Sleep-Wake Disorders: Risk for

Sleep-wake disorders are common in the general population and often prompt people to seek medical attention. They fall into four broad categories: (1) insomnia, (2) hypersomnias, (3) circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSD), and (4) parasomnias—each of which is discussed in turn in this entry.


Insomnia affects around 10% of the population at any given time. It is characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep and/or poor quality sleep that has an attributable impact on daytime performance. The stress-diathesis model purports that sleep disruption occurs when predisposed individuals experience a major life event or minor daily stresses. Predisposition can be psychological, genetic, or environmental.

  • Psychological: Individuals who are prone to anxiety or worry may have an increased predisposition to arousal and maladaptive coping styles. More ...
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