Sleep is an important part of maintaining health and well-being. It helps our bodies restore energy, focus, mood, and concentration.
Without proper sleep, we can experience physical and mental health problems, including overtiredness, fatigue, weight gain, poor performance, depression, and irritability. It also can affect our relationships and our work. Here are some sleep disorders.
According to a resmed sleep study referral insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects one in three people. Various issues, including stress and medications, can cause it.
It’s important to understand the effects of insomnia on your health and to get help if you’re having trouble sleeping. It can be debilitating and hurt your work, social and family life.
Some insomnia symptoms include waking up too early, having difficulty falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night without being able to fall back asleep. If these problems happen consistently, you may have chronic insomnia.
The best way to diagnose insomnia is to record your sleep patterns. Then ask your doctor if you should see a specialist for an evaluation.
You can also try relaxation techniques to relax your body and mind before sleeping. These techniques are known to be effective in promoting better sleep.
For example, meditation and deep breathing can help you relax and reduce anxiety before bed. Other sleep therapies include guided imagery, music or hypnosis to assist you in settling down and getting to sleep.
It’s also a good idea to avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine or alcohol late in the day, as these can interfere with sleep. A regular sleep schedule and a comfortable bedroom environment can also help you relax and fall asleep faster.
Sleep apnea happens when your breathing stops repeatedly during sleep, either because of an obstruction in the airway (obstructive sleep apnea) or because your brain doesn’t control your breathing correctly (central sleep apnea). It can lead to loud snoring, extreme fatigue and daytime drowsiness, and also increase your risk for serious health problems.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea, and it’s usually caused by obesity, enlarged tonsils or other conditions that narrow your upper airways. Your doctor may order tests to check for obstructive sleep apnea and other medical problems causing it.
The most common symptom of obstructive sleep apnea involves frequent pauses in breathing while you’re asleep that last from 10 seconds to several minutes. These pauses occur because the soft tissue in your throat collapses, blocking your airway and making it harder for you to breathe.
Other signs of obstructive sleep apnea include frequent awakenings during the night and extreme sleepiness. People with obstructive sleep apnea have a high risk for heart disease, stroke and other conditions that can cause deadly health problems.
If your doctor suspects that you have obstructive sleep apnea, they’ll do a physical exam to check for other conditions that can heighten your risk of obstructive sleep apnea, like obesity or narrowing of the airways. They’ll also look for signs of other medical issues that can affect your lungs, heart and brain.
You’ll probably need to wear a CPAP machine while you sleep, which pushes pressurized air down your nose to keep your airway open. This treatment can help with obstructive, central and mixed sleep apneas. Your doctor may also suggest other treatments that could improve your symptoms.
Narcolepsy is a rare condition that causes extreme sleepiness during the day and problems sleeping at night. It can affect how you work, interact with others and perform daily activities.
Daytime sleepiness often is the first symptom to appear in people with narcolepsy. It can make it difficult to focus and perform normal activities like eating, writing and driving.
Other symptoms of narcolepsy include dream-like hallucinations that are very vivid and frightening, such as the experience of being surrounded by a dangerous animal or an unseen stranger. These experiences are called hypnagogic hallucinations (when falling asleep) or hypnopompic hallucinations (when waking up).
Another symptom of narcolepsy is a sudden loss of muscle tone, called cataplexy. It occurs in about one-fifth of people with the disorder. It may lead to slurred speech, limpness and a fall.
A healthcare provider must examine your symptoms and other factors to diagnose narcolepsy. It includes testing your sleep-wake patterns using a polysomnogram (PSG) and multiple sleep latency test (MSLT).
Delayed sleep phase disorder
Delayed sleep phase disorder is a condition that involves a person’s internal body clock (circadian rhythm). It affects the time a person falls asleep and wakes up. It can make getting the rest you need hard and may also interfere with work or school.
People with delayed sleep phase disorder fall asleep later than normal and wake up much later. It can cause problems with work, school, and overall health and well-being.
The disorder can occur at any age but is more common in teenagers and younger adults. It is thought to be caused by genetics and environmental factors.
It can be diagnosed by examining a patient’s sleeping habits and other factors, such as daily activities.
Delayed sleep phase disorder is one of the most common circadian rhythm disorders, and it can be associated with many other issues, including depression.
Diagnosing delayed sleep phase disorder can help you find treatments that work best for you and your lifestyle. It can also help you understand the underlying causes of your symptoms and how to avoid them in the future.
When you travel, it takes your body a few days to readjust its circadian rhythms. This process is known as transient arousal syndrome or TAS.
Once your body’s natural clock matches the new time zone, you should feel better within a few days.
The most common symptoms of jet lag include disturbed sleep, fatigue, and difficulty staying awake. You may also have headaches, irritability, and other unpleasant feelings.
Most people recover from jet lag in a few days or weeks. But some people’s symptoms are more severe or last longer, which can indicate that they are experiencing a sleep disorder.
The best way to overcome the effects of jet lag is to adjust your sleep and wake schedule as close as possible to your destination’s normal schedule. It can be done by taking short naps and changing your sleep schedule gradually over a few days or weeks before you leave.