Classification of sleep disorders

Many people experience difficulty sleeping at some point in their lives, but some people struggle with it a lot more than others. There are three main types of sleep disorders. They are called hypersomnia, insomnia and parasomnia.

·         Insomnia is when someone is unable to sleep due to feelings of anxiety or depression or other psychiatric disorders.

o       Insomnia (not being able to sleep) can be a problem that many people have at some point in their life. For instance, you may be really excited about an upcoming event, so it is hard to relax and fall asleep or, on the other hand, you might be very worried about something that has happened (like losing a job) which makes it hard to sleep. However, when not being able to sleep becomes a persistent problem, it may be insomnia. There are different types of insomnia. Some examples include:

§         Adjustment insomnia

§         Inadquate sleep hygiene

§         Behavioral insomnia of childhood

·         Hypersomnia is when someone is sleeping too much which can result from various causes including medications that are being used to treat a mental health disorder, as a result of depression or as a result of the depressive cycle of bi-polar disorder.

o       Hypersomnia is a state in which a person is sleeping way more than the typical amount. Sometimes, a person who has hypersomnia might sleep 15-18 hours a day. Normally people need 7-8 hours of sleep to function well during the day. It is still normal though if someone needs 9-10 hours. This means that only any excessive sleep beyond the normal need for a longer period of time can be classified as hypersomnia.

·         Parasomnia is when a person experiences unusual behaviors while they are asleep. For instance, they may have nightmares that are associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or dissociative disorders. Examples of things that would fall under the parasomnia classification include:

o       Night terrors

o       Nighttime walking (walking in your sleep)

o       Nighttime enuresis (wetting the bed)


Classifying sleep disorders began in 1979 with further advancements coming about in 1990 with the publishing of the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD). Then in 2002, the ICSD was revised and the second edition was published. Classifying sleep disorders helps treatment providers and people experiencing problems with their sleep to better understand the issues that are going on. If you are experiencing sleep problems and think they may be related to something more severe than the typical problems everyone has from time to time, talk to a healthcare professional (a doctor or a behavioral health specialist).

Many people experience difficulty sleeping at some point in their lives, but some people struggle with it a lot more than others. There are three main types of sleep disorders. They are called hypersomnia, insomnia and parasomnia.

·         Insomnia is when someone is unable to sleep due to feelings of anxiety or depression or other psychiatric disorders.

o       Insomnia (not being able to sleep) can be a problem that many people have at some point in their life. For instance, you may be really excited about an upcoming event, so it is hard to relax and fall asleep or, on the other hand, you might be very worried about something that has happened (like losing a job) which makes it hard to sleep. However, when not being able to sleep becomes a persistent problem, it may be insomnia. There are different types of insomnia. Some examples include:

§         Adjustment insomnia

§         Inadquate sleep hygiene

§         Behavioral insomnia of childhood

·         Hypersomnia is when someone is sleeping too much which can result from various causes including medications that are being used to treat a mental health disorder, as a result of depression or as a result of the depressive cycle of bi-polar disorder.

o       Hypersomnia is a state in which a person is sleeping way more than the typical amount. Sometimes, a person who has hypersomnia might sleep 15-18 hours a day. Normally people need 7-8 hours of sleep to function well during the day. It is still normal though if someone needs 9-10 hours. This means that only any excessive sleep beyond the normal need for a longer period of time can be classified as hypersomnia.

·         Parasomnia is when a person experiences unusual behaviors while they are asleep. For instance, they may have nightmares that are associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or dissociative disorders. Examples of things that would fall under the parasomnia classification include:

o       Night terrors

o       Nighttime walking (walking in your sleep)

o       Nighttime enuresis (wetting the bed)


Classifying sleep disorders began in 1979 with further advancements coming about in 1990 with the publishing of the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD). Then in 2002, the ICSD was revised and the second edition was published. Classifying sleep disorders helps treatment providers and people experiencing problems with their sleep to better understand the issues that are going on. If you are experiencing sleep problems and think they may be related to something more severe than the typical problems everyone has from time to time, talk to a healthcare professional (a doctor or a behavioral health specialist).