What is a sleep disorder?

What is a sleep disorder?Why sleeping on time and taking a proper nap is very important for your health?

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What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Disorders?

Symptoms can differ depending on the severity and type of sleeping disorder. They may also vary when sleep disorders are a result of another condition. However, general symptoms of sleep disorders include:

    • difficulty falling or staying asleep
    • daytime fatigue
    • strong urge to take naps during the day
    • irritability or anxiety
    • lack of concentration
    • depression

Sleep problems, including snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and restless legs syndrome, are common. Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight.

Whether you have occasional trouble sleeping or you’re living with a sleep disorder, you can get quality sleep and learn to manage your condition better.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Here’s information to help you understand how obstructive sleep apnea can affect your life and what can be done about it.

Central Sleep ApneaIn central sleep apnea, breathing is regularly disrupted during sleep because of the way the brain functions.

An Overview of InsomniaInsomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterised by difficulty falling and staying asleep.

    1. Hypersomnia (Daytime Sleepiness)Hypersomnia, or excessive sleepiness, is a condition in which a person has trouble staying awake during the day. People who have hypersomnia can fall asleep at any time — for instance, at work or while they are driving.
    2. What Are Parasomnias?Parasomnias are disruptive sleep disorders that can occur during arousals from REM sleep or partial arousals from non-REM sleep. Parasomnias include nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, confusional arousals, and many others.
    3. REM Sleep Behavior DisorderIn a person with REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD), the paralysis that normally occurs during REM sleep is incomplete or absent, allowing the person to “act out” his or her dreams.
    4. Circadian Rhythm Sleep DisordersCircadian rhythm disorders are disruptions in a person’s circadian rhythm — a name given to the “internal body clock” that regulates the (approximately) 24-hour cycle of biological processes in animals and plants.
    5. Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake DisorderNon-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder is a particular kind of circadian rhythm disorder that is particularly common among blind people.  People with N24 may find themselves gradually going to bed later each night and waking up later each day until their sleep schedule gets flipped all the way around.
    6. Periodic Limb Movement DisorderPeriodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder characterised by rhythmic movements of the limbs during sleep.
    7. Shift Work Sleep DisorderShift work sleep disorder is trouble sleeping because you work nights or rotating shifts. You also may have this problem if you have trouble staying awake or alert when you are supposed to work your shift.
    8.  Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness.

What Causes Sleep Disorders?

There are many conditions, diseases, and disorders that can cause sleep disturbances. In many cases, sleep disorders develop as a result of an underlying health problem.

Allergies and Respiratory Problems

Allergies, colds, and upper respiratory infections can make it challenging to breathe at night. The inability to breathe through your nose can also cause sleeping difficulties.

Nocturia

Nocturia, or frequent urination, may disrupt your sleep by causing you to wake up during the night. Hormonal imbalances and diseases of the urinary tract may contribute to the development of this condition. (Be sure to call your doctor right away if frequent urination is accompanied by bleeding or pain.)

Chronic Pain

Constant pain can make it difficult to fall asleep. It might even wake you up after you fall asleep. Some of the most common causes of chronic pain include:

  • arthritis
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • fibromyalgia
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • persistent headaches
  • continuous lower back pain

In some cases, chronic pain may even be exacerbated by sleep disorders. For instance, doctors believe the development of fibromyalgia might be linked to sleeping problems.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety often have a negative impact on sleep quality. It can be difficult for you to fall asleep or to stay asleep. Nightmares sleep talking, or sleepwalking may also disrupt your sleep.

What Are the Different Types of Sleep Disorders?

There are numerous different types of sleep disorders. Some may be caused by other underlying health conditions.

Insomnia

Insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep. It can be caused by jet lag, stress and anxiety, hormones, or digestive problems. It may also be a symptom of another condition. Insomnia can be very problematic for your overall health and quality of life, potentially causing:

  • depression
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • weight gain
  • impaired work or school performance

Unfortunately, insomnia is prevalent in the United States. Approximately 50 percent of American adults experience it at some point in their lives. The disorder is most prevalent among older adults and women.

Insomnia is usually classified as one of three types:

  • chronic, which is when insomnia happens on a regular basis for at least one month
  • intermittent, which is when insomnia occurs periodically
  • transient, which is when insomnia lasts for just a few nights at a time

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is characterised by pauses in breathing during sleep. This is a serious medical condition that causes the body to take in less oxygen. It can also cause you to wake up during the night.

Parasomnias

Parasomnias are a class of sleep disorders that cause abnormal movements and behaviours during sleep. They include:

  • sleepwalking
  • sleep talking
  • groaning
  • nightmares
  • bedwetting
  • teeth grinding or jaw clenching

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is an overwhelming need to move the legs. This urge is sometimes accompanied by a tingling sensation in the legs. While these symptoms can occur during the day, they are most prevalent at night. RLS is often associated with certain health conditions, including ADHD and Parkinson’s disease, but the exact cause isn’t always known.

How Are Sleep Disorders Diagnosed?

Your doctor will first perform a physical exam and gather information about your symptoms and medical history. They will also order various tests, including:

  • polysomnography: a sleep study that evaluates oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves to determine how they disrupt sleep
  • electroencephalogram: a test that assesses electrical activity in the brain and detects any potential problems associated with this activity
  • genetic blood testing: a blood test commonly used to diagnose narcolepsy and other underlying health conditions that might be causing sleeping problems

These tests can be crucial in determining the right course of treatment for sleep disorders.

How Are Sleep Disorders Treated?

Treatment for sleep disorders can vary depending on the type and underlying cause. However, it generally includes a combination of medical treatments and lifestyle changes.

Medical Treatments

Medical treatment for sleep disturbances might include any of the following:

  • 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)

Find the Best Medications for Insomnia 

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle adjustments can greatly improve your quality of sleep, especially when they’re done along with medical treatments. You may want to consider:

  • incorporating more vegetables and fish into your diet, and reducing sugar intake
  • reducing stress and anxiety by exercising
  • 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

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can also significantly improve your sleep quality. While you might be tempted to sleep in on the weekends, this can make it more difficult to wake up and fall asleep during the workweek.

Warning! Better check yourself, you’re not looking too good. Sleep disorders can be serious — affecting your daily life, driving ability and your health. Take our quiz and find out if you should consult a doctor about your sleep disorder. www.talkaboutsleep.com/sleep-self-assessment-quiz/

Resorces: http://www.webmd.comhttp://www.healthline.com

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