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Primary Sleep Disorder

(Also Known As: Sleep Disorders, Sleep Problem, Hypersomnia, Dyssomnia, Insomnia)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Primary Sleep Disorder?

Sleep disorder is a medical condition affecting the sleep patterns of an individual, which oftentimes can be serious enough to affect the normal emotional, psychological, social, and physical functioning of the individual. 1 There are several types of sleep disorders that were diagnosed by sleep specialists. The different sleep disorders are grouped and organized based on their presumed etiology. According to the DSM IV-TR Guidebook these groups of sleep disorders consist of: 2

  • Primary Sleep Disorder
  • Sleep Disorders related to another mental disorder
  • Sleep Disorder related to general medication disorder
  • Substance-induced sleep disorder

The primary sleep disorder is diagnosed after all possible etiologies for the sleep disorder have been ruled out. Primary sleep disorder is basically divided into two groups:

Parasomnia Sleep Disorder

  • Nightmare Disorder
  • Sleepwalking Disorder
  • Sleep Terror Disorder

Dyssomnias Sleep Disorder

  • Primary Insomnia
  • Primary Hypersomnia
  • Breathing-Related Sleep Disorder
  • Narcolepsy
  • Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

The characteristics of sleep disorder that occur in dyssomnia affect the timing, quality, and the amount of sleep of the affected person. In parasomnia, the disturbed sleep is due to distressing and abnormal events that occur during the sleep or within the threshold between sleep and wakefulness. Sleep disorders in general are characterized by a significant disturbance on the timing and quality of sleep with changes in the physiological and behavioral condition associated with sleep. In order to qualify for a sleep diagnosis disorder, the condition must present a persistent problem with resulting emotional distress that interferes with the person’s social and occupational functioning. 3 The DSM-IV specifically excludes conditions that involve temporary sleep pattern disruptions that are due to short term stress. The average length of sleep time always varies by person. One may have a 5 hours night sleep and they feel better during the day, while others need 8 hours of sleep in order to be able to perform well the next day.

Primary sleep disorders are categorized in two groups of sleep disorders, namely dyssomnias and parasomnias. These are sleep disorders that are not caused by any mental disorder, induced by any substance, prescribed medication, and any medical condition.

Could You Have Primary Sleep Disorder?

Primary Sleep Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Dyssomnia – excessive sleepiness, inadequate quantity of sleep, sleeping difficulty, insomnia
Hypersomnia – excessive daytime sleepiness, daytime napping, anxiety, irritability, depression, restlessness
Narcolepsy – chronic sleep disorder, dyssomnia, insomnia, disturbed sleep, cataplexy