Effects of sleep disorders on your health

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Effects of sleep disorders on your health

Taking good, sound sleep is essential for optimal health. It helps you stay healthy and make the body function properly. If not getting enough quality sleep, it can affect your physical and mental health.

Sleep disorders refer to conditions that disrupt your normal sleep patterns, causing fatigue, difficulty breathing, or unusual behaviours. There are over 80 different sleep disorders. Some major sleep problems include insomnia, sleep deprivation, snoring, and sleep apnea.

If not treated, Sleep disorders can affect your body function work normally and it may also be resulting to development of some serious health issues like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

 

Common sleep disorders and how they affect your health

1. Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people experience difficulty staying asleep. People with this disorder have one or more of the symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Waking up frequently during the night and trouble going back to sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
  • Difficulty focusing on tasks

Insomnia can be short-term (acute insomnia) or can last a long time (chronic insomnia). Acute insomnia can last from one night to a few weeks. Chronic insomnia can last for at least three nights a week for a month or longer.

The causes of short-term insomnia are life stresses (job loss or change, death of a loved one), an illness, or environmental factors such as light, noise, or extreme temperatures. Long-term insomnia can be caused due to depression, chronic stress and pain at night.

 

2. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that arises when breathing is interrupted while taking sleep. If left untreated, stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep.

There are two different types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the more common sleep disorder. It is caused due to a blockage of the airway during sleep. Its symptoms include snoring, fatigue, restlessness during sleep, daytime sleepiness, and difficulty in concentrating.
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA) is related to the function of the central nervous system. In this disorder, brain fails to tell the body to breathe. People with CSA mostly report recurrent awakenings during night.

 

3. Parasomnias

Parasomnias refers to a group of sleep disorders that involve unwanted experiences that occur while you are sleeping. It includes abnormal movements, behaviours, or dreams. All those behaviours you do while remaining asleep during the event and have no memory associated with that behaviour or event.

People with this disorder don’t sleep throughout the night. Sleepwalking, night terrors, sleep eating, sleep paralysis (unable to move your body), nightmares and other parasomnias cause abnormal behaviours during sleep.

This sleep disorder can lead to risky behaviours, injuries, fatigue, weight gain, and more.

 

4. Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome is a condition that triggers an uncontrollable desire to move your legs, usually due to an uncomfortable sensation. Its symptoms include burning, tingling, and aches in the legs and it occur usually at night. In the long run, it may lead to fatigue, depression, and weakened mental functioning.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment for sleep disorders

For a proper diagnosis and treatment of any of the sleep disorder, you need to consult with a doctor. Treatment for sleep disorders depend on the underlying cause.

Medical treatments

Medical treatment for sleep disorder may include:

  • Sleeping pills with Drs Consultation
  • Nutritional Supplements, Lactium
  • Medications for underlying health issues
  • Breathing device (for sleep apnea)
  • Allergy or cold medication

Lifestyle changes

Make some lifestyle adjustments help enhance quality of sleep. You may consider the following:

  • More vegetables into your diet
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Regular exercise to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Following a regular sleeping schedule
  • Limit consumption of caffeine, especially during late afternoon or evening
  • Decrease consumption of tobacco and alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy weight