Sleep Disorders & Health
Sleep is an essential part of good health, allowing your body to rest and regenerate. However, for many people, getting a full, undisturbed night of rest is easier said than done.
In fact, medical researchers estimate that somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of adults struggle with sleep issues such as insomnia, disruptions in their circadian rhythms, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome.
Let’s take a closer look at common sleep disorders and how to deal with them for better health.
Insomnia is a condition in which you find it hard to get to sleep or stay asleep, leading to restless nights and tired days. It can be caused by a variety of underlying factors such as stress, physical illness, environmental noises, sleep deprivation and more.
To find relief, look at factors in your life that could be causing your insomnia, such as diet, activities, and environment. If nothing else works, consult your doctor, who may recommend prescription medications or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques.
2. Disruptions in Your Circadian Rhythms
Your circadian rhythms are the body’s 24-hour clock, controlling when you feel the urge to sleep, when you wake up, and when you have hunger and other bodily functions. However, disruptions in this rhythm can lead to a wide range of sleep disorders.
To help restore your body’s natural rhythms, avoid consuming caffeine too late in the day, and keep your bedtime and wakeup time consistent. You can also look into light therapy techniques and other relaxation techniques to help reset your internal clock.
3. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when your airways become obstructed during sleep, cause you to start and stop breathing multiple times during the night. It can lead to other issues such as heart problems and mental fog.
Treating this condition usually involves lifestyle changes such as weight loss and regular exercise. It can also be alleviated with the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine or other face masks that help you keep your airways open during the night.
Narcolepsy is a disorder of the sleep-wake cycle, causing sudden and uncontrollable sleep attacks throughout the day. It can be brought on by hormonal changes, chemical imbalances, or genetic causes.
The most effective treatments for this disorder involve medications that target imbalances in the brain, such as stimulants and antidepressant agents. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as improved sleep hygiene, exercise,and regular routine can help reduce symptoms significantly.
5. Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome is a neurological disorder that usually causes an urge to move your legs — usually accompanied by a uncomfortable pins-and-needles sensation. The cause of this disorder is unknown, though it is believed to be related to dopamine imbalances.
Though there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for this condition, certain lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms, such as avoiding caffeine, limiting alcohol consumption, and providing extra support for your legs when you sleep. Additionally, certain medications may be recommended to help support regular sleep patterns and improve the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.
Sleep is an essential component of overall health, but unfortunately a wide range of sleep disorders can make getting a full, restful night of sleep difficult.
When dealing with a sleep disorder such as insomnia, disruption of circadian rhythm, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or restless leg syndrome, lifestyle and environmental changes, therapy, and medications can all help provide relief and improve sleep quality.
Keywords: Sleep Disorders, Disruptions, Circadian Rhythm, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Restless Leg Syndrome, Lifestyle Changes, Environment, Therapy, Medications, Insomnia.