Sleep disorder is a condition that affects the normal sleep pattern of humans. It can affect your overall sleep that causes daytime discomfort and difficulties in following your daily routine. Sleep disorders are commonly associated with physical diseases or other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or neurological problems. Sleep issues can cause or aggravate mental illnesses, and they can also be a symptom of other mental conditions.
Symptoms of sleep disorder
● Excessive daytime sleepiness, uneven breathing, and increased activity during sleep are all signs and symptoms of sleep disorders.
● Strong urge to take naps during the day and lack of concentration.
● Feeling irritated or getting anxious are also symptoms of sleep disorder.
● An inconsistent sleep and waking cycle, as well as difficulty in falling asleep.
● Unable to perform well in your work and school and feeling sleepy at odd hours.
● Abrupt gain of weight also comes under the symptoms.
● Problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping through the night.
● Feeling sleepy or fatigued during the day.
● Feeling cranky or moody.
● Problems with concentration or memory.
● Heavy snoring.
● Sudden nighttime awakenings, especially those paired with gasping or choking.
● Sudden loss of muscle tone, which leads to weakness or loss of muscle control (also known as cataplexy).
● Sleep paralysis, which is an inability to move or speak even when partly awake.
● A strong urge to move or shift the legs.
● Tingling, burning, numbness, pain, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs.
● Problems with concentration or memory.
Causes of Sleep Disorders
While some sleep disorders have an identifiable cause, others emerge from a combination of factors. Some of the causes of sleep disorders are:
● Sleep disorders can be caused by a variety of illnesses and diseases.
● Sleep difficulties are frequently the outcome of an undiagnosed health issue.
● Sleep disorders are the unwelcome side effects of some other mental or physical medical condition.
● It can be hard to breathe at night due to allergies, colds, and upper respiratory infections.
● Sleeping disorders can also be triggered by an inability to breathe through your nose.
● Sleep quality is frequently harmed by stress and anxiety. You may find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. You can get online anxiety medication easily.
● Nightmares sleep talking, or sleepwalking can all cause sleep disorders.
● Nocturia, or frequent urination, might cause you to wake up in the middle of the night, disrupting your sleep. Hormonal imbalances and urinary tract illnesses may play a role in the development of this condition.
● Chronic pain can make it tough to fall asleep if you are in constant pain. It may even wake you up after you’ve fallen asleep. The following are some of the causes of chronic pain are:
○ ArthritisInflammatory bowel disease
○ Continuous severe headaches
○ Continuous lower back pain
○ Chronic fatigue syndrome
● Sleep disturbances can increase chronic pain in a few cases. Doctors believe that sleeping disorders may play a role in the development of fibromyalgia.
● As people get older, sleep difficulties become more frequent. You might get the following symptoms as you become older:
○ You may face changes in your sleep patterns as you become older, your sleep becomes less calm, and you wake up more easily to noise or other changes in the surroundings. You become exhausted sooner in the evening as you become older, and you wake up earlier the next morning.
○ You may have a change in your overall health as people get older, they seem to have to urinate more frequently than younger people, which might disrupt their night sleep. Furthermore, older adults are more likely to suffer from other sleep problems such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea, which can make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
○ You can see changes in your daily activity as you may be less socially and physically active. A lack of movement can make it difficult to get a decent night’s sleep. Moreover, the less active you are, the more likely you are to desire a daily nap, which might disrupt your sleep at night.
○ Elderly seniors are more likely to need a large number of prescription drugs, which raises the risk of medication-induced sleep disturbances.
● Sleep disorders can be caused by your lifestyle and sleeping patterns. Consider the following scenario:
○ In the evenings, you work. Even if it is bedtime, it may make you feel preoccupied. The computer’s light can also stimulate the brain.
○ In an attempt to make up for lost sleep, you occasionally sleep late. This may disrupt your normal biological clock, making it harder to fall asleep the next night.
○ Even if the naps are short, you take them in the afternoon. For some people, these quick naps are necessary, but for others, they make sleeping at night problematic.
○ You work in a shift. The normal biological clock can be disrupted by irregular hours.
● You may not be able to get a good night’s sleep if you sleep in an unpleasant environment with too much noise, light, or excessive room temperature.
● A snoring companion or a squeaky bed might also disrupt your sleep.
● Other circumstances that can disrupt your sleep include caring for a family member and safety concerns.
● If your sleep problems are due to a poor sleeping environment, there are some basic things you may do to enhance your sleep. When going to bed, for example, minimise bright lighting and reduce potential distractions such as dogs, laptops, television, and cell phones.
● In reality, this is one of the most common reasons for sleep difficulties, so you should make an effort to create a comfortable sleeping environment.
○ Various foods and beverages have been linked to sleep disorders. They are as follows: Alcohol is a sedative that might make you sleepy, but it can also keep you up later at night.
○ Coffee contains caffeine with an arousing effect. Caffeine in moderation is beneficial to most individuals, but too much caffeine might cause sleep problems.
○ If you have a sleep issue, you should avoid drinking or eating caffeine-containing beverages or meals close to bedtime.
○ Heavy meals close to bedtime might induce discomfort, making it difficult for your body to relax. Spicy foods can cause heartburn and make sleeping hard.
● You should have a light supper in small portions a few hours before going to bed.
● You should avoid smoking and tobacco as it also triggers sleep disorders.
● Eating disorders (also known as emotional eating) are one of the most dangerous causes of sleep disturbances that people should be aware of.
● Due to starvation and significant weight loss, anorexia has been shown to interfere with proper sleep.
● According to studies, anorexics have less REM sleep than people of average weight, resulting in fatigue the next day.
● Bulimia is characterized by purges and binges of food, which disrupt sleep. This is another major cause of sleep disturbances that you should be aware of and consider treating as soon as possible.
Precautions for Sleep disorder
Sleeping disorder’s treatment can vary depending on the type and cause. However, the common precaution measures to avoid sleeping disorders are:
● Make a proper sleeping routine and follow it.
● Drink less water before bedtime.
● Reduce stress and anxiety by daily exercise and meditation or yoga.
● Decrease the quantity or completely avoid intake of tobacco, alcohol or smoke.
● Avoid caffeinated drinks especially in the afternoon.
● Include more vegetables and fish in your diet and reduce the amount of sugar you take.
● Eat smaller low carbohydrate food before going to bed.
● Avoid being overweight and maintain a healthy weight.
● Follow the same regular time of sleep and waking up.
Treatment of Sleep Disorder
Medical treatment for sleep disorders include:
● Allergy or cold medicine
● Melatonin supplements
● Sleeping pills
● Medications for any underlying issues
● Breathing device or surgery usually for sleep apnea
● A dental guard is usually for teeth grinding.