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    An Introduction to Sleep Medicine

    Sleep is essential to human health, but its function, physiology, and pathophysiology have been poorly understood until relatively recently. As well as having negative consequences in social and working life, sleep disturbances and disorders have been associated with neurocognitive disorders, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, cardiovascular disease, weight-related issues, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression and stroke. More than 80 sleep disorders have been identified, some of which very common, including insomnia and obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleep abnormalities are also a common consequence of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Behavioural treatments have been successful in treating sleeping disorders, while pharmacotherapy is useful for acute insomnia, some parasomnias, narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia.

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