When it comes to sleep disorders, you are probably aware of some of the most common ones, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. However, some sleep disorders may not be as familiar to you.
Here are three sleep disorders that aren't very common but still affect some people.
1. Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is a sleep disorder that occurs when one is conscious but they are unable to move. At one time, sleep paralysis was thought to have been linked with psychological problems. Some even associated this rare sleep disorder with evil spirits. Instead, sleep paralysis has more to do with difficulties transitioning between sleep patterns and usually occurs between the stages of being awake and asleep.
It's during this transition phase that the body becomes temporarily paralyzed. Along with being unable to move during this stage, the person may not be able to speak. People who suffer from recurring sleep paralysis may benefit from antidepressants that can help to regulate their sleep cycle.
2. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Behavior Disorder
REM is the stage of sleep when one dreams and doesn't move around much in their sleep. However, when someone has REM behavior disorder, they physically or verbally act out the unpleasant dream they are having during REM sleep. This sleep disorder usually begins gradually and eventually gets worse.
People with this sleep disorder not only cause stress for their sleep partner, but they can also injure their partner, as well as themselves. Treatment for REM behavior disorder usually includes sleep medicine and removing triggers, which can include alcohol and certain prescription drugs.
3. Night Terrors
Most people have nightmares now and then. However, night terrors are a sleep disorder that is much worse than the average nightmare. This type of sleep disorder occurs when the central nervous system becomes overstimulated during sleep. This overstimulation causes people with night terrors to have physical or emotional reactions as they sleep. Some may sit up in bed and cry or scream. It can be difficult for those with night terrors to distinguish their dream from reality. Treatment options for night terrors include cognitive behavioral therapy, relieving stress, and treating mental health conditions or other sleep disorders.
If you suspect that you have one or more of these rare sleep disorders, you should contact your doctor and ask them whether you need to visit a local sleep clinic.