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Sleeping Disorders: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments

sleeping disorder

What are sleep disorders?

Sleeping disorders are medical conditions where patients affected with this disorder cannot take regular and proper sleep. 

Usually, people face difficulty in sleeping due to stress, hectic schedule, and other unfavorable situations. When it becomes regular and starts interfering with your daily life, it becomes a sleeping disorder. 

Depending on the type of sleep disorder individuals are suffering from, they may have difficulty falling asleep and may feel tired throughout the day. The lack of sleep can harm energy, mood, concentration, and overall health. 

Difficulty in sleeping can also cause due to other health and mental conditions, and you will start having proper sleep once you get treatment for the underlying disease. 

When sleeping difficulty is not related to other medical conditions, it is known as a sleep disorder. Treatment and some lifestyle changes can help treat and manage them; for example, taking Ambien for sleeping disorders is an effective way to manage it. 

Diagnosis and treatment of the sleeping disorder are necessary because they can adversely affect your health if left untreated. 

What are the different types of sleep disorders?

Various kinds of sleeping disorders can affect your life are as follows:

  • Insomnia

It is the inability to sleep or remain asleep. It can cause due to jet lag, anxiety, stress, imbalanced hormones, digestive problems, other conditions, as your health expert told you.  Insomnia can adversely affect your quality of life you are leading and cause you:

  • Depression 
  • Concentration problems 
  • Irritation 
  • Unusual weight gain 
  • Deterioration in the performance level at the workplace

In a life full of stress, insomnia is common. According to a recent survey report, approximately 50% of American adults face difficulty in sleeping. 

Doctors further bifurcate insomnia into three types such as:

  1. Chronic (usually happens regularly for at least one month)
  2. Intermittent (happens periodically) 
  3. Transient (typically last for a shorter duration) 
  • Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a type of sleeping disorder in which breathing suddenly stops while sleeping and causes you to wake up in the middle of the night. Doctors can also characterize sleep apnea as a breathing disorder that causes your body to absorb less oxygen while sleeping.

Sleep apnea is of two types:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea

In obstructive sleep apnea, oxygen flow is interrupted because there is an obstruction in air passage or too narrow. 

  1. Central sleep apnea

The problems in the connection between the brain and the muscles that control your breath can cause Central sleep apnea. 

  • Parasomnias

The sleep disorder that causes abnormal movements and behaviors during sleep is known as Parasomnias. The strange activities or behaviors include the following:

  • Walking while sleeping 
  • Talking while sleeping 
  • Nightmares 
  • Groaning
  • Bedwetting 
  • Grinding teeth 
  • Restless leg syndrome

Restless leg syndrome refers to an overwhelming need to move the legs. A tingling sensation in the legs may accompany it. Although it can happen during the day as well, it is more common at night. 

Restless leg syndrome can also cause due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Parkinson’s disease.

  • Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy refers to sleep attacks while you are awake. In narcolepsy, you will suddenly feel exhausted and fall asleep without warning. It can also cause sleep paralysis, and it will be difficult for you to move right after waking up. 

What are the symptoms of sleep disorders?

You can experience some of the following symptoms if you are going through any sleeping disorder:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Daytime fatigue or tiredness 
  • Strong urge to sleep during the day
  • Unusual breathing patterns
  • Unusual urges to move while sleeping 
  • Unusual movement or other unpleasant experiences while sleeping
  • Unintentional changes to the sleep/wake cycle
  • Irritation or anxiety
  • Lack of performance at workplace or school
  • Lack of concentration
  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Unusual weight gain

What causes sleep disorders?

Several conditions can cause sleeping disorders. These conditions can include stress, any medical conditions, any underlying disease, etc. 

The following are some conditions that can cause sleep disorders:

  • Allergies and respiratory disease

Cold, allergies or any respiratory infections can make breathing difficult and cause sleeplessness. 

  • Frequent urination 

Frequent urination or nocturia can interrupt your sleeping by causing you to wake up during the night. 

  • Chronic pain 

Severe pain can cause sleeplessness. The following are some types of chronic pain that can result in difficulty in sleeping:

  • Arthritis 
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease 
  • Severe headache
  • Pain in the lower back 
  • Stress and anxiety

Anxiety and stress are the main reason for any sleep disorder. Both of these can adversely affect your sleeping schedule and affect the quality of life you are leading. 

How are sleep disorders diagnosed?

To diagnose you with any sleep disorder, your doctor will recommend you the following medical tests:

  • Polysomnography (PSG)

Polysomnography evaluates the oxygen level, movements of the body, brain waves while sleeping. 

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)

Electroencephalogram accesses electrical activities in the brain and detects any potential problems related to these activities.

  • Multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT)

Multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT) is the daytime napping study used to diagnose narcolepsy. 

How are sleep disorders treated?

The effective treatment of any sleeping disorder varies from patients’ conditions to patients, and with suitable medications and some changes in lifestyles, you can manage it easily.

The medicines that doctors can prescribe to treat and manage different types of sleeping disorders are as follows:

  • sleeping pills
  • melatonin supplements
  • allergy or cold medication
  • medications for any underlying health-related issues 
  • breathing device or surgery (usually for sleep apnea)
  • a dental guard (usually for teeth grinding)

Using Ambien for sleeping disorders is the first-choice treatment by doctors. 

Some changes in your lifestyle that you should incorporate to manage sleep disorders are:

  • Eat healthily 
  • Exercise daily 
  • Sleep properly 
  • Drink less water at night 
  • Limit the use of caffeine 
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco 
  • Keep yourself busy 

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