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Sleep Disorders


What is Sleep Disorders?

Sleep Disorders vary in nature and degree. The three major sleep disorders are dyssomnias (insomnia), hypersomnia (disorders of excessive sleepiness) and parasomnias (abnormal behaviors during sleep).

Description of Sleep Disorders

Sleep consists of two distinct states: REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and NREM (non-REM) sleep. Dreaming occurs mostly in REM sleep.

Sleep is a cyclic phenomenon, with four or five REM periods during the night, which accounts for about 25 percent of the total night's sleep.

Types of Sleep Disorders

Insomnia, Hypersomnia and Parasomnias.

Symptoms of Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorder
  • Interrupted breathing during sleep
  • Unable to sleep through the night
  • Wake up early in the morning
  • Sleepiness during the daytime
  • Concentration decreasing
  • Feeling uneasiness after a night sleep
  • Loud snoring
  • Excessive daytime tiredness
  • Pre sleep dreams
  • Fall asleep uncontrollably for long periods
  • Lack of Energy

Causes, and risk factors of Sleep Disorders

Sleep apnea causes and risk factors

Anyone can have sleep apnea—young, old, male, female, and even children can suffer. However, certain risk factors have been associated with obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea

You have a higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea if you are:

  • overweight
  • male
  • over the age of 65
  • black, Hispanic, or a Pacific Islander
  • related to someone who has sleep apnea
  • a smoker

Other risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea include certain physical attributes, such as having a thick neck, deviated septum, receding chin, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Allergies or other medical conditions that cause to nasal congestion and blockage can also contribute to sleep apnea.

Risk factors for central sleep apnea

Like obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is more common in males and people over the age of 65. However, unlike obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is often associated with serious illness, such as heart disease, stroke, neurological disease, or spinal or brainstem injury.

Treatment for Sleep Disorders

Health experts often suggest certain drugs as medications for sleep disorders, but that doesn’t implies taking sleeping pills. Instead of being addictive to sleeping pills patients should divert to natural treatment for sleep disorder like massage and relaxation techniques. Plan a diet or consult dietician if necessary, because diet impacts directly on sleeping patterns. Avoid drinking alcohol and beverages at bedtime as it stimulates nervous system giving temporary relief but long time side effects. Exercise helps easing stress in the body and relaxes muscle tensions giving good amount of sleep at night. Behavioral and cognitive therapy shall be used to reduce effects of sleep deprivation. Meditation calms your mind and then gradually body, it also helps patients to withdraw from addiction giving good sleep.

Prevention of Sleep Disorders

Good sleep habits can help you get a good night's sleep. Here are some tips:

  • Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Try not to take naps during the day because naps may make you less sleepy at night.
  • Try to avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and can keep you from falling asleep. Alcohol can make you wake up later in the night.
  • Get regular exercise. Try not to exercise close to bedtime because it may stimulate you and make it hard to fall asleep. Experts suggest not exercising for 3 hours before the time you go to sleep.
  • Don't eat a big meal late in the day, although a light snack before bedtime may help you sleep.
  • Make your sleeping place comfortable. Be sure that it is dark, quiet, and not too warm or too cold. If light is a problem, try a sleeping mask. If noise is a problem, try earplugs, a fan, or a "white noise" machine to cover up the sounds.
  • Create a routine to help you relax and wind down before sleep, such as reading a book or taking a bath. Watching the news just before bed may keep some people awake, especially if the news is upsetting.
  • Try not to use your bed for anything other than sleeping and sex.
  • If you can't fall asleep and don't feel sleepy, get up and do something else until you feel sleepy. Just make sure that you don't do anything stimulating.
  • If you have trouble lying awake worrying about things, try making a to-do list before you go to bed. This may help you to "let go" of those worries overnight.
  • See your health care provider if you think you have a sleep problem or a sleep disorder.


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