How to manage sleep disorders? 

Conditions that impair proper restful sleep is what constitutes sleep disorders. These disorders can affect all aspects of daily living of a person including their mental and physical performance. In fact, without treatment from Best Neurologist in Lahore sleep disorders can deeply hurt the quality of life. Read on to know more about sleep disorders, and how to manage them:

What are sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders is a collective term, used to refer to mental or physical conditions which interfere with duration, quality, timing and depth of sleep. Such disorders prevent restful shuteye on a regular basis, and consequently impact the quality of life of an individual, with excessive day time sleepiness and other symptoms.

According to experts, the daily sleep needs of an adult should be between seven to nine hours per night. However, most adults sleep less than the recommended amount due to causes like hectic schedule, working from home, internet usage and stress. With sleep disorders, the sleep deprivation is more severe in nature, with extreme tiredness throughout the day.

In 1979, the American Sleep Disorders Association, published the first classification system of sleep disorders. To date, more than 100 disorders have been classified as sleep disorders, based on their cause, symptom and pathophysiology.

Someone is said to have a sleep disorder if they have:

  • trouble falling asleep regularly;
  • impaired ability to perform activities of daily living;
  • often tired during the day even after seven-hour sleep.

In the United States alone, there are more than 70 million individuals who suffer from sleep disorders, and more than 100 million who complain of getting inadequate sleep.

Even though there are over 100 sleep disorders, the common ones are:

  • Insomnia: in this disorder, the patient has trouble falling asleep, and staying asleep throughout the night.
  • Parasomnias: these are sleep disorders with abnormal behaviors and movements during sleep such as sleepwalking, bedwetting and nightmares.
  • Narcolepsy: with this disorder, the patient has extreme sleepiness throughout the day, with chances of falling asleep suddenly.
  • Restless leg syndrome: as the name implies, in this type of sleep disorder, the patient has an uncomfortable urge to move the legs. This urge intensifies at the time of sleep. This condition is also called Willis-Ekbom disease.
  • Sleep apnea: with this disorder, there are abnormal breathing patterns when the patient is asleep, causing them to have interrupted sleep.

What are the causes of sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders are mostly a consequence of underlying physical or mental health disorder, such as:

  • Nocturnal urination: hormonal imbalances, urinary tract infections and benign prostatic hyperplasia are some conditions that can exacerbate nocturnal urination and frequent awakenings.
  • Anxiety and stress: depression, anxiety and stress disorders can make sleep difficulty. Such disorders negatively impact sleep quality.
  • Chronic pain: persistent pain can make sleeping difficult. Fibromyalgia, migraines, lower back pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease are some disorders that can cause chronic pain.
  • Allergies: persistent colds, upper respiratory tract infections and allergies can make nasal breathing challenging. These factors can contribute to frequent night awakenings and sleeping difficulties.

What are the symptoms of sleep disorders?

The symptoms of sleep disorders cannot be generalized. They differ depending on the type and severity. Such symptoms include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Difficulty in maintaining sleep at night
  • Irritability and anxiety during the day
  • Unusual breathing patterns while asleep
  • Napping through the day
  • Extreme fatigue during the daytime
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Unintentional changes in sleep cycle
  • Weight gain
  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Urge to move while sleeping

How to manage sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders can be managed by:

  • Lifestyle modification
    • Creating a sleep schedule and sticking to it
    • Exercising and stretching to reduce anxiety
    • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating right
    • Consuming less caffeine
    • Eating more vegetables
    • Eating less refined sugar
  • Medication as recommended by experts from Reliance Hospital
    • Melatonin supplements
    • Cold medication
    • Treating the underlying issue
    • Sleep aids