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Sleep Disorder Classifications

By: Tracy R. Nasca

Might you have a sleep disorder?  There are over 100 to choose from.  Most of us take sleep for granted until we get too much, too little or when things go bump in the night.  The affects of sleep disorders can wreak havoc on our lives.

The list below is offered as an educational tool.  If you have been diagnosed with a sleep or sleep related disorder, you may find it interesting to see where your diagnosis is categorized.  If you are looking for answers to your sleep disturbances, you may be surprised to find your clues here and then seek an evaluation and diagnostic procedure to verify or rule out.

Each has its own protocol for treatment, whether medical device, medication regime or cognitive behavioral therapy. You cannot properly treat any disease or disorder without an accurate diagnosis.  Make an appointment with a sleep specialist if you suspect you have a sleep disorder.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine categorized 4 sections that make up the INTERNATIONAL CLASSIFICATION OF SLEEP DISORDERS.  Each has its own diagnostic criteria and a unique diagnostic code number used by physicians and insurance providers. 

1. DYSSOMNIAS 
A broad category of sleep disorders characterized by either hypersomnolence or insomnia. The three major subcategories include intrinsic (i.e., arising from within the body) (SLEEP DISORDERS, INTRINSIC), extrinsic (secondary to environmental conditions or various pathologic conditions), and disturbances of circadian rhythm. (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p187)

A. Intrinsic Sleep Disorders

1. Psychophysiologic Insomnia
2. Sleep State Misperception
3. Idiopathic Insomnia
4. Narcolepsy
5. Recurrent Hypersomnia
6. Idiopathic Hypersomnia
7. Post-traumatic Hypersomnia
8. Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome
9. Central Sleep Apnea Syndrome
10. Central Alveolar Hypoventilation Syndrome
11. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
12. Restless Legs Syndrome
13. Intrinsic Sleep Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)

B. Extrinsic Sleep Disorders

1. Inadequate Sleep Hygiene
2. Environmental Sleep Disorder
3. Altitude Insomnia
4. Adjustment Sleep Disorder .
5. Insufficient Sleep Syndrome
6. Limit-setting Sleep Disorder
7. Sleep-onset Association Disorder
8. Food Allergy Insomnia
9. Nocturnal Eating (Drinking) Syndrome
10. Hypnotic-Dependent Sleep Disorder
11. Stimulant-Dependent Sleep Disorder
12. Alcohol-Dependent Sleep Disorder
13. Toxin-Induced Sleep Disorder
14. Extrinsic Sleep Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)

C. Circadian-Rhythm Sleep Disorders

1. Time Zone Change (Jet Lag) Syndrome
2. Shift Work Sleep Disorder
3. Irregular Sleep-Wake Pattern
4. Delayed Sleep-Phase Syndrome
5. Advanced Sleep-phase Syndrome
6. Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder
7. Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)

2. PARASOMNIAS

Movements or behaviors associated with sleep, sleep stages, or partial arousals from sleep that may impair sleep maintenance. Parasomnias are generally divided into four groups: arousal disorders, sleep-wake transition disorders, parasomnias of REM sleep, and nonspecific parasomnias. (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p191) 

A. Arousal Disorders

1. Confusional Arousals
2. Sleepwalking
3. Sleep Terrors

B. Sleep-Wake Transition Disorders

1. Rhythmic movement Disorder
2. Sleep Starts
3. Sleep Talking
4. Nocturnal Leg Cramps

C. Parasomnias Usually Associated with REM Sleep

1. Nightmares
2. Sleep Paralysis
3. Impaired Sleep-Related Penile Erections
4. Sleep-Related Painful Erections
5. REM Sleep-Related Sinus Arrest
6. REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

D. Other Parasomnias

1. Sleep Bruxism
2. Sleep Enuresis
3. Sleep-Related Abnormal Swallowing Syndrome
4. Nocturnal Paroxysmal Dystonia
5. Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome
6. Primary Snoring
7. Infant Sleep Apnea
8. Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome
9. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
10. Benign Neonatal Sleep Myoclonus
11. Other Parasomnia NOS  (Not Otherwise Specified)

3. SLEEP DISORDERS ASSOCIATED WITH MENTAL, NEUROLOGIC, OR OTHER MEDICAL DISORDERS

A. Associated with Mental Disorders

1. Psychoses
2. Mood Disorders
3. Anxiety Disorders
4. Panic Disorders
5. Alcoholism

B. Associated with Neurologic Disorders

1. Cerebral Degenerative Disorders
2. Dementia
3. Parkinsonism
4. Fatal Familial Insomnia
5. Sleep-Related Epilepsy
6. Electrical Status Epilepticus of Sleep 
7. Sleep-Related Headaches 

C. Associated with Other Medical Disorders

1. Sleeping Sickness
2. Nocturnal Cardiac Ischemia
3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
4. Sleep-Related Asthma
5. Sleep-Related Gastroesophageal Reflux
6. Peptic Ulcer Disease
7. Fibromyalgia

4. PROPOSED SLEEP DISORDERS

1. Short Sleeper
2. Long Sleeper
3. Subwakefulness Syndrome
4. Fragmentary Myoclonus
5. Sleep Hyperhidrosis
6. Menstrual-Associated Sleep Disorder
7. Pregnancy-Associated Sleep Disorder
8. Terrifying Hypnagogic Hallucinations
9. Sleep-Related Neurogenic Tachypnea
10. Sleep-Related Laryngospasm
11. Sleep Choking Syndrome

The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Contact your physician or health care provider when you have health related questions. Never disregard or delay medical advice because of information you have obtained on this site.