Sleep disorders are a set of conditions that affect the ability to sleep well on a regular basis. Whether they are caused by a health problem or by too much stress, sleep disorders are becoming increasingly common in the world today. The pandemic didn’t make this study better instead it worsened it for many youngsters and adults. In fact, more than one third of the adults report getting fewer than 7 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. More than 70% of high school students report getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep on weeknights.
Most people experience problems with their sleep due to various reasons such as stress, depression, hectic schedules, and so on. However, if these problems turn into practices it will develop certain sleep disorders. If proper sleep isn’t achieved then it may affect the performance at work, strains relationships and bring health problems your way.
TYPES OF SLEEP DISORDERS
Some well known sleep disorders that are common among people are,
Insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep. It may be caused due to stress, digestive problems, anxiety,and being jet lagged.
Insomnia can be problematic for your overall health and quality of life, potentially causing:
- difficulty concentrating
- weight gain
- impaired work or school performance
Unfortunately, insomnia is extremely common. Up to 50% of adults experience it at some point in their lives.
It is usually classified into 3 types,
- Chronic – insomnia happens on a regular basis.
- Intermittent – insomnia occurs periodically.
- Transient – insomnia occurs just for few nights.
Sleep Apnia is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. This is a major health condition that causes the body to intake less oxygen. It can wake you up during night very frequently.
Ther are 2 types,
- Obstructive SA – The flow of air stops because the airway space is very narrow.
- Central SA – A problem in the connection between the brain and the muscles that control your breath.
A sleep disorder that cause abnormal movements and behaviors during sleep, such as,
- Sleep walking
- Sleep talking
- teeth ginding
RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME
RLS is the need to move the legs. As these symptoms causally occur during the day, they are very prevalent during the night. This is often associate with health conditions, including ADHD and Parkinson’s disease, but the exact cause isn’t always known.
These are the sudden need of sleep out of nowhere. Instant falling asleep at unexpected events. The disorder can also cause sleep paralysis, which may make you physically unable to move right after waking up. Although narcolepsy may occur on its own, it is also associated with certain neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.
The symptoms differ depending on the disorder and severity of the disorder. Some highly noticed disorders are,
- difficulty falling or staying asleep
- daytime fatigue
- strong urge to take naps during the day
- unusual breathing patterns
- unusual or unpleasant urges to move while falling asleep
- unusual movement or other experiences while asleep
- unintentional changes to your sleep/wake schedule
- irritability or anxiety
- impaired performance at work or school
- lack of concentration
- weight gain
In many cases, sleep disorders develop as a result of an underlying health problem. Some of them can be listed as,
- Allergies and Respiratory problems
- urinating frequently
- Stress and Anxiety
- Chronic Pain
First, the doctores will perform certain tests or exams and learn about your health history, later they will proceed with the diagnosis. These tests can be crucial in determining the right course of treatment for sleep disorders.
- Polysomnography – This is a lab sleep study that evaluates oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves to determine how they disrupt sleep.
- Electroencephalogram – This is a test that assesses electrical activity in the brain and detects any potential problems associated with this activity.
- Multiple Sleep Latency Test – This daytime napping study is used in conjunction with a PSG at night to help diagnose narcolepsy.
There are various methods to treat sleep disorders but most used once are based on medical treatment and lifestyle changes.
- sleeping pills
- melatonin supplements
- allergy or cold medication
- medications for any underlying health issues
- breathing device or surgery (usually for sleep apnea)
- a dental guard (usually for teeth grinding)
Changing our daily routine or lifestyle can help the patient get rid of the disorders super fast. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can also significantly improve your sleep quality.
- incorporating more vegetables and fish into your diet, and reducing sugar intake
- reducing stress and anxiety by exercising and stretching
- creating and sticking to a regular sleeping schedule
- drinking less water before bedtime
- limiting your caffeine intake, especially in the late afternoon or evening
- decreasing tobacco and alcohol use
- eating smaller low carbohydrate meals before bedtime
- maintaining a healthy weight based on your doctor’s recommendations
Article by : Haniah Mirza