Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders
CHAPTER SUMMARY It is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans chronically suffer from a disorder of sleep and wakefulness, hindering daily functioning and adversely affecting health and longevity. There around 90 distinct sleep disorders; most are marked by one of these symptoms: excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, and abnormal events occurring during sleep. The cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke. After decades of research, the case can be confidently made that sleep loss and sleep disorders have profound and widespread effects on human health. This chapter focuses on manifestations and prevalence, etiology and risk factors, and comorbidities of the most common sleep conditions, including sleep loss, sleep-disordered breathing, insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, parasomnias, sleep-related psychiatric disorders, sleep-related neurological disorders, sleep-related medical disorders, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders.