Sleep disorders are conditions that impair your sleep or prevent you from getting restful sleep and, as a result, can cause daytime sleepiness and other symptoms. It is estimated that 50-70 Million Americans suffer from some form of Sleep Disorder. Everyone can experience problems with sleep from time to time. However, you might have a sleep disorder if:
You regularly experience difficulty sleeping.
You are often tired during the day even if you slept for at least seven hours the night before.
You have a reduced or impaired ability to perform regular daytime activities.
You have excessive movement during sleep.
Sleep is very important. Not getting enough sleep can have serious consequences on school and work performance, interpersonal relationships, health, and safety.
More than 100 million Americans of all ages are not getting an adequate amount of sleep.
The Most Common Types of Sleep Disorders:
Restless legs syndrome.
Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
You might have a sleep disorder if you experience one or more of the following symptoms. Do you:
Fall asleep while driving?
Do you struggle to stay awake when inactive, such as watching television or reading?
Have difficulty paying attention or concentrating at work, school, or home?
Have performance problems at work or school?
Often get told by others that you look sleepy?
Have difficulty with your memory?
Have slowed responses?
Have difficulty controlling your emotions?
Need to take naps almost every day?
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
So, what causes sleep disorders?
Sleep problems can be caused by various factors. Although causes might differ, the end result of all sleep disorders is that the body's natural cycle of slumber and daytime wakefulness is disrupted or exaggerated. Eight factors include:
Physical (such as ulcers).
Medical (such as asthma).
Psychiatric (such as depression and anxiety disorders).
Environmental (such as alcohol).
Working the night shift (this work schedule messes up “biological clocks.”)
Genetics (narcolepsy is genetic).
Medications (some interfere with sleep).
Aging (about half of all adults over the age of 65 have some sort of sleep disorder. It is not clear if it is a normal part of aging or a result of medicines that older people commonly use).
DIAGNOSIS AND TESTS
How are sleep disorders diagnosed?
If you suspect that you may have a sleep disorder, discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider. He or she can perform a physical exam and help you identify the difficulties you are having with sleep. Keeping a sleep diary for two weeks may be helpful to your healthcare provider. Some illnesses can cause disturbed sleep, so your healthcare provider may order tests to rule out other conditions.
If your healthcare provider suspects that you have a sleep disorder, he or she may refer you to a sleep disorder clinic. A sleep specialist will review your symptoms and may suggest that you undergo a sleep study.
A sleep study or polysomnogram (PSG) is a test that electronically transmits and records specific physical activities while you sleep. A sleep study can be done at home (home sleep apnea testing) for select patients. The recordings become data that is analyzed by a qualified healthcare provider to determine whether or not you have a sleep disorder.
In order to determine if you have a sleep disorder, it is important to pay attention to your sleep habits by keeping a sleep diary and discussing patterns and characteristics of your sleep with your healthcare provider. Many common sleep problems can be treated with behavioral treatments and increased attention to proper sleep hygiene. Consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your sleep patterns.
What Questions your healthcare provider may ask to diagnose a
How many hours do you sleep at night?
Do you toss and turn in your sleep?
Do you take naps?
How long does it take you to fall asleep?
Do you wake up in the middle of the night?
Do you work a night shift?
How sleepy do you feel during the day?
MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT
How are sleep disorders treated?
Treatments recommended by Healthcare Providers:
Counseling: Some sleep specialists recommend cognitive behavior therapy. Such counseling helps you “recognize, challenge, and change stress-inducing thoughts” that can keep you awake at night.
Medications and/or supplements.
Practice sleep hygiene such as keeping a regular sleep schedule.
Get regular exercise.
Manage the temperature so that you’re comfortable.
Your healthcare provider will recommend treatments based on your unique situation.
How Much Sleep Should You Get?
Experts generally recommend that adults sleep at least seven to nine hours per night, although some people require more and others require less.
Optimal sleep time varies by age. An earlier Sleep in America poll found a discrepancy between recommended and actual sleep time in children, with actual sleep time 1.5 to two hours less than recommended. Caffeine consumption caused a loss of three to five hours of sleep and having a television in the bedroom contributed to a loss of two hours of sleep each week in children.
What happens when a person doesn’t get enough sleep?
Not getting the proper amount or quality of sleep leads to more than just feeling tired. Sleepiness interferes with cognitive function, which can lead to learning disabilities in children, memory impairment in people of all ages, personality changes, and depression.
People who are deprived of sleep experience difficulty making decisions, irritability, problems with performance, and slower reaction times, placing them at risk for automobile and work-related accidents. Sleep loss can also adversely affect life by contributing to the development of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Tips for getting a Good Night's Sleep
Create an optimal sleep environment by making sure that your bedroom is comfortable, cool, quiet, and dark. If noise keeps you awake, try using background sounds like "white noise" or earplugs. If light interferes with your sleep, try a sleep mask or blackout curtains.
Think positive. Avoid going to bed with a negative mindset, such as "If I don't get enough sleep tonight, how will I ever get through the day tomorrow?"
Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep and intimate relations. Do not watch television, eat, work, or use computers in your bedroom.
Try to clear your mind before bedtime by writing things down or making a to-do list earlier in the evening. This is helpful if you tend to worry and think too much in bed at night.
Establish a regular bedtime and a relaxing routine each night by taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music, or reading. Try relaxation exercises, meditation, biofeedback, or hypnosis. Wake up at the same time each morning, including days off and vacations.
Stop clock-watching. Turn the clock around and use only the alarm for waking up. Leave your bedroom if you cannot fall asleep in 20 minutes. Read or engage in a relaxing activity in another room.
Avoid naps. If you are extremely sleepy, take a nap. But limit naps to less than 30 minutes and no later than 3 p.m.
Avoid stimulants (coffee, tea, soda/cola, cocoa, and chocolate) and heavy meals for at least four hours before bedtime. Light carbohydrate snacks such as milk, yogurt, or crackers may help you fall asleep easier.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco for at least four hours before bedtime and during the night.
Exercise regularly, but not within four hours of bedtime if you have trouble sleeping.
My personal Journey toward improving my Sleep
For years I struggled with falling asleep and even worse staying asleep. Between the stress of work and family, when I lay down at night, my mind was just racing with thoughts. I felt like I tried everything, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not shut off my brain for the day. Many times, I would turn on the tv or go on the internet. I found when I read, that helped because it took my mind off my thoughts without stimulating my brain from screens. It wasn't until I created a regular bedtime routine that I started noticing changes in my sleep patterns. I also began meditating on a daily basis, regularly and consistently. The combination of meditation and a regular bedtime routine ended up being the solution for me. Now I sleep like a baby. I fall asleep easily… I’m able to shut off my mind easily as well. I also sleep through the night, with the occasional trip to the bathroom, if I drank before bed, haha!
If you are interested in learning more about what I did to solve my sleep disorders, check out my program called “Taming Your Monkey Mind”. It has proved very useful and helpful to many people who have used… Some who haven't had a good night's sleep in years, sleeping through the night in the first week... Order with code: SLEEP and we will send you a LiveUrPurpose hat. A $30 dollar value..