Many people suffer from some sleep disorders without even realizing it. Besides the most common disorder, insomnia, there are many others that can greatly affect your health, such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, parasomnias and many others.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that refers to inability to fall or remain asleep. It can be caused by various factors, such as jet lag, anxiety, stress, hormonal changes or some other conditions. Overall, insomnia is problematic for your health and quality of life, because it can potentially cause depression, weight gain, lack of concentration and flawed work or school performance. Some common symptoms of insomnia include sleepiness during the day, irritability and general tiredness.
Acute and mild insomnia may not require any medical treatments at all; you just have to work on developing healthy sleeping habits. If your insomnia disables your functioning during daily activities, then your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills. However, if you suffer from chronic insomnia, then you may have to treat the underlying conditions or health problems that actually cause it. If this disorder continues after other factors have been eliminated, then your doctor may recommend behavioral therapy, which will help you learn new behaviors to promote sleep.
Sleep apnea is one serious disorder which is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can interrupt your sleep, leading to many awakenings during the night. Usually you will not remember waking up, thus you will be unaware of this serious condition. It is potentially dangerous for your body, because during those pauses your organism does not get enough oxygen which puts you in danger of developing some serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, depression heart problems and many others. Common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud and chronic snoring, gasping or even choking during sleep, exhaustion after waking up, sleepiness during the day and waking up with shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches or dry throat.
Acquire various healthy habits, such as exercising in order to lose weight, quit smoking, avoid alcohol and sleeping pills; also, sleeping on your side and using some devices for opening up the nasal airways can help you prevent apnea. Surgical procedures such as rhinoplasty can also open up your nasal airways and supply your brain with enough oxygen, thus preventing sleep apnea and other risks.
This sleep disorder is characterized by “sleep attacks” that occur during the day. Simply said, you will suddenly fall asleep without any warning. This condition is dangerous since you never know when you will fall asleep, which makes it difficult to drive, walk and perform other simple activities. It can also lead to depression and anxiety and it can affect your personal and social relationships and disrupt your memory and attention. Narcolepsy is usually caused by a dysfunction of the brain mechanism which controls sleeping and waking. Common signs of narcolepsy include seeing or hearing things when in a drowsy state before fully asleep, sudden feel of weakness and loss of control over your muscles when experiencing strong emotions and feeling paralyzed and unable to move after waking up.
The cure for narcolepsy has not yet been found, but the combinations of treatments have been effective in treating this disorder. These combinations include counseling, medication and lifestyle changes and will vary according to your form of narcolepsy. Reaching out to a narcolepsy support group, counselor or a psychologist may help you cope with the embarrassing and tough situations narcolepsy can put you into. Also, embrace new healthy habits, such as exercising, healthy diet and learn how to manage your stress.
Parasomnias are a set of sleep disorders that cause abnormal movements and behaviors while sleeping, and include sleep talking and walking, groaning, bedwetting, nightmares and teeth grinding. Parasomnias usually run in families and are a genetic factor, but they can also be caused by brain disorders or may be triggered by some other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
Treatment for parasomnias usually includes improving your sleep habits, by keeping a regular sleeping schedule, managing stress and getting enough sleep. Also, there are some medication for controlling the symptoms or joining a support group and seeking help from a therapist.
It is important to seek help as soon as you notice any of the symptoms of sleep disorders. Do not worry about the treatments, since the medicine has developed a lot and can help you lead a healthy lifestyle.
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