Primary Sleep Disorder Symptoms

(Also Known As: Sleep Disorders Symptoms, Sleep Problem Symptoms, Hypersomnia Symptoms, Dyssomnia Symptoms, Insomnia Symptoms)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What are the Symptoms of Primary Sleep Disorder?

The symptoms of sleep disorders are primarily based according to three categories: too little sleep, too much sleep, and amiss in the sleep process. 7 The classic symptoms of primary sleep disorder usually involve the disturbed sleep process only. The general classic symptoms of sleep disorder include:

  • Daytime sleepiness 8
  • Snoring accompanied by pauses of breathing
  • Awakening from sleep with a headache
  • Waking up in the morning without feeling refreshed
  • Loud and disruptive snoring
  • Physically acting out dreams during sleep

Each type of primary sleep disorder has its own significant symptoms that merit the diagnosis of the specific primary sleep disorder.


  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night
  • Waking up earlier than intended
  • Daytime fatigue


  • Long sleeping periods
  • Sleep drunkenness
  • Daytime sleepiness

Breathing Related Sleep Disorder

  • Obstructive breathing/apnea
  • Loud snores and gasps


  • Overwhelming daytime sleepiness
  • Cataplexy (the sudden loss of muscle tone)
  • Vivid hallucinations during the onset of sleep or upon awakening
  • Brief episodes of paralysis at the beginning or end of the sleep

Nightmare Sleep Disorder

  • Repeated awakening during major sleep or naps
  • Vivid recall of the frightening events in their dream
  • Awakening usually occurs during the second half of the sleep period
  • The person remains oriented when waking up

Sleepwalking Disorder

  • Repeated rising episodes from bed during sleep and walking about. 9
  • The person has blank staring face while walking
  • Unresponsive when talked to, with difficulty in waking
  • Amnesia about the sleepwalking episodes
  • There is no impaired mental behavior or mental activity

Sleep Terror Disorder

  • Extreme fear
  • Hyperventilation
  • Jolted motion, such as abrupt sitting in the bed
  • Responds violently when awaken
  • Does not have recollection of their dreams, however can sense the fear from the events that occurred in their dream.

Could You Have Primary Sleep Disorder?

Primary Sleep Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Dyssomnia – excessive sleepiness, inadequate quantity of sleep, sleeping difficulty, insomnia
Hypersomnia – excessive daytime sleepiness, daytime napping, anxiety, irritability, depression, restlessness
Narcolepsy – chronic sleep disorder, dyssomnia, insomnia, disturbed sleep, cataplexy