Sleep is very important for the overall health of the human body. In fact, good sleep is one of the most important aspects of health. Without good rest, everything becomes more difficult. If you consistently have trouble getting that good, restful slumber, it is possible that you could have some sort of sleep disorder. Let’s talk about a few of these conditions in more detail.
This is (by far) the most common sleep disorder. Some estimates say that about 1/3rd of all people will experience insomnia to some degree. That being said, it’s not always bad enough to constitute a medical problem. It is normal to have some trouble falling asleep (or staying asleep) from time to time. However, if it is a recurring problem, you might be suffering from clinical insomnia.
When trying to address this problem, the best thing is to try and eliminate the underlying stress which usually causes insomnia. If that doesn’t work, you might find a nightly dose of warm milk or melatonin to be helpful. There are prescription sleeping pills that you can get, but these are tranquilizers and should not be used on a long-term basis.
This is a disorder that keeps you from breathing properly while you sleep. This, in turn, makes your sleep less restful and refreshing. The main symptom of this disorder is irregular breathing during the night. When you are affected by this condition, your breathing will repeatedly stop and start throughout the night.
Loud snoring, lack of energy despite getting plenty of sleep, waking up with a choking feeling…all of these are symptoms of sleep apnea, especially if they happen repeatedly. This can be a serious condition, so your best bet is to schedule a consultation with a physician who has the proper equipment to test your breathing.
Narcolepsy is the opposite of insomnia. Those with insomnia have trouble sleeping, while those with narcolepsy have a problem staying awake. As the name of this disorder implies, it makes a person feel extremely sedated and sleepy during normal daytime hours. This makes them prone to falling asleep without warning, making it dangerous for them to operate a motor vehicle (among other problems).
These “sleep attacks” are sometimes accompanied by sleep paralysis, a phenomenon in which you are unable to move or speak while still half-awake. Narcolepsy cannot be cured, unfortunately, but changes in your lifestyle and medications can be of help. If you are suffering from this problem, you really should see a medical specialist as soon as possible.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
There is a difference between normal sleep and deep sleep. Deep sleep is much more refreshing, as it allows the body a chance to truly rest. Once you reach this stage of deep and restful slumber, the pupils of your eyes will begin making small and rapid movements.
Thus, this level of sleep is often called REM sleep. Sometimes, a person might be getting plenty of sleep, but might be tired all the time. This might be because of an inability to reach the REM level of sleep.
Those who move a lot and talk while asleep are often suffering from this problem. When you reach deep sleep, the body enters a state of semi-paralysis known as atonia. So, those who cannot reach that level are going to be more physically active while sleeping.
Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder
This inconveniently-named disorder is characterized by an inability to maintain a steady sleep schedule. Most people tend to go to bed and wake up at around the same time. The body naturally falls into a rhythm and their sleep habits become pretty steady. However, those with this disorder will have inconsistent sleeping hours and waking times.
Melatonin and other natural sleep aids can be helpful here when used with proper timing. “Bright light therapy” has also been used to treat this disorder, but it’s a difficult one to treat.
These are just five of the more common sleep disorders, so you should understand that others exist. However, the good news is that most of these conditions can be corrected to one extent or another. In many cases, they can be cured entirely by visiting a health coach service. However, even if that is not possible, there are always ways to make your life easier.