Despite the fact that as humans, about 1/3 of our lives are spent sleeping, it wasn't until recently that sleep disorders began getting much attention. Between 40 and 50 million Americans have issues sleeping, whether they can't fall asleep, can't stay asleep, or simply just feel as though they need to sleep all the time. Unfortunately, most sleep disorders remain undiagnosed and - therefore - untreated, leading to major medical problems as well as aggravating underlying health issues that currently exist.
While there are approximately 80 sleep disorders recognized by the medical community, we have put together a list of the most common sleep disorders seen in adults, including sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome (RLS) and snoring. Many people have more than one sleep issue.
When a person doesn't get the right amount or right quality of sleep, it becomes obvious that they are feeling tired during the day. However, it also is more serious - causing memory impairment, difficulty concentrating - and even personality changes in some cases. Lack of proper sleep has been proven to slow reaction time and cognitive ability, which means increased liklihood of motor vehicle accidents. In fact, some state laws now state that a sleep-deprived driver qualified as a reckless driver who can be convicted of vehicular homicide.