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Sleep disorders/disturbances can cause your sleep to be disturbed. Disturbed sleep includes the inability to fall asleep, the inability to go back to sleep, and frequent waking up during the night. Sleep disorders can make you feel tired, fatigued, and irritable, making it difficult for you to concentrate during the day.
Most people have experienced sleep disturbances at some point in their lives. Anyone at any age can develop a sleep disorder/disturbance. Depending on the cause and the treatment, sleep disturbances can be short-term or long-term.
There are many conditions, diseases, and disorders that can cause sleep disturbances. There are several common causes of sleep disturbances:
Other causes of sleep disturbance include sleep apnea, teeth grinding, allergies and colds, snoring, frequent urination, fibromyalgia, and nightmares. Sleep apnea causes breathing interruptions during your sleep, and teeth grinding (which is called bruxism) can cause you to wake up during the night.
Allergies, colds, coughing, and upper respiratory infections can make it difficult for you to breathe at night. Snoring can also disturb your sleep, and if it is loud enough, it may wake you up. Frequent urination, which is called nocturia, will cause you to wake up during the night and may disrupt your sleep.
When you have pain or fibromyalgia, you may find it difficult to sleep without interruption. People who have body-wide pain and tenderness may have fibromyalgia. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known, but doctors believe one of the causes may be linked to sleep problems. If you have bad dreams or nightmares, they may disrupt your sleep. You may also feel emotionally tired after a nightmare because nightmares leave people with negative emotional thoughts. You may even sleepwalk after having a nightmare.
If your sleep disturbances don’t clear up after several days, you may want to see your doctor to find out if there is a serious underlying cause. After an exam, your doctor may recommend the following tests:
Treatment for sleep disturbances depends on the causes and can include any of the following:
Written by: Julie Roddick
Updated on Feb 15, 2013
Medically reviewed by George Krucik, MD
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