At some point in our lives, most of us have problems to sleep properly. It is known that sleep is a very important factor to lead a happy and healthy life. But People may not be able to sleep properly because of many medical reasons. Sleeping disorder is one such reason which affects our system and we can’t sleep naturally. Sleeping disorder is also known as Somnipathy and it is kind of a medical disorder which disrupts the patterns of sleeping among Humans or even animals. If we are having sleeping disorders occasionally because of various factors like tension and stress then it is temporary problem and it can be considered absolutely natural. There is nothing to worry about that but if the sleeping disorder is a everyday affairs totally hampering your daily life or schedule then it could definitely be sleeping disorder. If a person is unable to get proper sleep everyday then that may disturb the emotional balance, mental condition and also the overall health of the person. Apart from that, good sleep is important to maintain hormonal levels, weight and also boost up the mood. There are many known sleeping problems. Some of them are insomnia, restless leg syndrome, snoring, deprivation of sleep and sleep apnea. Night terrors or bruxism can cause disruptions in sleeping. Similarly, Insomnia is one such problem which indicates any kind of difficulty to fall asleep or staying asleep for no proper reason. There are various types of sleeping disorders that involve the timing of sleep like, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, parasomnias or dyssomnias. Other sleeping disorders may be because of medical or psychological conditions. Sleep apnea is a condition in which one stops breathing while in sleep. Narcolepsy and hypersomnia is a condition in which a person sleeps unnecessarily at odd times. Disturbance of sleeping cycle due to any illness may be known as sleeping sickness. Bed wetting, sleep terror or night walking are also sleeping disorders.
According to researches almost 75 percent of total American populations aged 20-59 years have problems sleeping. Other researchers suggest that almost 40 million people suffer from chronic problems of sleeping while 20-30 million have sleeping disorders occasionally. One should not ignore any signs of sleep disorder because a little bit of problem in the sleeping cycle also may affect our whole body system badly. There is certainly some problem if you have trouble sleeping at night but you feel sleepy in the day and you wake up feeling very tired.
How much sleep is necessary?
- Infants need at least 12-15 hours of sleep a day.
- Toddlers need 11-14 hours of sleep a day.
- Small children of preschool age need 10-13 hours of sleep every day.
- Children of primary school level need at least 9-11 hours of sleep every day.
- For teenagers, 8-9 hours of sleep every day is enough.
- Adults need 7-9 hours of good sleep each day.
- Women need more sleep in the early months of pregnancy.
Causes of Sleeping Disorders:
Sleeping disorders may be a result of wide range of problems which are not known at first. It can be because of any kind of stress, mental disturbance or because of some other medical condition. Some of the major causes are as listed below.
- Stress and Anxiety problems
When people have stress or anxiety because of any personal problem or threat then it may cause a problem in the sleeping pattern. Those factors constantly creates mental problem because of which the person will not be able to get quality sleep or may not be able to sleep at all.
- Severe Pain
It is obviously difficulty to get some sleep if you have some sort of severe pain in any part of the body. There may be various problems or illness because of which the person will feel constant pain in any body part. Arthritis, headache, fibromyalgia, stomach ache are some problems which disturbs the sleeping pattern because of the pain it causes.
Nocturia is a condition in which the person needs to urinate frequently. Nocturia disturbs the sleep and causes sleeping disorder because one has to wake up frequently in the night to urinate. This condition may be a result of hormonal imbalance or some other urinary disease. It is compulsory to consult the doctor if blood is seen in the urine.
- Respiratory problems and Allergy
There are various respiratory problems and Allergies which makes it difficult to breathe while you are sleeping at night. So when one cannot breathe properly then it disturbs the sleeping pattern.
There are many types of sleeping disorder problems. Some of the most occurring types are mentioned below:
Insomnia is the most common known type of sleeping disorder among people worldwide. It is a condition in which a person may not get to sleep or stay asleep at night. There may be various causes behind Insomnia including Jet lag, stress any medicine or health problem. It may also be caused because of some other health problem or psychological issues. Insomnia can be a big problem for our everyday lives because it can cause other difficulties like depression, difficulty in concentration, irritation, and weight gain, disturbance in performance at work or school. In the United States around 50 percent people have been reported to have suffered from Insomnia at some period in their lives .Insomnia is further divided into chronic, intermittent and transient stages. In the chronic stage, the symptoms are seen for over a month. In the intermittent stage, symptoms are occasionally seen while in the transient stage, the symptoms are noticed for some time.
Sleep Apnea is the condition in which the person will have difficulty in breathing while sleeping because of upper airways blockage. Sleep Apnea causes lack of Oxygen in the body at night time. It is considered as a serious medical problem and it is even more problematic because it won’t let the person sleep at night. Most the times, people who have condition of Sleep Apnea don’t remember if they were waking up at night. You should immediately seek medical attention if you have symptoms of Sleep Apnea which include the following.
- Snoring loudly,
- Choking, gasping, snorting during sleep
- Feeling tired during day
- Having chest pain, headache, nasal congestion, dry throat after waking up.
Restless legs syndrome
Restless legs syndrome is that kind of sleep disorder in which the person will move their legs continuously. Tingling like sensations can occur during the day but mostly at night time. Restless leg Syndrome can occur during Parkinson’s disease and Attention Deficit Hyperactive disorder but that may not always be the case. Exact reason for restless leg syndrome is not known.
Narcolepsy is that condition in which a person may have sleep attacks during day time. The affected person will feel tired or may feel asleep suddenly during the day. It is linked with multiple sclerosis which is a neurological disorder. It disrupts the sleeping pattern totally and may cause difficulty in controlling the sleep and waking system. Narcolepsy can also cause sleep paralysis which is a condition in which a person will have difficulty in moving after waking up. Because of this the person may feel like seeing something before one has fallen totally asleep. The person can have intense sort of dreams and starts dreaming immediately after falling asleep.
Diagnosis of Sleep disorder:
There are various examinations and tests which can confirm a sleeping disorder. The doctor and medical practitioner needs to conduct medical test and they also need to understand the medical history of the patient to fully diagnose Sleep disorder properly. The tests conducted to diagnose Sleep disorder include polysomnography which checks the movement of body, level of oxygen and brain wave disturbing the sleep system. Similarly electroencephalogram diagnoses any problems related to this by analyzing the electrical activity in the brain. A blood test known as genetic blood testing may also be conducted to diagnose sleep disorder, especially narcolepsy.
Treatment of Sleep disorder
Sleep disorder should be treated on time and there are many methods available for it's treatment. The
treatment methods may be different according to the symptoms and type of sleeping disorder. Change
in lifestyle and prescribed medicines by the doctor may be reliable way to solve the problem. The
medical treatments available to solve sleep disorder are as follows.
1. Sleeping tablets can be recommended by the doctor but it should only be taken strictly with medical
2. Melatonin supplements can be helpful to solve sleeping disorder.
3. If the sleeping disorder is caused by allergy or cold then Anti allergic and anti cold medicine can be
4. Different medicines for other health issues should be used to treat underlying conditions.
5. For Teeth grinding, dental guard may be helpful.
Change in lifestyle
Change in lifestyle is quite important to maintain the quality of sleep. Even if one has adopted medical
treatments, certain change in lifestyle can be of great help to solve problems related with sleep
disorder. They are as follows
1. Reduction of sugar intake and include more food like vegetables or fish.
2. Physical exercise can be helpful to decrease stress.
3. Maintain a strict schedule for sleeping.
4. Do not drink too much water before sleep.
5. DO not drink too much caffeine drinks.
6. Do not smoke and drink excessively.
7. Focus on low carbohydrate meal before going to bed.
Apart from these methods of treatment including Change in lifestyle and medicines other methods like
Acupuncture treatment, musical treatment, hypnosis therapy and melatonin are also known to be
helpful to treat sleeping disorder.