Common Sleep Disorders:

Sleep Apnea Either excessive tissue or anatomical obstruction of the upper airway causes low oxygen or awakening during the night.  The body reacts as if it is suffocating.  This can cause excessive sleepiness during the day.  If untreated, sleep apnea can worsen high blood pressure and is a risk factor for stroke.  Snoring and pauses in breathing are common symptoms.

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. It can be caused by many problems that range from misalignment of the body's clock to poor sleep hygiene. Steps can be prescribed to make an individual a better sleeper.

Narcolepsy: In the movie "Rat Race" a group of people race to the train station in Silver City (never mind that there is no train station in Silver City!), one of whom has narcolepsy. This individual has sleep attacks, dreams during the day and can lose his muscle tone (falling to the ground) with any excitation. He also is a poor sleeper.  This unfortunate person has narcolepsy, an uncommon but not rare sleep disorder.

Restless Leg Syndrome This problem is more common as a person ages.  The affected individual has strange feelings in the legs (especially at night) which are relieved with movement. Some medications can increase the problem. Iron deficiency can make restless leg worse.

REM behavior disorder  This can be a serious problem for the bed partner as well as the patient. During REM or dream sleep the body is usually unable to move.  In this disorder, the body is not paralyzed and it acts out the dream.  The reason the bed partner may be in danger is that if the patient dreams he is fighting a mountain lion he may be delivering blows to the bed partner!  This condition can be dealt with physical means and medications.