Sleep disorders and it’s symptoms
Sleep disorders are often misunderstood and many people do not know what they are. Sleep is an important process in our lives because it helps us to be healthy, active, and well-rested. Sleep problems can affect your health, relationships, work performance, moods, safety when driving or doing other tasks that require attention or coordination like using power tools. They may also increase the risk of developing depression or anxiety disorders if left untreated. Sleep disorders include insomnia (inability to sleep), hypersomnia (excessive sleeping), narcolepsy (falling asleep during the day), restless legs syndrome (also known as Willis-Ekbom disease) periodic limb movement disorder(PLMD) which causes involuntary movements while sleeping caused by a problem with the central nervous system.
Sleep issues are connected to both physical and psychological difficulties.
Importance of seep
The importance of sleep is often underestimated in our society because people tend to focus on waking hours when they need energy, but sleep deprivation has been linked to increased risk for developing insomnia. The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that more than 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems.
Sleep deprivation impairs the body’s ability to heal, slows metabolism which can cause weight gain and is linked to an increased risk of stroke. Lack of sleep also affects your immune system because it causes higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) which reduces white blood cells making it harder for the body to fight off infections.
Sleep deprivation is also linked with obesity because sleep loss may lead you to eat more high-carbohydrate, processed food and less healthy foods like fruits and vegetables which can cause weight gain. Sleep problems such as insomnia or nightmares affect your moods and relationships leading people who suffer from these disorders into depression if left untreated.
People who are sleep-deprived tend to make poor decisions, have trouble concentrating and remembering information. They also take more risks which can be dangerous in many situations like driving or operating heavy machinery when you may not be able to concentrate or pay attention because of lack of sleep.
There are two distinct types of sleep that occur in a cycle every three to five nights:
- non-REM sleep is the first type. During this stage, your body goes into a restful state as you slip into unconsciousness and lose awareness of your surroundings. Your heart rate and breathing slow down. Your blood pressure stabilizes, muscles relax, body temperature drops, and your brain waves become slower. During this stage of the sleep cycle you are likely to dream but not remember them in detail because it is during non-REM sleep that memory consolidation occurs through a process called “memory processing”. This is the time when your brain organizes and makes sense of the information you collected during the day.
- Stage two is called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep because it’s characterized by movements of eyes that occur in unison with vivid dreams. Your breathing becomes more rapid and irregular and blood pressure rises as well as your heart rate which may become irregular; your muscles become temporarily paralyzed which prevents you from acting out your dreams. It is during REM sleep when most of our dreaming occurs and it’s also believed to play an important role in learning, memory processing, emotion regulation, and self-repair processes
- The last stage of the cycle is non-REM deep sleep or slow wave sleep (SWS) which is characterized by very slow brain waves. The body begins to repair itself, growing cells and tissue while boosting the immune system function.
Consequences of Lack of Sleep and Coexisting Conditions
If you do not get enough sleep, your body will produce higher levels of cortisol, which can make it harder to manage stress and increase the risk for developing anxiety disorders.
(Stay tuned as we’ll keep writing more content until this article is complete!) A lot of people suffer from insomnia or other related conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome.
Sleep disorders affect millions of people all over the world and have negative consequences on mental health as well as physical health. People who suffer from insomnia or other related conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome can’t live a normal life and may not be able to work properly if left untreated for too long.
Insomnia, also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder where people have trouble sleeping. The main symptom of insomnia is having difficulty falling asleep. Other symptoms include waking up too early, not being able to sleep for the whole night, or restless leg syndrome that may disrupt your nights.
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep every single night despite an adequate opportunity to sleep in a dark quiet room during normal sleeping hours; difficulties can be measured as:
* the inability to fall asleep in 30 minutes or less on most nights (or after a shorter sleep duration on some days)
* waking up too early and being unable to go back to sleep quickly almost every morning.
People with insomnia may complain of:
difficulty falling asleep at night, trouble staying asleep through the entire night, waking up too early and not being able to go back to sleep, feeling tired upon waking in the morning.
Insomnia may be caused by or associated with:
sleep deprivation due to lifestyle choices (e.g., staying up late watching television), mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety, certain medications including some used for treating Parkinson’s disease, however it can also be a symptom of another sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.
Treatment for insomnia may include lifestyle changes (e.g., avoiding caffeine), medications to help with sleeping, CBT treatment or other forms of psychotherapy.
(We are almost done writing this article on Sleep Disorders !) If left untreated, insomnia can have serious consequences on your health.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where your breathing pauses during sleep. People with obstructive sleep apnea have trouble breathing when they’re asleep and snore loudly at night which can affect their sleeping partner too.
The main symptom of this disorder is loud, disruptive snoring that disturbs others’ rest or leads to morning headaches.
People with obstructive sleep apnea describe feeling tired, fatigued or sleepy during the day because they are not well rested. Symptoms may be worse when lying down at night due to fluid pooling in your throat and nasal passages that blocks airways. Other symptoms include frequent awakening from snoring, gasping for air while sleeping, morning headaches, dry mouth or throat upon waking in the morning.
The disorder is caused by a blockage that keeps air from getting into your lungs and can be diagnosed with an overnight sleep study called polysomnography (sleep study). Treatment for this disorder may include losing weight if you are overweight, using breathing devices such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), lifestyle changes, surgery or dental appliances.
If left untreated for too long, obstructive sleep apnea can cause serious health problems like heart attack and stroke because of the lack of oxygen supply to your brain during night time.
Other Sleep Disorders
Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Arousal Disorders: a sleep disorder where people wake up from sleep but feel tired and sleepy upon waking in the morning.
Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Arousal Disorders: a condition where you suddenly wake up from your sleep, often with gasping or panicked breathing, during periods of very deep sleep.
Restless Leg Syndrome [RLS]: a neurological movement disorder characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs.
Non-Cardiac Chest Pain: a form of chest pain that is not related to pressure or squeezing in your chest cavity due to heart disease; it can be caused by gastroesophageal reflux, muscle strain and lung cancer among others.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea [OSA] is a sleep disorder where you stop breathing for short periods of time while sleeping.
Conclusion: We hope this article has helped to clarify what sleep disorders are and how they can be treated. If you think that you might have a sleep disorder, call our doctors today for help!