For millions of people with chronic sleep problems, it would be a dream to return to the days of sleeping like a baby. Sleep disorders are very common on both adults and children.
Among adults, insomnia (which is defined difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or waking up early in the morning and not being able to return to sleep) is the most common sleep complaint. Other examples of sleep disorders include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) which is repetitive cramping or jerking of the legs during sleep.
Sleep disorders are common in children. Up to 50% of children will experience a sleep problem. Early identification of sleep problems may prevent negative consequences, such as daytime sleepiness, irritability, behavioral problems, learning difficulties, motor vehicle crashes in teenagers, and poor academic performance.
In addition to OSA and insomnia, parasomnias are common in childhood; sleepwalking, sleep talking, confusional arousals, and sleep terrors tend to occur in the first half of the night, whereas nightmares are more common in the second half of the night.