Welcome to Living with Sleep Disorders Patient Support Community!

Our mission at Ben’s Friends is to ensure that patients living with rare diseases or chronic illnesses, as well as their caregivers, family, and friends, have a safe and supportive place to connect with others like them.

This is an online support group for patients, friends and families affected by sleep disorders.

Sleep disorders encompass a range of conditions that disrupt the normal pattern of sleep. These disorders can have a significant impact on an individual’s overall health, safety, and quality of life. Sleep deprivation resulting from these disorders can impair driving ability and increase the risk of various health problems.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of sleep disorders is crucial for diagnosis and treatment. Some common indicators include excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular breathing or increased movement during sleep, irregular sleep and wake cycles, and difficulty falling asleep.

Sleep disorders are categorized based on the underlying causes or their effects on sleep. They can be grouped according to behavioral patterns, disruptions in natural sleep-wake cycles, breathing difficulties during sleep, difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or excessive daytime sleepiness.

Common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and narcolepsy. Insomnia refers to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Sleep apnea is characterized by abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, including obstructive, central, and complex types. Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, causes discomfort and an urge to move the legs when trying to sleep. Narcolepsy is a neurological condition characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden daytime sleep episodes.

Diagnosing sleep disorders involves various methods, and with an accurate diagnosis, most sleep disorders can be effectively treated by healthcare professionals. The treatment options depend on the specific disorder and may include lifestyle changes, medication, therapy, or a combination of these approaches.

Overall, recognizing the signs, seeking medical evaluation, and receiving appropriate treatment are crucial for managing sleep disorders and improving overall sleep quality and well-being.

Though we get occasional visits from medical doctors, the site is not routinely supported by medical professionals. Nobody here can diagnose you or tell you what your treatment choices “should” be. We might inform your choices by sharing individual experiences and information developed by study as lay people. But LivingWithSleepDisorders.org is not intended to replace the advice or treatment of licensed medical professionals. Readers should validate any information they take away from here, against the experience of a licensed medical doctor. Site owners and moderators are not legally responsible for the accuracy of information shared on the site.

We don’t want you to identify yourself or tell exactly where you live: it is important to us that you should be anonymous here. That encourages openness. (And that’s a major way that we’re different from social media and other disease support sites.) Nevertheless, visitors should also be aware that our discussion forums and groups are publicly accessible and frequently searched by Google. That’s why your speech here should be considered “public”. If you’re tempted to write something about another person that you wouldn’t say to their face, then we counsel you to think first. Speech can be consequential.

LivingWithSleepDisorders.org is supported by unpaid volunteer moderators who validate and register new members and monitor ongoing discussions, photo postings and blogs. Very often, moderators are themselves patients or family members of patients. Most of the time, moderators tend to keep a low profile, except in their roles as members of the community, especially if they are well-informed about the state of medicine and research.