What is a Sleep Disorder?
Sleep disorders come in a wide variety of forms, including:
- Insomnia: The most prevalent form of sleep disorder, insomnia refers to trouble falling or staying asleep.
- Sleep apnea: This serious condition causes a person to briefly stop breathing while they sleep.
- Restless leg syndrome: This condition makes you feel uneasy in your legs and makes you want to move your legs all the time.
- Narcolepsy: This uncommon disorder results in abrupt episodes of deep sleep and extreme daytime sleepiness.
Sleep problems can significantly lower someone's quality of life. They can make it difficult to function during the day, which increases the risk of accidents, monetary issues, and interpersonal conflict. Additionally dangerous, sleep disorders can raise a person's risk of contracting other diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Consult your doctor for a diagnosis if you believe you may have a sleep disorder. There are many options available to help you get the rest you need, and sleep disorders are treatable.
What causes Sleep Disorders?
Sleep disorders can have many different causes. Poor sleep habits, physical or mental health issues, or both can contribute to sleep disorders.
Among the physical causes of sleep disorders are:
- Sleep apnea: This condition causes breathing interruptions while a person is asleep. A blockage in the airway, such as one brought on by excess weight or enlarged tonsils, may be the cause of sleep apnea.
- Restless leg syndrome: This condition may be brought on by an imbalance in the brain chemicals that regulate muscle movement.
- Narcolepsy: It is believed that narcolepsy results from a problem with the brain's capacity to control sleep cycles.
Among the mental causes of sleep issues are:
- Anxiety: Stress and anxiety can interfere with the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Depression: This condition can also disrupt regular sleep patterns.
Sleep disorders can also result from bad sleep habits like working late into the night or consuming caffeine before bed.
What are the symptoms of Sleep Disorders?
Depending on the type of disorder, different symptoms can be seen in sleep disorders.
The hallmark of insomnia is having trouble falling or staying asleep. Insomniacs may experience frequent nighttime awakenings or difficulty going back to sleep after awakening. Daytime fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating are all effects of insomnia.
Loud snoring and breathing episodes that come and go during sleep are symptoms of sleep apnea. Fatigue, headaches in the morning, and difficulty focusing during the day are all symptoms of sleep apnea.
The symptoms of restless leg syndrome include an uncomfortable feeling in the legs and a strong urge to move them. A common nighttime occurrence, this sensation can make it challenging to get to sleep or stay asleep.
Extreme daytime fatigue and unexpected deep sleep episodes are characteristics of narcolepsy.Additionally, narcolepsy can result in sleep paralysis, a condition where a person experiences a brief period of immobility after waking up.
How are Sleep Disorders Diagnosed?
Consult your doctor for a diagnosis if you believe you may have a sleep disorder. Medical history, physical examination, and sleep studies are used to diagnose sleep disorders.
A polysomnogram, also known as a sleep study, is a test that assesses how well you sleep. In a sleep lab, sleep studies are typically carried out over night. You will be wired up to sensors during a sleep study that track your breathing, heart rate, and brain waves.