Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disturb normal sleep patterns. They are an extremely common clinical problem encountered in general practice and can often lead to impairments in daily mental, physical, social, and emotional functioning. Often, they are due to underlying medical problems.
Sleep disorders encompass several clinical problems encountered in outpatient settings and have a broad differential diagnosis; therefore, standardized definitions and classification are essential to proper management. Sleep disorders can be broadly classified into a few major patterns—insomnia, circadian rhythm disorders, hypersomnia/narcolepsy, and parasomnias, for example. Each of these categories of disorders requires a tailored approach to history-taking, evaluation, and management.