Facts About Sleep and Sleep Disorders

Sleep is absolutely essential for the human body to function properly, and lack of sleep can begin affecting daily functions and the thought process. For some sleep is a time to dread because they never feel rested.

From sleep apnea, to snoring, to anxiety disorders, these conditions can disrupt your much needed rest to the point where you cannot function in your daily life.

Other things that can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep include where and how you sleep. Specifically, the condition of your bed, mattress and even the bed linen can all contribute to how well you sleep and how you feel when you wake up.

Sleep disorders can occur in people of all ages. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that their health problems may be a direct result of a sleep disorder.

Exploring Sleep Disorders | Alon Avidan, MD | UCLAMDChat

There are over one hundred different types of sleep disorders that can be classified into four categories.

  • Insomnias include difficulty falling and staying asleep.
  • Narcolepsy and sleep apnea are examples of sleep disorders that prevent people from staying awake.
  • People suffering from jet lag or those who have trouble sleeping because of shift work are having a disturbance in their sleep/wake cycle.
  • People who experience sleepwalking or enuresis are experiencing sleep interruptions associated with behavioral problems.

Any condition in which your sleep does not follow the typical sleep phase cycle or doesn’t stay in each cycle for a sufficient period of time is a disruptive sleep disorder.

Those who have disrupted sleep tend to not experience restorative sleep. Sleep deprivation can make you irritable, tired, have less focus, a lower frustration level, and can lead to exhibiting behavior that’s more emotional and impulsive. One dangerous fact about sleeping disorders is that they weaken the immune system and make us more susceptible to other diseases like diabetes, cancer and even the common cold. It is not uncommon for people who suffer from sleep deprivation due to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy and insomnia to also suffer from other problems including diabetes, asthma or a second sleep disorder.

Sleep disorders can affect anyone at any age. Even young children can suffer from sleep disorders such as night terrors, nightmares and bedwetting. Insomnia is especially common among the elderly. They also respond more quickly to disturbances such as noise, light and pain while they are asleep. Studies about sleep disorders have shown that they seem to occur mostly in women, with over forty percent reporting that daytime sleepiness impacts their ability to function. The disorder seems to become even more complicated during pregnancy and menopause.

Almost everyone suffers from a sleep disorder at some time but ignoring a persistent problem could result in serious health problems. Recovery may include a lifestyle change or altering your sleep habits. Talk to your doctor about sleep disorders and find out more about the variety of treatments available. A good night of sleep can improve both your health and your quality of life.

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