worrying about sleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Poor concentration
  • Foggy mind
  • Impaired memory
  • Lethargy and
  • Other common symptoms of insomnia

Chronic Insomnia

A patient suffering from chronic insomnia struggles from long term sleep deprivation.


  • Prolonged Adjustment insomnia
  • Difficulty in memorizing 
  • Foggy mind
  • Mood swings
  • Morning dizziness
  • Clumsy execution of work tasks
  • Encountering depressing emotions
  • Feeling gloomy
  • Trouble falling/staying asleep
  • Fatigue

Comorbid insomnia:

Comorbid insomnia is more common in patients already suffering from psychological disorders.


  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Neurological diseases

Sleep paralysis:

Sleep paralysis is a condition that is characterized by the following symptoms.

  • Choking on the onset of sleep
  • Unable to move while upon waking up
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Getting alarmed upon waking up or while about to sleep
  • Getting terrified 
  • Anxious while sleeping
  • Experiencing fear for life

Sleep Apnea

It is a disorder that can be detected from the breathing pattern of the person. This sleeping disorder is characterized by episodes of irregular breathing patterns due to disruptive breathing. There are three types of sleep apnea. Extra tissues grow in the throat and it gets harder to take a breath without disturbing the tissue. Thus the irregular breathing sounds.

Obstructive sleep apnea

A more common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea is related to the activities of the throat.


  • Snoring
  • Lack of concentration
  • Fall in libido
  • Choking 
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Restlessness
  • Tiredness
  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Recorded episodes shortness of breath during sleep

Central sleep apnea

It is a condition where the brain fumbles and fails to send signals to the muscles that control the breath.


  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia
  • Breathlessness that is restored after sitting up
  • Snoring
  • Mood Swings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lethargy
  • Chest pain at night

Restless leg Syndrome

It is a condition where the patient experiences an irresistible urge to move their legs or arms while trying to sleep.


  • Crawling or ticklish legs
  • Feeling pain
  • Or other needling sensations 
  • Anemia
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy


It is a kind of sleep disorder in which a person struggles to stay awake in the daytime. Even when in a comfortable position or environment that requires alertness.


  • Several day time sleep attacks
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Excessive day time naps
  • Hallucination
  • Feeling the urge to sleep in small gaps


This sleeping disorder is associated with abnormal bodily movements while sleeping.

Certain symptoms can be recorded by the patient consciously and then there are symptoms that a patient shows unconsciously.

The unconscious symptoms are:

  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep talking: Making a humming sound, mumbling, talking when unconscious, etc.
  • Tooth grinding in sleep
  • Bed-wetting while in bed
  • Nightmares
  • Declining memory power
  • Giving a delayed reaction
  • Eating abnormally and in an unhealthy fashion
  • Sleep driving
  • Finding queer cuts and wounds on your body

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a sleep disorder that is associated with the condition of feeling extremely lethargic even after proper sleep. It is a tendency in which the patient is not able to get rid of his/her tiredness post getting adequate sleep. However, this condition is beyond medical explanation and no tests have been designed for curing the disorder.

Symptoms of CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome):

  • Feeling tired upon waking up
  • Long term Feeling of lethargy
  • Declining memory
  • Struggling while concentrating 
  • Headaches
  • Swollen neck
  • Joint pain

Seasonal Affective Disorder 

A person is said to be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder when he/she finds it difficult to fall asleep or stick to the normal sleeping routine in a particular season. A patient can experience this sleep disorder at a fixed point of time every year. 


  • Anxiety
  • Pessimism
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Sleep disorders can be fatal for your health. It is advised to see a doctor and use best medicines at the very initial stage for a speedy recovery.