Sleep Disorders- Types, Causes, And How To Prevent It

Sleep disorders are common phenomena where people suffer from a lack of sleep and this hinders their overall health and daily activities. Several studies show that approximately 30-40% of adults experience insomnia. This includes 10-30% of females and 15-30% of males who meet the definition of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). 

Daytime sleepiness and other symptoms may occur from sleep disorders, which affect their sleep quality or prevent them from receiving enough restorative sleep. Everybody occasionally struggles with sleep issues. However, the following may indicate a sleep disorder: 

  • They frequently have trouble falling asleep, and even though they slept for at least seven hours the night before, they are frequently exhausted during the day.
  • The capacity to carry out typical daytime activities has been diminished or impeded.
  • A good night’s sleep is crucial. Lack of sleep can have negative effects on academic and professional performance, interpersonal interactions, health, and overall safety. 

Types of sleep disorders

The most common types of sleep disorders are:

  • Insomnia.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Restless legs syndrome.
  • Narcolepsy.

Symptoms of sleep disorders

There could be a variety of symptoms when someone is experiencing a sleep disorder. The most common symptoms of sleep disorders include:

  • Being extremely drowsy during the day and having problems falling asleep at night are signs of sleep disorders. Some people have a tendency to nod off when it’s not acceptable, such as while driving. 
  • Other signs include breathing differently than normal or having an uncomfortable urge to move while you try to sleep.
  •  It’s also possible for sleep-related movements or experiences to be odd or discomforting. 
  • Another common sign of sleep disturbances is an inconsistent sleep–wake cycle.

Causes of sleep disorders

Several things can contribute to sleep disorders. Although their underlying causes may vary, all sleep disorders have as their common denominator a disruption or exaggeration of the body’s normal cycle of sleep and daytime wakefulness.

These include:

  • Physical 
  • Medical
  • Psychiatric such as depression and anxiety problems.
  • Environmental factors such as alcohol and drugs.
  • Working the night shifts. 
  • Genetics (narcolepsy is genetic). Sleep disorders can also be caused by the genes of the person. 
  • Medications that interfere with the normal sleeping pattern. 
  • Aging is also a common factor for sleep disorders. Approximately half of all persons over 65 have a sleep issue. It is unclear if this is a natural feature of aging or a side effect of the medications that older people frequently use. 

Preventive measures 

  1. Sleeping environment Make sure your bedroom is cozy, cool, quiet, and dark to create the ideal sleeping environment. Try utilizing earplugs or background noise if the noise is keeping you awake. If the light keeps you up at night, try wearing a sleep mask or using blackout curtains. Keep mobile phones away from the bed. 
  2. Food habits Maintain healthy eating habits and avoid consuming heavy meals and stimulants like alcohol, coffee, tea, soda/cola, cocoa, and chocolate. 
  3. Stay positive – Try to stay positive and calm when you are going to sleep. This will help lower your anxiety levels and help you remain in a good mood. Avoid overthinking during sleeping. 
  4. Exercise routine – Meditation and exercise is a great way to get rid of sleep disorders. Wake up early morning and ensure a workout routine everyday. 

Bottom line 

Sleep disorders may not be fatal, but they have a negative impact on the quality of life.
These might include sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome. These disorders keep people from obtaining the deep, uninterrupted sleep they require.

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