A good night’s sleep is everybody’s requirement, as it helps in refreshing the mind and preparing the body for the next day’s energy demands. However, quite a lot of people these days are not blessed enough to enjoy a sound sleep and suffer from various sleep disorders. Tossing about in bed, easily disturbed sleep, and difficulty breathing may leave many of you frustrated and irritated apart from affecting your overall health. Though temporary sleep disturbances may be due to stress or bad lifestyle habits, such as consuming caffeine or alcohol, or may be due to certain medications or other illnesses, prolonged sleep deprivation is a reason of worry and needs to be dealt with immediately. We are listing the five most common sleep disorders for your reference and ways to deal with them.
- Insomnia: Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is the most commonly encountered sleep disorder and is mainly due to stress, anxiety, depression, or certain dietary or lifestyle choices. Though temporary insomnia usually goes away gradually on its own, it is the chronic, or long-lasting, insomnia that requires proper attention. The patient experiences difficulty falling or staying asleep or wakes up at odd, early hours and is unable to sleep again. Curing insomnia is relatively easy, as it mainly requires certain routine modifications, such as changing sleeping habits, adopting relaxation techniques, eating a light meal before going to bed, etc.
- Sleep Apnea: This is a type of disorder wherein the breathing is interrupted during sleep, waking the patient. A suffocated feeling or gasping for breath during sleep might indicate some obstruction in the respiratory passage, leading to difficulty in breathing. The condition can turn fatal and thus, the treatment includes a CPAP device that delivers a constant flow of air to regulate breathing in sleep.
- Restless Leg Syndrome: People with this disorder feel abnormal sensations in their legs while resting at night or during sleep urging them to move the limbs constantly. As movement relieves the tingling, burning, pricking, or crawling sensation experienced in the legs, patients may be required to get up and move around for relief, thus affecting their sleep. Certain medications or limiting the intake of caffeine or alcohol help in overcoming this disorder.
- Narcolepsy: This is characterized by excessive sleepiness during the day, causing uncontrollable spells of sleep even while talking. It is a neurological disorder affecting the brain mechanism that controls sleep and wakefulness and is a serious condition that requires adequate medical treatment.
- Night Terrors: Generally affecting children of ages 3 to 12 years, night terrors are manifested by frequent episodes of crying or screaming in sleep due to fear. The child appears to be awake as he/she cries while sitting up in bed with open eyes. Though it does not affect the sleep, night terrors can be dangerous, as the child can jump out of the bed or fight or beat those around. The condition may resolve on its own as the child grows older, but in case where it persists or worsens or if the aggressive patient becomes uncontrollable, medical intervention is essential.
Sleep deprivation can lead to a disrupted lifestyle and has serious implications on the health of the patient and, therefore, needs to be checked at the earliest sign.
-- Important: The Sleep Blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Instead, this website provides general information for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions or concerns regarding any medical condition or treatment.