Sleep disorders may be classified as a group of conditions that affect a person’s ability to sleep normally on a regular basis. Sleep disorders may be caused by an underlying health problem or due to extreme stress.
Depending on the type and severity of sleep disorder, the person might feel extremely tired and weak throughout the day.
What are the symptoms of a sleep disorder?
- Excessive daytime sleepiness.
- General lack of energy or constant weakness.
- Difficulty in concentrating.
- Mood swings such as irritability, aggression, and impulsive behaviors.
- Difficulty in concentrating.
What causes sleep disorders?
Generally, sleep disorders develop as a result of an underlying health problem such as:
- Allergies and respiratory issues that might make breathing difficult during nighttime.
- Chronic pain due to any of the following conditions:
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- inflammatory bowel disease
- persistent headaches
- persistent back pain
- High stress
- Nocturia or frequent urination may disturb sleep and lead to sleep disorders.
- Specific medications can interfere with a person’s sleep routine
- Work conditions like night shifts may alter a person’s biological clock, gradually developing sleep disorders.
What are the different types of sleep disorders?
- Sleep apnea- This disorder is characterized by the constant stopping of breathing while sleeping. This leads to a drop in blood oxygen levels.
- Insomnia- It is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for the ideal duration. Insomnia can affect one’s quality of life, productivity, and overall health to a great extent.
- Sleep paralysis- It is characterized by a temporary inability to move just after waking up. It may be alarming as it causes a state of paralysis for a short time.
- Narcolepsy- It is a condition where you suddenly fall asleep, mostly during day times, without any warning.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome- CFS is characterized by prolonged fatigue for no specific reasons. It is usually not improved by rest and may be worsened by physical activity.
- Restless leg syndrome(RLS)- This is an overwhelming urge to move the legs, especially prevalent during night time. It is often related to other health conditions like ADHD and Parkinson's disease.
- Parasomnias- These are conditions causing abnormal behaviors during sleep such as
- Talking in sleep
- Rapid eye movement (REM) behavior disorder
How are sleep disorders diagnosed?
For those suffering from sleep disorders, many diagnostic tests are available that may lead to a better understanding of what the underlying reason may be. A few examples are:
- Polysomnography(PSG)- a study of sleep that evaluates oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves.
- Electroencephalogram- a test to analyze the electrical activity in the brain.
- eight-loss-surgeryGenetic blood testing- a type of blood test commonly used to diagnose narcolepsy.
What is the treatment for a sleep disorder?
Treatment for sleep disorders can vary depending on the underlying health issue. However, a combination of medications and lifestyle changes are generally recommended by experts at sleep disorders hospitals. Lifestyle changes may include:
- Including more vegetables in your diet and reducing sugar intake
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Following a regular sleep schedule with fixed bedtimes.
- Regular physical exercise
- Limiting caffeine intake, tobacco and alcohol usage
Effects of sleep disorders may prove disruptive to daily routine and productivity. However, if you follow your treatment plan strictly, you will eventually be able to sleep well.