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Sleep Disorder

The term sleep disorder refers to a broad range of sleep related conditions including insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy.
Sleep disorder is a general term for many conditions that result in an inability to maintain a functional sleep pattern. This may manifest as a significantly reduced ability to get needed sleep or an inability to prevent the onset of sleep at inappropriate times. Sleep apnea is a common disorder impacting the ability to get enough air during sleep resulting in oxygen deprivation. Restless leg syndrome causes an urge to move when lying down thereby preventing sleep. Insomnia is the inability to go to sleep or stay asleep. Narcolepsy is a nervous system disorder characterized by generally unpredictable bouts extreme drowsiness which often result in the student falling asleep.

Observing Sleep Disorder in the Classroom

Faculty might observe the following in students with sleep disorders:

  • May appear tired
  • May be distracted
  • May be frequently absent
  • Difficulty attending to lecture or staying awake in class


Related Functional Characteristics

Fatigue (Physical) : Students with sleep disorders may experience physical fatigue due to the inability to sleep.

Inability to Stay Awake : Students with sleep disorders such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea may be unable to stay awake as a result of the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally.

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