Sleep Disorders: A Comprehensive Overview

Jan 16, 2023 By Madison Evans

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Many people yawn and seek assistance the next day for sleep problems, including chronic snoring, tossing and turning, and nightmares, but they don't know these issues fall under one of six categories of sleep disorders. The National Institutes of Health estimate that 50 and 70 million persons in the United States suffer from one of the 90 sleep disorders.

Do not expect your sleep problem will go away without identifying and treating its underlying cause, says a sleep medicine specialist, even if you are going to bed at a normal hour for your schedule but are still waking up tired most days. "Most patients wait long after they begin having problems before seeking care."

Negative effects on health and performance can be devastating when sleep is disrupted. Seven to eight hours of sleep each night is recommended for adults; lack of sleep can impair cognitive performance, affect mood and energy levels, and weaken muscles and the immune system.

A Sleep Deficit

Those with insomnia have trouble getting to and staying asleep and may feel sleepy during the day. Somewhere between 33 and 50 per cent of individuals have insomnia symptoms.

An increase in insomnia during times of increased stress is common, but insomnia that lasts for three months or more may be chronic. Asthma and sleep apnea are two medical disorders that might worsen when you don't get enough sleep or take certain drugs.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is the standard gold treatment for insomnia since it educates patients about sleep cycles and helps them overcome personal sleep obstacles. Your provider may prescribe additional drugs.

Snoring And Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Snoring is annoying, but it also poses health risks. In the United States alone, sleep apnea affects about 20 million people. Sleep quality and oxygen levels are negatively impacted by choking and breathing disturbances at least five times an hour.

Untreated, it can lead to excessive blood pressure, heart disease, and a stroke. One of the most effective treatments is CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure therapy, which opens airways.

Mandibular advancement devices and nerve stimulators bring the lower jaw and tongue forward to maintain airway patency. If a patient has trouble breathing because of extra tissue in the nasal passages or throat, they may benefit from surgery to remove the excess tissue.

Circadian Rhythm Abnormalities

A person's propensity to be an early riser or a late sleeper is hardwired by sleep-wake disorders. Both animals and humans have an inherent timekeeping mechanism that is synchronized with the moon rather than the sun. Although many people can compensate for this peculiarity, it becomes an issue when it interferes with your ability to perform.

When your internal clock isn't in sync with your daily routine, you may have sleeplessness or frequent awakenings that prevent you from getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night. The treatment consists of exposing the patient to strong light and taking a very small melatonin dosage.

Movement Problems

When you have restless leg syndrome, sitting motionless at night is nearly hard because of the constant twitching of your legs and feet.

Approximately 7-10% of the population regularly experiences these unpleasant or sometimes painful cravings due to the side effects of many drugs and health problems such as renal disease, iron deficiency, neuropathy, pregnancy, anxiety, and antidepressants.

Doctors may sometimes recommend stopping medication contributing to the problem and adding an iron supplement. Medication, foot wraps, and other symptomatic treatments may also be prescribed.

Parasomnias

Night terrors, sleep paralysis, sleepwalking, and hallucinations are all examples of uncontrolled sleep experiences that sufferers often don't even recall having later. Sleep deprivation and severe stress have both been linked to parasomnias like nightmares.

Since they are more frequent in children, many people outgrow them as they age, but doctors still work to lessen the chance of damage and eliminate the causes they may have contributed to.

Oversleeping

People who suffer from hypersomnias are more likely to sleep longer than the recommended eight hours per night. They might have hallucinations or sleep attacks. The abrupt onset of muscular weakness exacerbated by intense emotions is an additional symptom of narcolepsy, a condition of the neurological system caused by an insufficiency of orexin brain chemicals.

Some of these symptoms might be caused by a lack of sleep, but getting some will help. Hypersomnia will be treated with a combination of sleep hygiene, napping, safe driving practices, stimulant drugs, and a nap study.

Avoid avoidable suffering by not attempting to fight off exhaustion on your own. Avoiding bedtime worries or attempting self-medication seldom works. Your health care physician or you can send yourself to a sleep expert for a thorough evaluation if your symptoms persist.

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