Sleep is one of the most crucial and neglected activities in an individual’s routine. Often people like you and me fail to grasp the true potential of a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential to energize your body, and plays an equally important role, like food or water for the human body. Millions of people are missing out on quality sleep due to various sleeping disorders. In this blog, we will understand some of the sleeping disorders which people around the world are facing on a daily basis.
Sleeping disorders can occur due to various reasons like hectic schedules, stress, and other additional factors. Different sleep disorders can result in additional side-effects like mood swings, low energy levels, low immunity, fatigue, depression, among others. Additionally, in some cases, sleeping disorders could be a result of some bigger underlying issue.
How Can You Identify a Sleeping Disorder?
The symptoms of a sleeping disorder can differ depending on various factors and the severity of these factors. Here are some common symptoms of sleep disorders:
- Trouble falling asleep
- Fatigue during the day
- Anxiety and irritability
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of concentration
What Could Be the Cause of Your Sleep Disorder?
Typically, sleep disorders could be an underlying reason for some other health condition and should be treated with utmost priority. Some health conditions which causes sleep disorders are:
Allergies and respiratory problems: Allergies, cold, and other respiratory ailments can be real troublemakers for someone who is trying to sleep.
Anxiety and stress: Anxiety and stress act as pests in a person’s life. Not only does it rupture the daily routine of a person, but it also results in a loss or increase of appetite. Furthermore, it can also cause insomnia and nightmares, making it harder for a person to fall or stay asleep.
Nocturia: It is a condition where you need to repeatedly wake up during the night because you have to urinate. There could be various reasons for this, including sleep disorders, bladder obstruction, hormonal imbalance, UTI, and high fluid intake making it harder for a person to stay asleep.
Chronic pain: If you are in constant pain, sleeping can turn out to be a difficult task. In some cases, chronic pain can be a reason for your disturbed sleep. Reasons for this condition include:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Lower back pain
- Continuous lower back pain
Depression: Depression often comes with high anxiety and stress levels. These further lead to fatigue, in some cases loss of appetite, and insomnia.
Types of Sleep Disorders
Do you have trouble sleeping? Well, as common as this is amongst people today, not many are aware of the various types of sleeping disorders that occur due to many underlying reasons.
Parasomnia is a sleeping disorder that causes abnormal movements, emotions, dreams, perceptions, and behavior that could occur during any of the stages - before sleeping, during your sleep, between sleep stages, or when you wake up from your sleep.
The following could be because of parasomnia:
- Sleep talking
- Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition where you experience an overwhelming need to move your legs. In some cases, this urge is accompanied by a tingling sensation. In majority of cases these symptoms occur during the day, but some people experience it during the night as well. In some extreme cases, RLS could be associated with certain health conditions like Parkinson’s disease and ADHD, but the exact cause is yet to be determined.
A person who has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep experiences insomnia. There could be various reasons why a person is experiencing this like anxiety and stress, digestive problems, hormones, jet lag, or some other medical condition. Insomnia could further lead to a plethora of issues like:
- Weight gain
- Impaired work or school performance
- Lack of concentration
Typically, insomnia is classified as either one of the three mentioned below:
Transient: lasting for a few nights
Intermittent: periodic occurrence of insomnia
Chronic: insomnia lasting for a month or more
A condition where a person isn’t able to sleep due to the body’s ability to intake less oxygen, resulting in pauses while breathing which leads to waking up during the middle of the night. There are three primary types of sleep apnea:
Central sleep apnea: a condition in which the brain doesn’t send proper signals to muscles that control a person’s breathing.
Obtrusive sleep apnea: a common condition in which the throat muscles relax resulting in difficulty in breathing.
Complex sleep apnea syndrome: a condition where a person suffers from both central and obtrusive sleep apnea.
In this condition, a person suddenly feels extremely sleepy and tired during the day. Furthermore, narcolepsy can also cause sleep paralysis, resulting in a lack of body movement immediately after waking up. Narcolepsy is often associated with neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis.
Ways to Diagnose Sleeping Disorders
To diagnose sleeping disorders, a doctor usually runs some physical examinations followed by other tests like:
Polysomnography: a sleep study which evaluates body movements, brain waves, and the amount of oxygen to understand how sleep is disrupted
Genetic blood testing: a blood test usually used to identify narcolepsy and other medical ailments
Electroencephalogram: a form of test which determines electrical activity in the brain and identifies other underlying issues associated with it.
Methods to Treat Sleeping Disorders
Depending on the cause and the type, different sleep disorders are treated in different ways. In most cases, a combination of medical treatments is required.
Medical TreatmentsFor those who are looking for medical treatment to their sleep disorders, the following methods are used to overcome it:
- Melatonin supplements
- Medication for underlying health conditions
- Sleeping pills
- A device for breathing or surgeries
- Allergy or cold medications
- A dental guard
While the above-mentioned points are just a few ways to treat sleep disorders medically, it is strongly suggested to consult a doctor if someone is experiencing any form of sleep disorders.
In most cases of sleeping disorders, lifestyle changes can do wonders for you. If followed religiously, lifestyle changes can sometimes even eliminate the need for a medical requirement.Consider implementing the following practices to bring a change in your lifestyle:
- Create and stick to a regular sleeping schedule
- Avoid drinking a lot of water just before going to bed
- Incorporate more vegetables and a balanced diet
- Avoid too much of sugar intake
- Limit your caffeine intake
- Reduce alcohol and cigarette consumption
- Don’t consume a heavy meal for dinner
Furthermore, following a proper sleeping pattern will prove to be an added advantage.
Why You Should Tackle the Problem of Sleep Disorders
Be it you, or anyone else, sleep forms a crucial element of one’s daily lifestyle. Ignoring sleep disorders can lead to serious long-term results like low immunity, obesity, loss of weight, among others. Hence, it is critical to tackle these challenges before it gets too late. Additionally, there are many other ways like listening to soothing music, nature sounds, reading books, finding the right mattress to sleep, among others, to help you get a sound sleep.