Which medical conditions cause sleep-wake disorders?

Updated: Aug 21, 2019
  • Author: Roy H Lubit, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
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Cardiac conditions that may give rise to disordered sleep include ischemia and congestive heart failure. Neurologic conditions include stroke, degenerative conditions, dementia, peripheral nerve damage, myoclonic jerks, restless leg syndrome, hypnic jerk, and central sleep apnea. Endocrine conditions affecting sleep are related to hyperthyroidism, menopause, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and hypogonadism in elderly men.

Pulmonary conditions include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, central alveolar hypoventilation (the Ondine curse), and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (associated with snoring). Gastrointestinal (GI) conditions include gastroesophageal reflux disease. Hematologic conditions include paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, which is a rare, acquired, hemolytic anemia associated with brownish-red morning urine.

Substances that may result in insomnia include stimulants, opioids, caffeine, and alcohol, or, withdrawal from any of these also may cause insomnia. Medications implicated in insomnia include decongestants, corticosteroids, and bronchodilators.

Other conditions that may affect sleep include fever, pain, and infection.

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