Chokroverty, Sudhansu Neurology Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Lyons, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:February 2020
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- Clinical disorders
- Most common complaints
- Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
- Restless legs syndrome
- Diagnosis and treatment
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Disorders or disturbances of the reversible state during which an individual's voluntary functions are suspended, but the involuntary functions (such as circulation and respiration) are uninterrupted. Sleep is a state of rest in which consciousness and activity are diminished. A sleeping subject assumes a characteristic posture with relative immobility and decreased responses to external stimuli. However, there are dozens of sleep disorders that can affect humans, leading to a loss of sleep hours (Fig. 1). This sleep deprivation often interferes with daily activities and brain function, and it also can result in serious health issues. Some individuals find it difficult to fall asleep, whereas others have difficulty remaining asleep. Some disorders are physical problems (for example, those resulting from breathing difficulties), whereas others are related to mental disturbances. See also: Sleep and dreaming; Sleep-dependent memory processing
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