Sleep disorders not only affect your sleep. Not getting enough sleep can affect your health overall, put your safety at risk, and adversely affect your quality of life.
Although you are unconscious when you are asleep, your brain and body functions are still actively working to help you stay healthy and function at optimal capacity. So if you’re like one in three adults in the U.S who are getting less than 7 hours of sleep in 24 hours, it’s essential to find out why and resolve the problem.
Remember that experiencing occasional sleep problems because of stress, a crazy schedule, or other outside factors is normal. But when the issues occur regularly and interfere with your daily life, you may be experiencing a sleep disorder. If you aren’t sure if you are suffering from a sleep disorder, this article can help. We will discuss causes, symptoms, and different types of sleep disorders.
Causes of Sleep Disorders
Many times the cause of your sleep disorder is unknown. But here are some different causes of sleep disorders.
- Medical conditions such as heart or lung disease, nerve disorders, and chronic pain
- Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression
- Respiratory problems and allergies
- Frequent urination
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Irregular schedules, especially if you work the night shift
Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
Symptoms vary depending on which sleep disorder you have. Some symptoms may include:
- Taking longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- Wake up regularly multiple times a night and have trouble falling back to sleep
- Daytime sleepiness, needing to take frequent naps or falling asleep at inopportune times
- Snoring, snorting, gasping, making choking sounds, or stopping breathing for short periods while sleeping
- Tingling, creeping, or crawling feelings in your arms and legs that are relieved when you move or massage them
- Your arms or legs frequently jerk while you’re sleeping
- Vivid dreams while falling asleep
- Sudden muscle weakness when you are fearful, angry, or when you laugh
- Feeling like you can’t move when you first wake up
Types of Sleep Disorders
While there are over eighty different kinds of sleep disorders, here are some of the most common.
- Insomnia is the inability to fall and stay asleep and is the most common sleep disorder.
- Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to stop breathing for ten seconds or more while sleeping.
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a tingling or prickly sensation in your legs. You may also have an intense urge to move them.
- Hypersomnia is when you are unable to stay awake during the day. One form of hypersomnia is narcolepsy, which causes excessive daytime sleepiness.
- Circadian rhythm disorder is when you have a problem with your sleep-wake cycle, meaning that you do not sleep and wake a the correct times.
- Parasomnia is when you act unusually, such as talking, walking, or eating when falling asleep, sleeping, or waking up.
How Sleep Disorders Are Diagnosed
Along with your medical and sleep history, as well as a physical examination, your doctor may have you do polysomnography, also known as a sleep study. During a sleep study, data is collected about your body while you sleep. Some of the data collected includes:
- Brain waves
- Eye movements
- Rate of breathing
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate and electrical activity of your heart and other muscles
Other sleep tests are used to determine how quickly you fall asleep during the day for naps and whether or not you can stay awake during the day.
Treatments for Sleep Disorders
The type of sleep disorder you have will determine the appropriate treatment. Some of the treatments used are:
- Making lifestyle changes such as exercise and a healthy diet.
- Relaxation techniques or cognitive behavioral therapy to reduce anxiety.
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for sleep apnea.
- Bright light therapy in the morning.
- Medication such as sleeping pills. Sleeping pills are typically only recommended for a brief period.
- Natural remedies such as melatonin. These remedies should also only be used for a short time, and you should check with your doctor before starting them.
Let DreamZz Sleep Center Help You Get Back to Sleep
If you haven’t been getting a good night’s sleep, you will likely want fast results. Keep in mind that it may time a bit of time to resolve long-term cases. However, by communicating with your doctor and sticking with your treatment plan, you’ll be back to sleep in no time.
DreamZz Sleep Center knows the importance of sleep. That’s why we help you get treatment fast. Some major sleep facilities will put you on a three to four month waiting list. Not DreamZz Sleep center! From your initial call, we guarantee a consultation and a sleep study within one to two weeks. That means treatment can start in as little as one month!
Contact us today and let us help you get back to sleep!