Having difficulty in getting sleep is an experience that most of us have encountered, at one point or another. Whether due to stress, anxiety or other external factors, this occurrence is normal, temporary, and does not need any external help. However, sometimes, sleep problems become a regular occurrence and begin interfering with your life. This could be an indication of a sleep disorder. Therefore, such situations must be addressed in time and taken care of as sleep is an important aspect of good health!
Why Are Sleep Disorders Such A BIG Deal?
Sleep disorders don’t just cause sleeplessness. They can also affect your energy levels, your sense of emotional balance and health. These can also put you at risk of suffering from severe medical conditions, like heart diseases, diabetes and obesity. A severe sleep disorder can even shorten your life expectancy!
Holy Cow! How Do I Know If I've Got One?
Let's begin with some good news. Most sleep disorders can easily be detected, even at home. The first and most important step is to try and pinpoint if you are feeling any effects of sleep deprivation. Some of the commonly faced signs that may indicate that you're suffering from lack of sleep include:
These signs are by no means comprehensive, and may not mean that you have any problem at all. However, if you feel that you are consistently facing more than a few of these signs, it may be time to get an expert's advice.
What Kind Of Sleep Disorders Can I Be Suffering From?
The most important thing to understand here is that a sleep disorder can affect anyone, be it, a man, woman or child, of any age. Therefore, it is essential to know as much as you can, to nip this problem in the bud! Let’s look at a few of the most common sleep disorders in a little more detail
Insomnia: The most common sleep disorder faced is insomnia, which is the inability to get to sleep, or sleep well at night. It can be caused by some things, including stress, health conditions, jet lag, or even the amount of coffee that you consume.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder: Informally known as a shift work sleeping problem, this disorder can arise when your work schedule and your body’s biological clock go out of sync. This is commonly seen in people who have to work night shifts, early morning shifts, or rotating shifts. This forces you to work, especially when your body is telling you to sleep and rest or sleep when your body is telling you to be awake.
Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder: This condition results in your body's 24-hour cycle of sleeping and wakefulness being significantly delayed. This will make you go to sleep and wake up much later than other people. This problem is more than just a preference for staying up late, as individuals with this condition cannot get sleep earlier than 2 a.m. no matter how hard they try.
Sleep Apnea: This sleep disorder is a potentially dangerous one, as it results in your breathing repeatedly stopping while you’re asleep. This also means that your body takes in less oxygen during the night. In severe cases, this disorder can frequently cause you to wake up in the night.
Restless Leg Syndrome: Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS is a disorder that leaves you with the overwhelming need to always move your leg. This urge can sometimes be complicated by a tingling sensation in the legs as well. While these symptoms can arise during the day, they're most prevalent at night
So, What Should I Do Now?
You should never EVER ignore a sleep disorder. While we've listed out the most common ones, there are much more that you, or someone that you know, may be suffering from. If you feel like your sleep is not a sound enough one, you must look for medical assistance. After all, sleep is the most essential for the repair of your body & mind.