Sleep Disorders

  • Thomas Roth
  • Timothy Roehrs
  • Frank Zorick
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


Sleep disorders medicine has become an important clinical and research discipline for two reasons. The first is the documentation of sleep-wake complaints. A recent national survey found that one-third of the American population reported some degree of insomnia, with 17% of the population considering their insomnia serious. In addition, up to 6% of the population complain of excessive sleepiness during the day. The second and more immediate impetus to sleep disorders medicine was the discovery of sleep-specific pathologies. That is, individuals who show normal physiological functioning during the neural state of wake can show significant pathology when in one of the two neural states of sleep (REM, or rapid eye movement, and NREM, or non-REM). In addition, in perfectly healthy individuals, control of basic physiological functions such as respiratory drive, cardiac rhythm, and thermoregulation have different laws during wake and sleep. In fact, control of these functions varies within the two neural states that constitute sleep.

Further reading

  1. Association of Sleep Disorders Centers (1979): Diagnostic Classification of Sleep and Arousal Disorders, prepared by the Sleep Disorders Classification Committee, Roffwarg HP, chairman. Sleep 2: 1–37Google Scholar
  2. Orem J, Barnes C (1980): Physiology in Sleep. New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  3. Guilleminault C (1982): Sleeping and Waking Disorders: Indications and Techniques. Menlo Park, Calif: Addison-WesleyGoogle Scholar
  4. Hauri P (1982): The Sleep Disorders. Current Concepts. Kalamazoo, Mich: Upjohn CompanyGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Roth
  • Timothy Roehrs
  • Frank Zorick

There are no affiliations available

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