What is a sleep disorder?

Sleep disturbances are a major health concern. Three out of ten adults in western Europe are suffering from sleep related problems[1]. In the Netherlands 1 out of 5 (!) is reported suffering from insomnia. [2].

A sleep disorder can either appear on its own, for example due to lifestyle, as a consequence of various psychological or physiological problems (for example anxiety, depression or obesity), or as a combination of the two. As a result, sleep disturbances have negative effects on psychological, social and physical aspects of life and require targeted therapy. For example people with sleep disturbances may be facing problems with their social lives, feeling that they cannot spend quality time with their closed ones because they do not have enough energy; they may feel moody and depressed, not able to concentrate at work and sometimes even have intense negative body sensations such as physical pain that cannot be otherwise explained.

[1] Leger, D., Poursain, B., Neubauer, D., & Uchiyama, M. (2008). An international survey of sleeping problems in the general population. Current medical research and opinion, 24(1), 307-317.

[2] https://www.rtlnieuws.nl/nederland/een-op-de-vijf-kampt-met-slapeloosheid