The statement “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite” is a popular one all over the planet. But the sad realization is that not everyone sleeps tight, even before the bed starts bugging, there are other factors that stop millions of individual from having a “tight” sleep.
This condition that affects your ability to sleep “tight” on a regular basis is referred to as sleeping disorders. Studies conducted recently by the National Sleep Foundation revealed that over 35% rate their sleep as poor; while 25% sat they wake up not feeling refreshed at all.
Sleep disorder is so threatening that the CDC had to declare insufficient sleep as a national health epidemic.
How exactly can we define sleep disorders? Wikipedia defines sleep disorders as a medical condition that affects the sleep patterns of a person or animal. Sleep disorders are either caused by too much stress, or a health condition.
Some sleep disorders are so severe that they can interfere with normal activities like your mental, economic and social activities.
Causes of sleep disorders
Lots of factors contribute to an individual developing sleep disorders, and we will be highlighting the causes here.
- Chronic pain: Chronic back and body pain can make sleeping a difficult thing to come by. Constant pain can even wake you up abruptly if you fall asleep. In some recorded cases, sleeping disorders may even worsen chronic pain in a patient.
Chronic pain is one of the major causes of sleep disorders, and can be caused by a lot of factors which includes continuous lower back pain, headaches, athritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and fibromyalgia.
- Stress and anxiety: This is regarded as the major cause of sleep disorder. If you work in an environment where the stress factor is at a very high level, you may develop sleep disorder over time. Constant tiredness and stress can lead to a disorderly pattern of sleep which is essentially sleep disorder.
Anxiety can also make it difficult for you to fall asleep or even stay awake. Anxiety can also lead to nightmares, sleepwalking and sleep talking which will also disrupt your sleep pattern.
- Allergies and respiratory problems: Anyone with allergies, respiratory problems, and cold can find it difficult to breathe when they sleep. This can cause a severe disruption to their sleeping pattern.
- Nocturia: Nocturia which is health condition where a patient is urged to always urinate frequently. This condition makes the patient wake up abruptly in the night to urinate, disrupting the sleep pattern.
Symptoms of sleep disorder
The symptom of sleep order differs, and this depends on the severity and type of sleep disorder suffered by the patient. The general symptoms of sleep disorders are
- Daytime fatigue.
- Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Lack of concentration.
- Urge to always take naps during the day.
- Irritability and constant anxiety.
Types of sleep disorders
There are different types of sleeping disorders, and they are caused by a variety of factors. The different types of sleeping disorders
- Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is a condition where the patient’s breathing stops during sleep. This sleeping issue causes the individual’s body to take in less oxygen than required for the body. This condition will also cause you to wake up abruptly in the night.
- Parasomnias: Parasomnias is a group of sleep disorders that causes an individual to behave abnormally during sleep. The abnormal sleep disorder caused by this sleep includes, sleepwalking, sleep talking, nightmares, bedwetting, groaning, and teeth grinding.
- Insomnia: Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it extremely difficult for you to fall asleep. It is caused by a variety of factors which include jet lag, anxiety, hormones, digestive problems, and your hormones.
Insomnia can be very dangerous to human health and quality of life, and can lead to other debilitating health conditions like depression, weight gain, deteriorating performance in school or work place, difficulty concentrating, and irritability.
Insomnia is one of the common sleep disorders, and it is prevalent in the United States. Over 50% of American adults will experience insomnia at least once in their lifetime, and this disorder contributed to the alarming rate in sleep order that triggered the CDC to declare sleeping disorders as a national epidemic.
This sleeping disorder mostly affects women, and the older generation.
Insomnia is divided into three types, which are
- Chronic: This is when an individual experience insomnia everyday for at least one month.
- Transient: This is when insomnia happens every few nights and not periodically or every day.
- Intermittent: This is a category of insomnia that be happens periodically.
- Restless leg syndrome: This is an uncontrollable urge to move the limbs, especially the leg. This often occurs in the night or when you want to rest. This extreme urge is most times accompanied by a prickling sensation in the leg.
- Narcolepsy: This type of sleep disorder is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness which causes an individual to fall asleep at inappropriate times, especially during the day. This disorder can also lead to sleep paralysis, which makes it physically impossible to move right after you wake up from sleep.
Narcolepsy is often associated with some neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis.
- REM sleep behavior disorder: People who suffer from REM experience sudden and intense movement during sleep. This is caused when the mechanism in the brain that prevents motor movement while we sleep is malfunctioning.
People with this sleep disorder are known to suddenly jump out of bed, thrash while in bed, and even kick at furniture’s while sleeping.
- Bruxism: This is also known as excessive teeth grinding when asleep. It is caused by severe anxiety and stress. The symptoms of bruxism are headache, and sore jaw. The treatment for this sleep disorder is to avoid excessive chewing of items that aren’t food. It helps the jaw to stay clenched. Most people with bruxism end up getting teeth guards which are issued to them by dentists.
Sleep disorders can cause damage to your health and daily activities. It is advisable to seek medical help when you experience any of the above stated symptoms.
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