Sleep habits and disorders


Getting enough sleep helps prevent chronic diseases and promotes overall health. Take a few minutes to assess your sleeping habits and make any necessary changes to ensure you are getting the best quantity and quality of sleep that you can.

Are you going to bed at the same time each night and rising at the same time each morning?
Are you sleeping in a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold?
Have you made your bed comfortable?
Do you use the bedroom only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or using the computer?
Do you avoid large meals before bedtime?

Here are a few sleep disorders that could happen if your sleep habits are:

Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to initiate or maintain sleep. It can take on many forms such as waking up early morning and not being able to go back to sleep. Difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep can manifest itself as excessive daytime sleepiness, which can result in functional impairment throughout the day.
There are many causes of insomnia such as other sleep disorders, side effects of medications, substance abuse, depression, or other previously undetected illness

Sleep Apnea

Snoring may be more than just an annoying habit – it may be a sign of sleep apnea. Persons with sleep apnea characteristically make periodic gasping or “snorting” noises, during which their sleep is momentarily interrupted. Those with sleep apnea may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, as their sleep is commonly interrupted and may not feel restorative. Treatment of sleep apnea is dependent on its cause. If other medical problems are present, such as congestive heart failure or nasal obstruction, sleep apnea may resolve with treatment of these conditions. Gentle air pressure administered during sleep (typically in the form of a nasal continuous positive airway pressure device) may also be effective in the treatment of sleep apnea. As interruption of regular breathing or obstruction of the airway during sleep can pose serious health complications, symptoms of sleep apnea should be taken seriously. Treatment should be sought from a health care provider. 

Narcolepsy

Excessive daytime sleepiness (including episodes of irresistible sleepiness) combined with sudden muscle weakness are the main signs of narcolepsy. The sudden muscle weakness seen in narcolepsy may be elicited by strong emotion or surprise. Episodes of narcolepsy have been described as “sleep attacks” and may occur in unusual circumstances, such as walking and other forms of physical activity. Treat narcolepsy with behavioral interventions, such as regularly scheduled naps, to minimize the potential disruptiveness of narcolepsy on the individual’s life.

Restless Legs Syndrome 

RLS is characterized by an unpleasant “creeping” sensation, often feeling like it is originating in the lower legs, but often associated with aches and pains throughout the legs. This often causes difficulty initiating sleep and is relieved by movement of the leg, such as walking or kicking. Abnormalities in the neurotransmitter dopamine have often been associated with RLS. 


Comments

  1. Thanks for this great information I look forward to future informative lectures

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