Did you know humans spend nearly a third of their lives asleep? Well, we all sure agree that going without sleep will literally make you psychotic, and, eventually kill you.
It’s clear that shut-eye is crucial to the body’s ability to function. We usually think of sleep as a time when the mind and body is shut down.
But in reality, this is not the case; sleep is actually a quite active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration and strengthening takes please.
Yet again, exactly how this happens and why our bodies are programmed for such a long period of slumber is still somewhat of a mystery.
What is Sleeping Disorder
Just how important sleep is for a human unfortunately, there are a few conditions that result in changes in the way we sleep; these conditions are generally called as sleep disorders.
These conditions can affect our overall health, safety, ability to sleep well on a regular basis as well as one’s quality of life.
Whether they are caused by a certain health problem or by taking too much stress, sleep disorders are unfortunately becoming increasingly common all around the world.
There are quite a few types of sleeping disorders and depending on the type, people may experience a difficult time falling asleep and may feel extremely tired throughout the day.
This lack of sleep can have a negative impact on our energy, mood, concentration and overall health. Many of us do not get enough sleep.
Nearly 30 percent of adults get less than six hours of sleep every night and only about 30 percent of high school students get at least eight hours of sleep on a regular school night.
What are the Causes of Sleep Disorder
There are several conditions, disorders and diseases that can result in sleep disturbances. In most cases, sleep disorders are caused as a result of an underlying health problem.
1. Stress and Anxiety:
Stress can impact our lives in many different ways; it most importantly has an adverse effect. Well, it does make sense. Doesn’t it? You lie in bed, worrying and feeling anxious which doesn’t let you and your mind relax.
If you don’t sleep enough at night, your body boosts its level of stress hormones and the production of these hormones doesn’t stop unless you have a deep sleep which helps in releasing the chemicals from the brain which stops the production of those hormones.
2. Allergies and other Respiratory Problems:
Respiratory problems like asthma, colds, chronic obstructive lung disease, and chronic upper airway obstruction etc can make it challenging to breathe at night. Due to this a person finds it difficult to sleep since he cannot breathe through his nose.
3. Chronic Pain:
Frequent pain makes it really difficult to fall asleep. It might even wake you up after you fall asleep.
Nocturia is basically the problem of frequent urination which may disturb the process of sleep as the person has to use the bathroom several times. Things which may contribute to the development of this condition may include diseases of the urinary tract and hormonal imbalances.
Signs and Sypmtopms
People might experience disturbances in sleep but it does necessarily have to be as a result of sleeping disorder. However, there are a few symptoms which can help to detect the disorder.
These symptoms include feeling very sleepy even during the daytime resulting in lack of concentration on work and having trouble falling asleep at night.
A number of people may fall asleep at unsuitable times, such as while driving. Breathing in a strange pattern or having an urge to be in motion while you are trying to sleep is some of the other symptoms.
Sleeping disorder may cause you to react to things relatively slowly and have trouble controlling your emotions.
How to Cure Sleeping Disorder
Sleeping disorder can make a person desperate for sleep and when it does, it can be tempting to use a sleeping pill or a sleep aid.
But studies have shown that usage of medication to deal with sleep disorders is rather useless. The first step to curing sleeping disorders is to identify the symptoms and diagnose the type of disorder a person suffers from.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that works on improving your sleep by changing a person’s behavior before bedtime as well as changing their ways of thinking which might be the cause of keeping them from falling asleep.
It helps to improve relaxation skill and changing lifestyle habits that impact our sleeping patterns.
Since sleeping disorders can be both caused by and trigger emotional health problems such as anxiety, stress, and depression, therapy is an effective way of treating the underlying problem instead of the symptoms only, helping you develop a healthy sleeping pattern for life.
Another way of curing is the relaxation training. It teaches the person suffering from sleeping disorder to systematically contract and relax body muscles of different areas.
This process helps to calm the body and trigger sleep. There are other relaxation techniques as well such as breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation techniques and guided imagery.
Many people also listen to audio recording to guide them to learning these techniques which can help you fall asleep and also return to sleep during the night.
Stimulus manages an association between the bedroom and sleep by restricting the type of activities permitted in the bedroom.
An example of stimulus control is going to sleep only when you feel drowsy, and getting out of bed if you’ve been awake for 20 minutes or more.
This helps to break a harmful association between the bedroom and wakefulness. Sleep restriction involves a strict schedule of bedtimes and wake times and limits time in bed to only when a person is asleep.
Adjustments in lifestyle can also greatly improve your quality of sleep, especially when they’re done along with medical treatments.
These alterations can include the intake of more vegetables and fish on our diets and cutting on sugar. Exercises help reduce stress and anxiety.
A person should create and stick to a regular sleeping schedule. This can also be helped by drinking less water before bedtime and reducing the usage of caffeine, tobacco and alcohol and eating smaller low carbohydrate meals before bedtime.