Sleep is an integral part of our daily lives and is necessary for the body to function correctly. It enables the body to restore and rejuvenate cells. It also helps to regulate the body’s metabolism and energy levels and strengthens the immune system.
The body needs an average of eight hours of sleep each night. Good quality sleep means that people feel rested and refreshed when they wake up. Many people do not get enough sleep, though. Sleep deprivation can cause problems with thinking, mood, and physical health. It can lead to various problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and mental health issues.
If you are experiencing any of the problems listed below, it is crucial to see a doctor and have your condition diagnosed and treated.
Types of Sleep Disorders and Their Treatments
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting around 30 percent of adults. It is a problem with falling or staying asleep. People with insomnia often have difficulty falling asleep at night, wake up frequently during the night, and find it difficult to go back to sleep.
Treatment for insomnia usually involves lifestyle changes such as establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and getting regular exercise. If these changes do not help, the doctor may prescribe medications.
2. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is when someone’s breathing stops for brief periods while sleeping. These pauses can last for a few seconds or up to several minutes, occurring over 20 times per hour on average. That can lead to disturbed sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleep apnea treatment includes using a CPAP machine, which delivers air through a mask worn during sleep. That helps to keep the airway open and prevents pauses in breathing. An oral surgeon must do orthognathic surgery in severe cases where misaligned upper and lower jaws cause the condition.
3. Rapid Eye Movement Behavior Disorder
Rapid eye movement behavior disorder (REM-BD) is a condition that causes people to act out their dreams during REM sleep. That can be quite dangerous and can often result in injuries.
There is no cure for REM-BD, but medications and lifestyle changes can help to control the symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may also be helpful.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy often fall asleep suddenly and without warning. They may also experience vivid dreams, hallucinations, and muscle weakness.
There is no cure for narcolepsy, but medications can help to control the symptoms. Lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise and avoiding caffeine may also help.
5. Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is when there is an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by a creepy-crawly sensation. That occurs most often when the person is sitting or lying down. RLS can interfere with sleep and cause insomnia.
There is no cure for restless legs syndrome, but medications can help to control the symptoms. Quinine, iron, and dopaminergic drugs are commonly prescribed for RLS. Regular exercise and avoiding caffeine may also be helpful.
6. Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Circadian rhythm disorders are conditions that affect the body’s natural circadian rhythm. That is the 24-hour cycle that controls the body’s sleeping and waking patterns. People with circadian rhythm disorders often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep at night.
There is no cure for circadian rhythm disorders, but medications and lifestyle changes can help to restore the body’s natural rhythm. Bright light therapy and melatonin are two common treatments for circadian rhythm disorders.
Parasomnias are a group of sleep disorders that involve abnormal movements, behaviors, or emotions during sleep. These disorders can be quite disruptive and often cause problems with sleeping.
There is no cure for parasomnias, but medications and lifestyle changes can often help to control the symptoms. CBT may also help.
8. Night Terrors
Night terrors are a type of parasomnia that causes people to scream, cry, and kick during sleep. They usually occur during the first few hours of sleep and can be frightening for both the person with the disorder and their partner.
There is no cure for night terrors, but medications and lifestyle changes can help to control the symptoms. CBT may also be helpful.
Sleepwalking is a parasomnia that causes people to walk or perform other activities while asleep. It most often occurs during deep sleep and can be dangerous.
There is no cure for sleepwalking, but medications and lifestyle changes can help to control the symptoms. CBT may also help.
Bruxism is a condition that causes people to grind their teeth during sleep. That can lead to dental problems and be quite disruptive for the person’s partner.
There is no cure for bruxism, but there are treatments that can help to reduce the noise. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight and quitting smoking may also help to reduce bruxism.
Snoring is a common sleep disorders caused by tissue vibration in the throat. It can be loud and often disturbs the person’s partner.
There is no cure for snoring, but there are treatments that can help to reduce the noise. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight and quitting smoking may also help to reduce snoring.
Sleep disorders can be disruptive and often cause various health problems. However, several treatments can help control the symptoms, from medication to behavioral therapies and surgery if called for. There is no need to lose sleep if help is available.