If you or a loved one struggles with falling asleep or staying asleep, this is insomnia. It is but one kind of sleep disorder. Sleep disorders are more than just feeling tired the next day, not getting enough sleep can lead to serious health problems. Driving when sleep deprived is equivalent to driving while intoxicated.
The connection to weight gain and not getting enough sleep has been clinically established. Not only do you have more food cravings, but your body’s hormone levels become unstable and cortisol can begin causing weight gain.
What Are The Most Common Sleep Disorders?
The most common types of sleep disorders are snoring, insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and sleep deprivation. Snoring can disturb the whole family, not just the one that snores.
Snoring has been found to occur more often when alcohol is taken before bed, it also causes a drop in blood sugar in the middle of the night and leads to sleep deprivation.
Restless leg syndrome can be connected to ADHD in childhood. On the other end of that research, studies are showing children that do not get good sleep or enough sleep may be misdiagnosed for having ADHD.
How Do I Know If I Have A Sleep Disorder?
Our bodies need sleep to stay healthy. For those who have sleep disorders and do not get enough sleep, a whole gamut of illnesses can occur. Not getting quality sleep has been linked to depression, a weakened immune system and increase in sensitivity to pain.
Blurred vision and memory problems are also attributed to lack of sleep. After many studies, they have conclusive evidence that sleep deprivation is dangerous.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 100,000 accidents and 1,550 deaths each year are caused by fatigue from improper sleep.
Is Snoring Thought To Be A Sleep Disorder?
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Yes, snoring is a sleep disorder. Anything that interferes with getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is a sleep disorder. Most of us have snored at least a few times in our lives, this could have been due to a cold or drinking too much alcohol close to bedtime.
Snoring is more prevalent with men than with women. It affects those overweight and may worsen with age. There are four physiological reasons why snoring occurs. The palate can be too long and may cause narrowing between the throat and nose.
Being overweight and also children with enlarged adenoids and tonsils may also snore. The other two reasons are poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat area. When these muscles relax, they block the airway, this can be from sleeping pills or alcohol. The other reason is an obstruction in the airway due to an allergy, nasal polyps, deviated septum, a cold or sinus infection.
What Can Cause Insomnia?
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Insomnia can be caused by many different things. Insomnia can be characterized by having trouble falling or staying asleep all night. It can be waking up several times during the night and not getting back to sleep.
Waking up too early or feeling tired when you wake up is also a sign. There are two classifications of insomnia, Secondary and Primary insomnia.
The secondary is that the sleeping troubles stem from something physical like asthma, heartburn, medications, depression or alcohol. The primary is because the person is having trouble sleeping from a non-health issue.
Can Sleep Apnea Be Dangerous?
Sleep apnea comes in 3 forms, central, obstructive and a combination of both. The word apnea actually means a cessation of breath. Sleep apnea can cause the breathing to be very shallow or even stop the breathing.
Those who suffer from sleep apnea have a higher risk for high blood pressure, pulmonary hypertension, insulin resistance, heart disease, heart failure and death. It is important to seek professional help if you think you or someone else has sleep apnea.
What Can Be Done?
Your doctor may prescribe a sleeping pill to help you sleep better if the sleeping problem is temporary. If the insomnia is chronic, it needs to be brought up to your doctor as it may be a sign of an underlying health issue. If this is not found to contribute to insomnia, a behavioral therapist may be recommended.
Acquiring a good habit to sleep well will help many with insomnia. These tips include not taking naps during the day and no caffeine, alcohol or nicotine during the late afternoon or early evening. Exercise but not too close to bedtime and try to establish a routine to get to bed at a certain time.
Also, activities that relax will also help. Try taking a warm bath, doing yoga or meditation or play relaxing music while getting ready for bed. Also limit time on the computer or tablet, the bright light has been found to stimulate the brain and make relaxing hard to do.