It is common for people at some point in their lives to go through a period where they are getting adequate sleep. However, if this tends to be persistent you could be suffering from a sleeping disorder. It is estimated that one-third of the adult population sleep much less than they actually should. This can be due to a hectic schedule, stress, and other outside factors. Sleep problems can affect both your physical and emotional well-being. Fortunately, sleep disorder treatment can help you achieve the required amount of sleep and improve your well-being.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a sleep disorder?
- 2 What causes sleep disorders?
- 3 Symptoms Of Sleep Disorders
- 4 What are the 5 major sleep disorders?
- 5 Diagnosis Of Sleep Disorder
- 6 Treatment For Sleep Disorders
- 7 Sleep Disorders FAQs
- 8 Get Consultation
What is a sleep disorder?
Sleep disorders, also known as sleep-wake disorders are conditions that affect the timing, quality, and amount of sleep a person is required to have. Sleep problems are linked to both physical and mental health and have been shown to greatly contribute to mental health conditions.
Normally, an adult is supposed to get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Unfortunately, today’s world is characterized by a demanding, high-paced working environment that requires more hours of work put in. This can easily cause stress, which can lead to sleep difficulties.
A person with a sleep disorder or insomnia will often find it hard to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. He/she will also find it difficult to sleep throughout the night and will often wake up earlier than usual in the morning feeling tired. This takes a toll on the person and impairs his/her ability to function normally during the day. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and irritability. Getting sleep disorder treatment is a great way to regain your normal sleep and achieve a work-life balance.
What causes sleep disorders?
Sleep disorders may present themselves alone or they may be a part of other conditions.
Notable causes of a sleep disorder include:
- Poor sleeping habits. This can be caused by irregular naps, bedtime schedules, uncomfortable sleeping environment, and using the bed for other activities such as work, eating, and watching screens can interfere with the sleep cycle.
- Stress. This can keep the mind active at night, resulting in difficulty sleeping.
- Overeating before bedtime. It is ok to have a light snack before bedtime, but eating too much right before bed will make you uncomfortable when lying down. It can cause heartburn which will keep you awake at night.
- Work or travel schedule. Each person has a circadian rhythm that acts as an internal clock, guiding things such as metabolism, sleep-wake cycle, and body temperature. Disrupting this often leads to a sleep disorder.
Other common causes of a sleep disorder include:
- Mental health conditions
- Medical conditions
- Alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine
- Sleep-related disorders
Symptoms Of Sleep Disorders
Symptoms of sleep disorder tend to vary depending on the type and severity as well as if it is a result of another condition.
The symptoms include:
- Feeling tired during the daytime
- Having difficulty in falling and/or staying asleep
- Wanting to take naps during the day
- Breathing patterns that are not usual
- Unusual urges to move while falling asleep
- Anxiety or irritability
- Unintentional changes to the sleep/wake schedule
- Lack of concentration
- Low level of performance at work or school
- Weight gain
What are the 5 major sleep disorders?
- Sleep apnea. This is characterized by taking breathing pauses during sleep. It causes the body to have less oxygen and can cause a person to wake up during the night.
There are two types: Obstructive sleep apnea where the airway is too narrow hence there is not sufficient airflow and Central sleep apnea where there is a problem with the connection between the muscles that control breathing and the brain.
- Snoring. This is associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
- Insomnia. This is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. It may be caused by anxiety, stress, jet lag, hormones, digestive problems, or it may be a symptom of another disease.
- Restless leg syndrome (RLS). This is an overwhelming feeling to move the leg and it may sometimes be accompanied by a tingling sensation.
- Sleep Hypoventilation. This is characterized by insufficient breathing during sleep. The breathing can be either too slow or too shallow.
Diagnosis Of Sleep Disorder
Diagnosing a sleep disorder involves evaluating the signs and symptoms as well as the person’s sleep history.
The evaluation may involve monitoring you overnight of your breathing and other functions of the body while you are sleeping. Tests that may be administered include:
- Nocturnal polysomnography. This test involves hooking the patient up to equipment that monitors heart, lung, and brain activity, breathing patterns, leg, and arm movements, and blood oxygen levels while asleep.
- Home sleep tests. These are simplified tests that measure the heart rate, blood oxygen level, breathing patterns, and airflow.
Treatment For Sleep Disorders
Treatment for sleep disorders varies depending on the type and underlying cause. The treatment includes a combination of lifestyle changes and medical treatments.
Lifestyle changes can improve a person’s quality of sleep greatly. The lifestyle adjustments that can be made to improve sleep include:
- Exercising to reduce stress and anxiety
- Eating a healthy diet comprised of more fish and vegetables
- Following a regular sleeping schedule
- Limiting caffeine intake
- Decreasing alcohol and tobacco use
- Drinking less water and eating smaller low carbohydrate meals before bedtime
Medical treatments for sleep disorders include:
- Cold or allergy medication
- Sleeping pills
- Melatonin supplements
- Breathing device
- Medications to treat underlying health issues
- Dental guard for teeth grinding
Sleep Disorders FAQs
How can I solve my sleeping problem naturally?
You can drink plenty of water during the day, avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine, exercise earlier in the day, eat light meals before bed, and avoid screen time at least an hour or two before bedtime.
Is insomnia a type of mental illness?
Insomnia is not an isolated case of mental illness rather it is a symptom of another underlying illness.
Can a sleeping disorder be cured?
Sleeping disorders tend to go away once the underlying cause is treated.
Why can’t I sleep at night?
Lack of sleep can be caused by various factors such as anxiety and depression. Other factors that contribute to this are medications, lack of a proper sleep schedule, and current lifestyle.
Dubai is a modern futuristic cosmopolitan city, and with it comes a high-paced demanding work environment which unfortunately can contribute to sleep disorders. If you feel like you have been having difficulty with sleeping, book a consultation with our experts for sleep disorder treatment. You can do this by calling us or filling out our online form and we will get back to you.
Check Out Our Specialists Profiles
Dr. Bahjat BalbousPhysician Specialist Psychiatry
Dr. Bahjat Balbous is a DHA-licensed psychiatrist having more than 25 years of experience. He uses the latest Neurofeedback therapy in treating ADHD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other related disorders.Read more