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Category: Sleep Disorders

The Top 8 Common Sleeping Disorders

Sleeping disorders involve the problem with quality, timing and amount of sleep that cause problems with proper functioning, distress and lethargy during the day time. It can happen because of many associated medical conditions which may lead to disruption of sleep, excessive amount of day time sleepiness and overall these problems come under the category of Sleep disorders.

These disorders include snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep behaviors known as parasomnias, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, circadian disorders and others. This can happen because of many factors as physical, psychological or any linked disease.

Types of Sleep disorders


There are different types of sleeping disorders;

  • Snoring and Sleep Apnea. 
  • Insomnia
  • Parasomnias
  • Sleep Paralysis
  • Restless Legs Syndrome.
  • Circadian Rhythm Disorders
  • Narcolepsy
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Most people experience sleep problems because of stress, hectic routine or other outside influences. However, ifthese issues begin to occur on a regular basis and interfere with daily life, they may indicate a sleeping disorder.

Depending on the type of sleep disorder, people may have a difficult time falling asleep and may feel extremely tired throughout the day. The lack of sleep can have a negative impact on energy, mood, concentration, and overall health.In most of the cases sleeping disorders can be symptoms of any other medical problem or mental health condition. It can go if treated he underlying cause.

Amount of Sleep According to Age Bracket


The amount of sleep a person needs depends on many factors, including age. A as general guide, the following sleep allotments may be considered on average:

  • Infants (ages 0-3 months) require 14-17 hours a day.
  • Infants (ages 4-11 months) require 12-15 hours a day
  • Toddlers (ages 1-2 years) require about 11-14 hours a day.
  • Pre-school children (ages 3-5) require 10-13 hours a day.
  • School-age children (ages 6-13) require 9-11 hours a day.
  • Teenagers (ages 14-17) need about 8-10 hours each day.
  • Most adults need 7 to 9 hours a night for the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 6 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day.
  • Older adults (ages 65 and older) need 7-8 hours of sleep each day.
  • Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual.

Sleep Apnea


Snoring represents the difficulty in keeping the throat open while a person is sleeping. If the condition gets serious it leads to sleep apnea which is a chronic condition in which the affected person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep. This condition can last for 10 seconds causing decreased oxygen levels in the blood and the person may find difficulty in awakening from sleep.

Cause:

This can happen because of obstruction of the upper airway which results in obstructive sleep apnea or leads to failure of brain to initiate a breath which is known as Central sleep apnea. It can cause other medical conditions as hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and can also lead to serious consequences as heart attack, stroke and sudden death.

Treatment:

The treatment of Sleep Apnea should begin by making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, reduce or eliminate the consumption of alcohol, etc. See Sleep Apnea Treatment at Home.

Insomnia


It is known as the inability to obtain sufficient amount of quality sleep to feel rested and it is characterized by difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep. Most of the people spend more than 20 to 30 minutes in falling asleep. It occurs for 3 times a week and if it keeps happening for more than 3 months it is called Chronic Insomnia. It is the most common sleeping disorder affecting almost 10 percent of adults. A rare type of Insomnia called Acute Insomnia (Insomnia that runs in families) lasts for less than 3 months.

Cause:

There can be many potential causes as stress, hormonal imbalance, any mental health issue or any symptom associated to a disease.

Treatment:

One common treatment for insomnia is the limited use of sleeping pills. However, to treat the underlying issues that address the causes of insomnia, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) may be recommended by your physician.

Parasomnias


It is a Latin word meaning “Around sleep”. It is characterized by abnormal sleep behaviors as unconscious complex semi-purposeful, and goal-directed behaviours that have meaning or importance to the individual. These can include sleep terrors, sleepwalking, sleep eating, sleep sex, rapid eye movement (REM) behaviour disorder, or any number of potential behaviours that occur while the person remains asleep.

Cause:

The underlying cause may be another sleep condition, such as sleep apnoea.

Treatment:

Safety precautions and the use of medications like melatonin or clonazepam.

Sleep Paralysis


A terrifying condition that is known as temporary inability to move while transitioning from sleep to wakefulness, such as when falling asleep or waking up. It may be frightening as one may seem to be awake, but unable to move. There are often associated hallucinations. Sleep paralysis is common, affecting about 25 percent of normal people at least once, but it also may be a symptom of narcolepsy.

Treatment

Reassurance may be helpful and rarely are antidepressant medications used to decrease the frequency of the episodes.

Restless Legs Syndrome


It is a neurological movement disorder in which there is irresistible need to move the legs. This desire is sometimes convoyed by a tingling sensation in the legs. While these symptoms can occur during the day, they are most predominant at night.

Cause:

RLS is often linked with certain health conditions, including ADHD and Parkinson’s disease, but the exact cause isn’t always known.It may be associated with periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS).

Treatment:

Treatments include iron replacement and other medications.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders


Humans have an internal biological clock that regulates our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, also known as our circadian rhythms.

Light is the primary stimuli that effect circadian rhythms. At night, when there is less light, your brain triggers the release of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. When the sun comes up in the morning, the brain tells the body that it's time to wake up.

When circadian rhythms are disrupted, one may feel groggy, disoriented, and sleepy at inconvenient times. Circadian rhythms have been linked to a variety of sleeping problems and sleep disorders, as well as depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorderr,

Narcolepsy


Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that involves excessive, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness.

Cause:

It can occur by the dysfunction of the brain mechanism that controls sleeping and waking. If you have narcolepsy, you may have “sleep attacks” in the middle of talking, working, or even driving.

Treatment

Although there is no cure yet, a combination of treatments can help control symptoms.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Unexplained prolonged fatigue that is not improved by rest and may be worsened by physical or mental activity. This fatigue can be severe and incapacitating, causing a substantial reduction in daily activities. It may require adaptations to conserve energy in extreme fatigue. There are a number of associated symptoms, and other medical conditions (including sleep apnea) must be excluded before Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be diagnosed.

Jet Lag


Jet lag is a temporary condition caused by instant travel across time zones. It occurswith jet trips and may leave an individual suffering fatigue, insomnia, nausea, or other symptoms as a result of the internal circadian rhythm, or body clock, being skewed with local time. 

Treatment:

Jet lag is usually improved with the passage of time, typically 1 day per time zone travelled. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder


Seasonal Affective Disorder is a recurrent mood disorder associated with depression and excessive sleepiness during winter months.

Cause:

 It is caused by a lack of bright light reaching the biological clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a small region of the brain.

Treatment:

 Its treatment is the use of a light box manufactured specifically to artificially extend the day length.

Conclusion:


In order to prevent these issues, keep a diary with you in which you mention when to sleep and try to follow it. In case of any problem as depression, stress, anxiety or any other problem see a doctor immediately and talk to your therapist in order to avoid any sleeping disorder.

Posted in: Sleep Disorders