Did you know most people suffer from abnormalities of sleep without knowing what is happening? As everyone is running with time to meet deadlines or make ends meet, there is one necessity that suffers, sleep. Lack of enough sleep may cause loads of issues on your mind, workplace, health, and socialization.
Since sleep is important, why not sleep? This is a vital question, but what to do? Our surroundings are not favorable for sleep. Your work needs you, your family crave your attention, decisions needs to be made and much more. All these on one head are tricky.
As much as there are lots of responsibilities, you need time for your body. A healthy body means a healthy mind and boosted productivity.
Here are the common disorders:
- Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a very common disorder but tricky to identify. It refers to a medical condition where a person experiences an episode of cessation of breathing while asleep. This condition is usually due to the failure of the brain to maintain breathing patterns while one is asleep. It results in reduced oxygen supply which causes pain in different parts of the body when a person jerks out of sleep. In severe cases, sleep apnea may result in some fatal conditions such as heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.
Most people snore without knowing while in slumber. It’s surprising that the affected do not know they snore. Snoring is very common among young children and elderly. However that does not mean the young are exempted. It refers to facing difficulties in breathing due to in ability to keep the airway open throughout while asleep. Snoring is a common sleep disorder and is associated with obesity, medical condition related to breathing system and poor sleeping position.
In this case one is unable to fall asleep or wake up from sleep and unable to fall asleep again. It’s the most common sleep disorder. Common causes of insomnia include stress, irregular sleeping schedule, poor sleeping habits, mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, illnesses and pain, medications, night coffee and having nervous system issues.
This type of sleep disorder is characterized by disrupt sleep-wake cycles. Majorly one falls asleep day time other than having slept well at night. People suffering from narcolepsy are at risk of falling asleep at inappropriate times such as at work or while driving which would not end well. Cataplexy is another characteristic of this disorder where one suddenly loses muscle torn in response to strong emotion.
- Restless legs syndrome
This is characterized by the urge to move legs while asleep which are unpleasant movements that may end up distracting your sleep. Anyone can have restless legs syndrome, but it’s more common in pregnant women and older adults. At early stages these movements are usually mild but with time increase with age. Unfortunately, it does not have medication but can be corrected with counseling.
- Shift work sleep disorder
Shift work sleep disorder occurs when your work schedule interferes with your sleeping patterns. This is common among people who work night shifts, early morning shifts, or rotating shifts. At times these work schedules find you when you have the urge to sleep or when your body needs you to stay awake. Therefore this interruption ends up disorienting your sleeping patterns.
Adjusting to a shifting work schedule may be tricky for some. It is more evident that shift workers don’t get quality sleep like their daytime counterparts. As a result of sleep deprivation, you may struggle with sleepiness and mental lethargy on the job affecting productivity.
You can reduce shift work disorder by:
- When changing shifts, request a shift that’s later, rather than earlier as it’s easier to adjust.
- Ensure you have had enough rest after any shift schedule you work on irrespective of the time i.e. day shift or at night.
- Avoid using sleep medication as they lead to addiction
- When working in the night, let your working environment use a bright light
- Take regular breaks and minimize frequency shift changes
Sleeping disorders can bring a whole lot of serious issues if not overlooked. You can easily adjust your sleeping patterns to manage these conditions. Some may need medication, counseling, and lifestyle changes. An hour more in bed can keep these disorders at bay.