Sleep Disorders

There are three major sleep disorders, Narcolepsy, Sleep Apnea, and Insomnia. Everyone has had nights where they couldn’t fall asleep. But these three disorders go beyond that. These disorders can be so deliberating that they can affect a person’s whole life.

Sleep Apnea is one of the major disorders. Sleep Apnea is a disorder where you stop breathing for short periods of time when you are sleeping. A person must awaken briefly in order to start breathing again. Studies have shown that over one million Americans suffer from Sleep Apnea. Obese men are at higher risk of suffering from Sleep Apnea. Loud snoring is a major symptom of Sleep Apnea. Often the snores are followed by gasps, snorts, or choking noises. Someone who has Sleep Apnea will fall asleep and stop breathing all together. When this happens they wake up struggling for air and that causes the gasping and choking noises. Once they have started breathing again, they will fall back to sleep and the pattern starts again. A person with severe Sleep Apnea can stop breathing up to 800 times a night. Sleep Apnea is aggravated by alcohol and sedatives. Death can occur from Sleep Apnea. So if you think you or someone you know may have this disorder, see a doctor right away.

Narcolepsy is another major sleep disorder. Narcolepsy is a disorder that causes people to fall into an uncontrollable REM sleep. These attacks usually last about 10 – 20 minutes. People with Narcolepsy are subject to more accidents, at work, while driving, or at home. They are often called lazy or depressed. Think about things that make us tired, a full meal or a boring movie. The things can trigger a sleep attack on people with Narcolepsy. A sleep attack can also be brought on by strong emotions, like laughter. There is no cure for Narcolepsy. Some patients are giving medication to help them stay awake during the day.

Insomnia is another major disorder. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Over one-third of people in the United States have insomnia. Insomnia is when someone has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. If a person suffers from insomnia for longer than three weeks, they should see a doctor. Chronic insomnia is when insomnia last more than three weeks. Chronic insomnia may begin as a reaction to a medical problem or psychological problem but will persist long after the problem is resolved. Try some of these tips for insomnia.

– Only lay in your bed when you are sleeping. Don’t lay in it to read or watch TV
– Only go to bed if you are sleepy
– Don’t take naps during the day
– Set your clock and wake up at the same time every day
– Set a routine every night. Like take a warm, relaxing bath, brush your teeth, and so on.
– Caffeine and Nicotine should be avoided an hour before bed
– Don’t stress over your problems when you lay down. Try counting in your head until you fall to sleep

Sleep disorders are serious. If you or anyone you know has any of the symptoms listed, a doctor needs to be seen. These disorders should not be taking lightly.

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