Sleep Disorders

Joanne Bower, Candice A. Alfano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sleep complaints are common in the general population and highly prevalent among individuals seeking mental health services. The most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) categorizes sleep disorders into 10 disorders or disorder groups, including: (1) insomnia disorder; (2) hypersomnolence disorder; (3) narcolepsy; (4) breathing-related sleep disorders; (5) circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders; (6) non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep arousal disorder; (7) nightmare disorder; (8) rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder; (9) restless legs syndrome; and (10) substance/medication-induced sleep disorder. Notably, the Sleep-Wake Disorders section included in DSM-5 represent a considerable expansion in contrast to the previous DSM edition (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000), which included only four broad sleep disorder categories. DSM-5 also pays more attention to co-existing conditions, emphasizing the need for sleep-directed clinical intervention even when a comorbid medical or mental disorder is present. These significant changes are reflective of the abundance of sleep-focused research conducted within the past decade. Although mental health researchers and practitioners tend to be most familiar with DSM classifications, the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, 3rd edition (ICSD-3; American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2014) is commonly used within the field of sleep medicine. The ICSD-3, provides characteristics and diagnostic criteria for over 60 sleep disorders organized into six major categories. In addition to a greater breadth of conditions than provided by the DSM-5, the ICSD-3 also provides information on validated assessments and treatments. Since the focus of this chapter is to highlight sleep disorders relevant to mental health professionals, our review focuses on DSM-5 sleep-wake disorders most likely to present in clinical practice. We begin with a brief introduction to healthy sleep and its measurement followed by presentation of six specific sleep disorders: insomnia, hypersomnolence, circadian rhythm disorders, non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep disorders, nightmare disorder, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder. Information is provided regarding diagnostic criteria, epidemiology, etiology, and comorbid medical and psychological factors. We conclude with a diagnostic case example of a patient experiencing both nightmares and insomnia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdult Psychopathology and Diagnosis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781119384175
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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