Sleep disorders includes all medical issues that arise from or cause interference in one's sleeping patterns. The most common sleep disorder is insomnia followed by sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking/night terrors. Those suffering from insomnia will have difficulty in getting to sleep and wake up too often and too early. Stress is usually the major factor quoted for contributing to insomnia. Sleep apnea is when people stop breathing in their sleep for a length of time. Soon they will abruptly wake up from lack of oxygen. The length of time that a person will stop breathing varies according to seriousness. Narcolepsy is a disorder that causes people to be incredibly sleepy during the day. This can often cause the sufferer to fall asleep abruptly and instantaneously such as in mid-conversation. Sleeping disorders can vary from mild symptoms that only have minor effects on someone's life to very serious symptoms that can cause serious issues.
Not all, but quite a few, sleep disorders result in sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can be separated into two categories: chronic and acute. This can lead to fatigue, clumsiness, weight loss, and weight gain. These symptoms usually only arise when sleep deprivation is chronic. It has been observed in laboratory rats that complete sleep deprivation can lead to huge weight losses and eventually can even result in death. Furthermore, persons who suffer from sleep deprivation can often be found having 'microsleeps'. This is where a person's brain automatically shuts down for a short period of time during the day to fall into a sleep state. Of course, this can cause it's own set of dangers depending on when these uncontrollable microsleeps occur. Many studies in sleep deprivation are still being run and new results continue to change our views on the effects, symptoms and causes of sleep deprivation.