Introduction to Sleep-Wake Disorders

What you’ll learn to do: distinguish between normal and abnormal sleep and examine the characteristics, epidemiology, and etiology of sleep-wake disorders

A person who has fallen asleep while reading a book.

Many people experience disturbances in their sleep at some point in their lives. Depending on the population and sleep disorder being studied, between 30% and 50% of the population suffers from a sleep disorder at some point in their lives (Bixler, Kales, Soldatos, Kaels, & Healey, 1979; Hossain & Shapiro, 2002; Ohayon, 1997, 2002; Ohayon & Roth, 2002). This section will describe sleep, why we sleep, sleep disorders, and sleep disorder treatment.