Sleep Disorders: An Overview
Almost everyone has experienced trouble getting to sleep. This occurrence is normal and mostly temporary brought about by stress and other transient factors. But if getting to sleep is a regular occurrence and it interferes with one’s daily living, then a type of sleeping disorder might be present.
Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep
Generally, people in good health tend to sleep well and those with health or sleeping problem might have an underlying mental or medical problem. Whether sleep loss is minor or serious, lack of it can take its toll on one’s physical health and general emotional well-being. Lack of sleep affects one’s energy, mood, efficiency, and capability to handle stress. If one ignores his sleep disorders and problems, the condition can lead not only to poor health but to marred job performance, accidents, and relationship problems. A good night’s sleep is a necessity.
Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
Unless there is a concrete reason to be sleep deprived (a baby in the house, taking care of a sick person, cramming for an exam and the likes), it is not normal to feel tired and sleepy during the day, or have problem falling asleep at night. If the abnormal sleep pattern does not return to normal in due time even after making changes in one’s habits and routine, then seeing a sleep doctor is the next option.
Symptoms to watch out for are:
• irritability or sleepy at daytime
• difficulty staying awake while reading, watching TV or just sitting still.
• falling asleep while driving
• difficulty concentrating
• slow reactions
• difficulty controlling emotions
• taking daytime naps
• drink huge amount of caffeinated drinks to stay awake
Common Sleep Disorders
Insomnia is the most common type of sleep disorder. A person is unable to get the right amount of sleep to wake up rested and refreshed. Insomnia is usually a symptom of an underlying health condition. It is also a common symptom of depression, stress and anxiety. It can also be caused by medications, a person’s lifestyle such as lack of exercise and too much coffee to drink.
Sleep Apnoea is a sleeping disorder wherein a person temporarily stops breathing during sleep due to blockage in his upper airways. This may happen several times per hour causing the person to be rouse from sleep hundreds of times during the night. The person does not remember these episodes and feels irritated, sleepy and unproductive during the day.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that prompts a person to move his legs or arms while lying down, brought about by creeping, aching and tingly sensations.
Narcolepsy is another type of sleep disorder that causes excessive and uncontrollable sleepiness during the day. It is actually caused by a dysfunctional brain mechanism that controls sleeping and waking
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders happen when a person’s circadian rhythm is thrown off or disrupted. This could be attributed to insomnia, shift work, jet lag, depression and bipolar disorder.
If you are experiencing difficulty in falling asleep, it is best to see a sleep doctor to for consultation and diagnosis. If you suspect that you have sleep apnoea, call us now for an appointment.
Tel: 1300 750 006