A sleep disorder (somnipathy) is a disorder in the sleep patterns of a person or animal.
Sleep disorders include: Bruxism; delayed sleep phase syndrome; insomnia: jet lag or desynchronosis; narcolepsy; night terror; parasomnias; periodic limb movement disorder; rapid eye movement behavior disorder; restless legs syndrome; shift work sleep disorder; sleep apnea; sleep paralysis; sleepwalking or somnambulism; snoring.
Treatments for sleep disorders generally can be grouped into three categories: 1) behavioral/ psychotherapeutic treatments, 2) medications, and 3) other somatic treatments.
None of these general approaches is sufficient for all patients with sleep disorders.
Rather, the choice of a specific treatment depends on the patient's diagnosis, medical and psychiatric history, and preferences, as well as the expertise of the treating clinician.
In general, medications and somatic treatments provide more rapid symptomatic relief from sleep disturbances.
On the other hand, some emerging evidence suggests that treatment gains with behavioral treatment of insomnia may be more durable than those obtained with medications.
Some sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, are best treated pharmacologically, whereas others, such as chronic and primary insomnia, are more amenable to behavioral interventions.
The management of sleep disturbances that are secondary to mental, medical, or substance abuse disorders should focus on the underlying conditions.
For most sleep disorders, behavioral/psychotherapeutic and pharmacological approaches are not incompatible and can be effectively combined to maximize therapeutic benefits.
A sleep diary can be used to help diagnose, and measure improvements in sleep disorders.
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