Current classifications of sleep disorders recognize about 100 different conditions that can cause sleepiness, sleeplessness and abnormal or disturbed sleep. Sleep disorders are generally grouped into four general categories: difficulty staying awake (excessive sleepiness), problems with falling sleep and staying asleep (insomnia), inability to maintain a consistent pattern of wakefulness and sleep (sleep rhythm disturbance) and abnormal behavior during sleep ( sleep behavior problems). A variety of medical, surgical, physical and behavioral treatments are available for these conditions, but there is growing recognition that certain medicines and efforts to maintain a pattern of healthy wakefulness during the day and consistent and restful sleep at night (sleep hygiene) are particularly effective for disturbed sleep and resultant sleepiness.
Some of the medications used to treat sleep disorders also help in concentration and the maintenance of attention, and may also be useful for depression and some other psychiatric disorders.
Sleepiness can result from lack of sleep or interrupted sleep, but when not due to these is generally termed hypersomnia, and can result from abnormal breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), infectious diseases such as encephalitis in the past and mononucleosis presently, obesity (generally associated with sleep apnea) and sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. Sleepiness may also occur without discernible cause (idiopathic hypersomnia). Breathing disturbance during sleep has been treated with tracheostomy or the application of positive airway pressure during sleep (CPAP), but these are expensive and complicated. Sleepiness resulting from infection has not yet recently been considered treatable, but may in fact respond to alerting medications used for other sleep disorders. Stimulants such as amphetamine and methylphenidate have been used for narcolepsy and idiopathic hyper somnolence, but these may have cardiovascular and other adverse effects and are susceptible of abuse, so are strictly regulated in most countries. Sodium oxybate is also effective for sleepiness as well as the cataplexy that often attests narcolepsy, but it also has potential for misuse and its prescription is limited. Antidepressants improve narcolepsy and some other sleep disorders, but may have significant sexual, weight and cardiac side effects. Modafinil (Provigil) and its newer relative armodafinil (Nuvigil) promote wakefulness, without direct stimulation and with fewer cardiac and other side effects, by effects on the neurotransmitter dopamine. These are now used for narcolepsy, sleep apnea, sleepiness due to disturbed waking and sleeping schedules due to shift work and disturbances of the normal circadian rhythms of waking and sleeping.
Insomnia can be intermittent, lasting up to 3 weeks, or chronic, and has many causes, ranging from depression and thyroid over activity to physical pain or mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder, to lifestyle factors such as alcohol or drug use, smoking or television watching or computer use in bed. Identifying and correcting maladaptive sleep patterns or lifestyle choices is often helpful, as is dealing with stress, depression and other issues. Sedative medications, chiefly barbiturates and benzodiazepines have been widely used but are not generally recommended, particularly in the long-term, as they cause rebound insomnia and dependence. Some newer sleep facilitating medications such aszalpelon and zopiclone, which work on subpopulations of benzodiazepine receptors, are temporarily effective and may cause fewer problems than benzodiazepines themselves. Modafinil taken during the day may maintain wakefulness and energy and facilitate nocturnal sleep, but can also cause insomnia if taken too late.
Sleep rhythm disorders are sometimes caused by travel (jet lag) or by changes in waking and sleeping schedules due to shift work. Modafinil and armodafinil have been particularly effective for the sleepiness occasioned by these factors, and newer sedative agents have been recommended for short-term use. Quaickmedpill, which is an authentic online pharmacy, is going to offer the opportunity of getting these medications at an affordable rate. Sleep behavior disorders, such as sleep terrors in children and sleep-walking in children and adults, often do not require treatment or will respond to antidepressants.
In addition to their use in the above sleep disorders, modafinil and armodafinil have been shown to improve alertness and enhance performance, and have been used with benefit in Attention Deficit Disorder with and without Hyperactivity. Beneficial effects on mood have been shown as well, and these have been used for depression that has been refractory to other treatments.