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Types of Sleep Disorders

Around 70 million Americans experience some type of sleep disorder — over one-fifth of the population!

There are a variety of different sleep conditions that plague people with harmful side effects of sleep deprivation such as excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, lack of concentration, and more. Understanding the different kinds of sleep disorders is imperative to proper treatment.

Categories of sleep disorders

  • Insomnia, Short Sleeper, Child Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy, Idiopathic Hypersomnia, Kleine-Levin Syndrome, Insufficient Sleep Syndrome, Long Sleeper
Breathing Disorders
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Snoring, Central Sleep Apnea, Child Sleep Apnea, Infant Sleep Apnea, Sleep Related Groaning
  • Confusional Arousals, Sleep Walking, Night Terrors, Sleep Eating Disorder, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Sleep Paralysis, Nightmares, Bedwetting, Sleep Hallucinations, Exploding Head Syndrome, Sleep Talking
Sleep Movement Disorders
  • Restless Legs Syndrome, Periodic Limb Movements, Sleep Leg Cramps, Sleep Rhythmic Movement, Bruxism

As you can see, there is no shortage of sleep disorders. Some are more common than others and have a more significant impact on the health of the person suffering from the disorder. Sleep related breathing disorders happen to affect over 22 million Americans and are among the most common sleep problems.

What is sleep apnea?

There are two main types of sleep apnea — obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by a blockage in the airway. When the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses, it prevents the person with OSA from breathing.

Signs of obstructive sleep apnea include snoring, abrupt awakenings, choking during sleep, daytime drowsiness, difficulty with focusing, and headaches.

Risk factors for OSA
  • Being overweight
  • Narrow airway
  • High blood pressure
  • Being male
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Chronic nasal congestion

Fortunately, there is a very effective treatment available — CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP machine provides a set level of pressure delivered via a mask or nasal prongs to hold the airway open during sleep. A sleep study can help determine the required level of pressure for each individual with sleep apnea.

Central Sleep Apnea

Less common than obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing to take a breath.

The symptoms of CSA are similar to the symptoms of OSA, so at first someone may not realize they have it. A sleep study is needed for the proper diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

Risk factors for CSA

Central sleep apnea can be a little trickier to understand, because it often accompanies certain diseases. The exact mechanism is not always well understood.

These are some of the risk factors and conditions that put someone at higher chance for central sleep apnea:

  • Chronic heart failure
  • Neurological disease
  • Brainstem injuries
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Use of opiates

Central sleep apnea is often treated with BiPAP, or bilevel positive airway pressure, which provides two levels of pressure — one to hold the airway open, and the other to assist during inhalation. A respiratory rate is set on the BiPAP machine.

Properly cleaning a CPAP machine

If you suffer from a sleep disorder like sleep apnea and wear a CPAP machine, it’s imperative that it is adequately and thoroughly cleaned daily. Tubing and masks can harbor harmful microorganisms that you definitely don’t want to breathe in.

While some people opt for old fashioned soap and water, there’s a much better way to clean your CPAP machine components!


Ozone is one of the best ways to properly sanitize a CPAP or BiPAP machine. Ozone kills viruses and bacteria that can grow in the cracks and crevices of your tubing and mask.

With the Sleep8 system, simply place your CPAP machine components in the special bag, and connect it to the Sleep8 device. Press a button and walk away! Your CPAP parts will be sanitized and ready for your next use in no time.

Want to learn more? Visit our Sleep8 FAQ page.

Click here to buy Sleep8.




Written by: Amanda Peterson

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