Sleep Disorders And How to Alleviate Them
“When you find depression, even when you find anxiety, when you scratch the surface, 80 to 90 percent of the time you find a sleep problem as well."
-Brad Wolgast, University of Delaware, psychologist
While everyone looks forward to a great night’s rest, many can only daydream about it because they are plagued with a sleep disorder. Today 40 million people in the United States suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders. The good news is, most can be alleviated or cured with the proper diagnosis and treatment. Today we’re going to cover various sleep disorders, how they can affect you and how to treat them.
Insomnia prevents you from getting the adequate rest you need. Whether it’s categorized as difficulty falling asleep, waking up throughout the night or both, those that suffer from insomnia have options. While all cases vary, some insomnia is brought on by stress or other psychological pressures, while other cases could be related to medical conditions such as sleep apnea or chronic pain. If you feel as though you’re suffering from insomnia, visit your doctor to discuss your options. Depending on what is causing your insomnia, whether it be psychological or medical, treatments range from:
- Cognitive therapy
- Medical therapy
- Alternative medicines
Ever felt so tired you could just fall asleep right where you are? With narcolepsy, that could very well happen. An estimated 1 in 2,000 people in the U.S. suffer from narcolepsy, and almost 3 million suffer worldwide. Narcoleptics tend to struggle during their day to day because they could fall asleep at any moment, have the potential to hallucinate as they move between their asleep and awake states and can suffer from sleep paralysis. This is a phenomenon where your muscles are relaxed and unable to move, but you’re conscious and aware of your surroundings. It’s thought that only 25% of cases are diagnosed, so if you are experiencing some of these same issues, talk to your doctor. While narcolepsy cannot be fully cured, there are some medicinal alternatives and therapies that could make a narcoleptic’s day much easier. Treatments range from:
- Modern medications
- Lifestyle adjustments
- Support groups
Sleep apnea is dangerous for a variety of reasons. If you suffer from sleep apnea, this means that your breathing is often interrupted throughout the night, which results in an improper flow of oxygen to your brain and the rest of your body. This can occur one of two ways - either your throat muscles relax, causing an obstructed airway, or your brain stops sending signals to your body to breathe. Due to the poor airflow circulation throughout your body, you could develop other health-related problems like an irregular heartbeat, depression, diabetes and more. If you need help treating your sleep apnea, schedule a visit with your doctor. The good news is, there are solutions that can help you breathe throughout the night, like a CPAP machine. CPAP, meaning “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure”, helps you breathe throughout the night and prevents your airway from collapsing when it normally might. Other treatments include:
- EPAP machine
- Oral appliances
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes severe twitching and tingling throughout the muscles in the legs, and the only way to alleviate this pain is to move your legs. RLS, which is caused by chronic conditions, medications or even pregnancy, can cause sleepiness and daytime fatigue. It can be frustrating to those affected by RLS because its symptoms don’t start to appear until you’re relaxed or lying down, which prevents you from falling asleep at night or getting a full night’s rest. There are a variety of non-medication options for those that suffer from RLS, however, your doctor could recommend something that could help. In general, there is no known cure for RLS, but there are a few steps that you can take to help lessen the severity of the symptoms:
- Regular exercise
- Decrease in caffeine or alcohol
- Medication, though medication doesn’t always help
Night terrors (sleep terrors) are defined as episodes of extreme movement, screaming and fear while asleep. While they can affect children and adults, they more commonly affect children. Although they are quite literally terrifying in nature, most children will grow out of them by their teenage years. Sleep terrors can be caused by anything from a head injury to stress, or medications to sleep deprivation, and they differ from nightmares because the sufferer of a nightmare will often awake from the bad dream with a vague memory of the incident. When you suffer from a night terror however, you are unable to wake up. This occurs during non-REM sleep, generally stage 4 of the REM sleep cycle, which makes it extremely difficult to wake up or be woken up during the night terror. Even if you move around, walk around the house or engage in aggressive behavior, it is likely you will not remember it in the morning. As previously stated, some children will grow out of their sleep terrors, but if the problems persist, or if night terrors are disrupting the sleep of your family and affecting the health of your loved one, it could be time to reach out to your doctor. After conducting tests, depending on the root cause of the sleep terrors, the treatment could revolve around:
- Improved sleep habits
While there are a variety of sleep disorders there are solutions and steps that will allow you to take back a good night’s sleep. We make it our mission to help you find your best rest and sleep soundly throughout the night, whether it be through the tips and tricks on our blog, or our temperature-controlled sleep products. If you feel as though you’re suffering from any of the disorders listed above, please visit your doctor. For more information on what we do and our products visit our blog or check us out at https://www.chilitechnology.com/.