The 5 Most Common Sleep Disorders and Their Origins

by May 11, 2023Relaxium Sleep, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Tips, Wellness

May 11, 2023

Sleep disorders are very common. Understanding the reasons they occur and how to resolve symptoms can be the life-altering changes that are needed to be made. 

Sleep disorders can be traced back thousands of years. We aren’t the only ones that weren’t getting enough sleep! 

Medical texts from ancient civilizations showed similarities in sleep disorders. For example, in ancient Greece, physician Hippocrates wrote about sleep disorders such as insomnia

The late 19th and 20th centuries are when sleep disorders caught attention and started to be studied. The development of electroencephalography helped to record and measure electrical activity in the brain. This is what helped to classify and understand the different sleep stages and disorders. 

The different categories of sleep disorders

Before we dive into the 5 most common sleep disorders, it is important to understand the distinction between categories of sleep disorders.

These are the major categories of sleep disorders:

  • Sleep-related breathing disorders: These sorts of disorders involve conditions that involve abnormal breathing when sleeping. The most common sleep disorders of these include snoring and sleep apnea. 
  • Central disorders of hypersomnolence: These are disorders where a person feels excessive sleepiness in the daytime. The most common sleep disorders of these include Narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. 
  • Insomnias: These disorders are characterized by the difficulty of falling asleep, and at that,  having quality sleep. Insomnia and hypersomnolence fall into this category. 
  • Parasomnias: Parasomnias involve abnormal behaviors that occur during sleep or the transition between sleep and wakefulness. Nightmares and sleepwalking fall into this category. 
  • Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders: This sleep disorder involves disruptions in the sleep-wake schedule which affects the circadian rhythm. This then affects the normal sleep-wake cycle. The most common sleep disorders in this category are shift work disorder and delayed sleep-wake phase disorder. 
  • Sleep-related movement disorders: These disorders involve abnormal movement during sleep. The most common sleep disorders in this category are restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movement.

The thorough research done on these categories proved to many just how common sleep disorders are. Millions around the world struggle to get the necessary sleep. This is why here at Relaxium we have Relaxium Sleep. Relaxium Sleep is a sleep supplement designed to help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and have you waking up feeling refreshed and alert. 

categories of sleep disorders

The 5 most common sleep disorders

Now to get into more specifics, the following sleep disorders listed are some of the most common sleep disorders experienced. These range in the previous categories listed. 

  1. Insomnia
  2. Narcolepsy
  3. Restless Leg Syndrome 
  4. Sleep Apnea
  5. REM Sleep behavior disorder


Insomnia the word is derived from the Latin text, “sleep,” the prefix “in” in front of “Somnia” to negate the meaning, therefore meaning no sleep. Insomnia is a sleep disorder where a person will struggle to fall asleep, and if awakened, getting back to sleep. This sleep disorder is experienced by millions and the results of the sleep disorder can lead to

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Irritability 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings

Insomnia can range from temporary to chronic. Chronic insomnia is very damaging to the sleep schedule due to the difficulty when it comes to falling asleep. 


Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder where the brain’s control of the sleep-wake cycle is affected. This disorder was categorized in the late 1800s. Those who experience narcolepsy tend to feel: 

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleep paralysis 
  • Change in rapid eye movement sleep

Those with Narcolepsy can fall asleep in inappropriate or even dangerous situations. 

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder where the legs undergo uncomfortable sensations. The findings of Restless Leg Syndrome were first published in the mid-late 1900s. These sensations tend to occur at night, or during times when the person is inactive, or resting. 

The legs tend to feel a throbbing, itching, pulsing, or even crawling sensation, causing the movement of the legs. 

This sleep disorder can be a large disruptor of sleep, affecting energy levels and mood the following day. In the worst cases, other sleep disorders can develop. 

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea, another one of the most common sleep disorders is when breathing will repeatedly stop and start during sleep. 

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This is when the muscles in the throat relax, blocking the airway. 

One of the most common sleep disorders, snoring can occur due to this. A person regularly experiencing sleep apnea can result in daytime sleepiness as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. 

REM Sleep Behavior disorder

To understand REM Sleep behavior disorder, you must first understand what REM sleep is. REM stands for “Rapid Eye Movement.” REM Sleep is the fourth sleep cycle stage you undergo each night. This is where the most vivid dreams occur. The muscles are typically paralyzed and dreaming occurs. 

So now that you know what REM sleep is, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) is when the usual muscle paralysis that one would experience in REM sleep is absent. This means that the vivid and intense dreams that you experience can have you reacting and physically moving as they do. 

Examples of these include:

  • Yelling 
  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Talking

A disorder such as this can have potential safety risks to your partner in bed, or even yourself. 

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Understanding some of the most common sleep disorders

We hope this resource has answered some questions about common sleep disorders. If you can relate to any of these you may want to consult with a physician so you can start to fix your own sleep schedule!

Relaxium offers a number of safe and effective supplements that aid in the categories of sleep, calm, focus, and immunity. Created by Clinical Neurologist and Sleep Expert, Dr. Eric Ciliberti, offers a 30-day Money Back Guarantee trial of Relaxium Sleep to allow our users to truly experience its effects. To try the product today visit our website for more information. 

To restful and healthy days ahead. 

The Relaxium Team 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.