Sleep Disorders: Causes, Symptoms and Health Consequences
When it comes to physical and mental health, sleep plays a crucial role. Without proper, restful sleep, people feel exhausted and struggle with daily activities. Unfortunately, there are many people suffering from sleep disorders that can affect their quality of life drastically.
To understand sleep disorders, it is important to understand the common causes, symptoms and the impact they can have on our health.
Causes of Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorder may be caused by medical conditions such as asthma, allergies, heartburn and chronic pain, as well as mental conditions such as depression and anxiety. Sleep apnea is a condition where people have episodes of reduced or complete breathing pauses during sleep. Other causes of sleep disorders include exposure to light or noise during sleep, stress, and disturbed sleep patterns due to shift work.
Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
Common symptoms of sleep disorders can include difficulty falling asleep, frequent waking throughout the night, feeling unrested after a night’s sleep, extreme daytime sleepiness, and early morning awakenings. If left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to serious health problems.
Consequences of Sleep Disorders
Studies have shown that people with chronic sleep disorders are at greater risk for physical health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure and stroke. Other conditions include insomnia and narcolepsy, which can lead to memory and cognitive problems, motor vehicle accidents, and depression.
Controlled Ways to Lower Risks of Sleep Disorders
The good news is there are ways to reduce the risks of sleep disorders. Here are some ways to get better sleep:
• Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and other stimulants in the evening
• Follow regular sleeping patterns
• Exercise regularly, but avoid exercising close to bedtime
• Avoid bright light and screens in the evening
• Set aside time to relax and meditate
• Use a sleep mask and earplugs to block out light and noise
• Keep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark
• Establish a regular sleeping routine
By taking some simple steps to improve your sleep habits, you can lower the risks of developing a sleep disorder. However, if you experience any sleeping difficulty, it’s important to follow up with your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.