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Sleep disorders

Last updated: December 12, 2022

Sleep disorders

Ahmed Raza

Sleep is a biological process that helps the body perform certain functions. In fact, sleep is important to maintain good health. Disturbed sleeping patterns affect your health, safety, and quality of life.

Sleep disturbance increases your risk of other health disorders too. Sleep disorders are on the rise in the United States. More than 70% of high school students sleep less than eight hours on weeknights, leading to sleep disorders and poor health.

Sleep requirements are personal, age-dependent, and can vary from person to person. When children get too little sleep, it negatively affects their ability to properly and efficiently function.

Causes

Sleep disorders occur because of hectic schedules, stress, and fatigue. These disorders occur when prior mentioned issues occur regularly and interfere in someone’s life, causing them to need proper remedial measures.

Disturbed sleep makes a person feel exhausted during the daytime too. Deprivation of a sound sleep interferes with concentration, mood, energy, and entire life.

The causes vary for different sleep disorders. However, the common ones are:

Sometimes, the causes of sleep disorders are unknown.

When you have a sleep disorder, you want to receive a diagnosis and proper treatment without wasting time. Delays in treatment can lead to further health hazards, affect work efficiency, and impact overall performance.

Symptoms

Just like the causes, the symptoms also vary depending upon the type of disorder. However, there are some signs and symptoms to look out for that demonstrate a person may have a sleep disorder. Sleep disorder signs and symptoms include:

Types of sleeping disorders

There are almost eighty different types of sleep disorders. Some of the most common types of disorders among young people are:

Insomnia

The recurring difficulty to go to sleep and remain asleep despite all means to do so is called insomnia. People suffering from insomnia may experience excessive sleepiness in the daytime. About fifty percent of adults experience signs of insomnia, and ten percent suffer from chronic insomnia. Insomnia can be associated with medical or psychiatric conditions or may occur by itself.

Restless leg syndrome

Restless leg syndrome, RLS, is a sleep disorder that creates an intense and irresistible desire to move the legs. In this disorder, the patients feel itching, throbbing, and other painful sensations in their legs and a great desire to move them while at rest. Restless legs syndrome often occurs in the evening, just before the patient wants t to sleep. It can be related to problems in daytime sleepiness, concentration, and irritability. People suffering from RLS want to walk and shake their legs to help relieve the pain.

Restless legs syndrome is a sleep-associated movement disorder found in 7-10% of people in the United States. Unfortunately, it can’t be treated through exercises, changes in lifestyle. However, night-time stretching may provide relief in certain cases.

Sleep apnea

A common sleep-related breathing disorder is apnea, which occurs due to blockage of the upper airway. People suffering from apnea often wake up choking or gasping for air. Like other sleep disorders, heavy snoring is another common symptom. Sleep apnea can lead to excessive sleepiness and fatigue during the daytime, as well as other cognitive impairments.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy affects the control of sleep and wakefulness, as it is a neurological disorder. In narcolepsy, the patient feels excessively tired during the day despite getting a long rest at night. People with narcolepsy may fall asleep at inopportune times. It can also lead to sleep onset and sleep maintenance problems in some cases.

Narcolepsy symptoms start in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood. It normally starts between the ages of seven to twenty-five, but it can be found at any age. Unfortunately, narcolepsy often goes undiagnosed.

When you feel you might have a sleep disorder, immediately seek a diagnosis and treatment. Those who don’t have proper sleep experience significant difficulty in their daily activities like impaired decisionmaking, irritability, slower action times, and accidents during work. Sleep deprivation may also lead to the development of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Conclusion

Failing to get the proper amount of sleep results in tiredness during the day. Sleep disorders affect cognitive function, which may cause learning hardships for students, memory loss in people of all ages, depression, and personality changes.

To deal with sleep disorders and get healthy sleep, visit Sleep On It.

Works Cited

Last reviewed and updated by on Oct 21, 2022

Caitlin Goodwin, DNP, RN, CNM, is a Board Certified Nurse-Midwife, Registered Nurse, and freelance writer. She has over twelve years of experience in nursing practice.

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