A sleep disorder (somnipathy) is a medical disorder of the sleep patterns of a person.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a sleep disorder disrupts and disturbs your overall quality of life. It can affect a child, teen, single adult, parent or senior citizen. More than 70 million people in the U.S. have a sleep disorder. Most of those who have one are completely unaware of it. Many of those who are aware of it never choose to seek the help that they need.
Due to advances in the science of Sleep Medicine, help can be found for those who suffer from bad sleep. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Second Edition documents 81 official sleep disorders. While some of these are very common, most of them are found in only a small portion of people.
Sleep Medicine is now a recognized subspecialty within internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, otolaryngology, psychiatry and neurology in the United States. Certification in Sleep Medicine shows that the specialist has demonstrated expertise in the diagnosis and management of clinical conditions that occur during sleep, that disturb sleep, or that are affected by disturbances in the wake-sleep cycle. This specialist is skilled in the analysis and interpretation of comprehensive polysomnography, and well-versed in emerging research and management of a sleep laboratory.