Sleep Disorder

sleep disorder is a condition that frequently impacts your ability to get enough quality sleep. Many of us occasionally experience difficulties sleeping. Usually it’s due to stress, travel, illness, or other temporary interruptions to your normal routine. However, if you regularly have problems getting to sleep at night, wake up feeling exhausted, or feel sleepy during the day, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. They can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health, including your mood, energy, and ability to handle stress.

Frequently having trouble sleeping can be a frustrating and debilitating experience. There are many things you can do to identify the underlying causes of your sleep disorder and improve your sleep, health, and quality of life.

Types of common sleep disorders

1) Insomnia

Insomnia, the inability to get to sleep or sleep well at night, can be caused by stress, jet lag, a health condition, the medications you take, or even the amount of coffee you drink. Insomnia can also be caused by other sleep disorders or mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

2) Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common (and treatable) sleep disorder in which your breathing temporarily stops during sleep, awakening you frequently.

3) Restless legs syndrome (RLS)

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that causes an almost irresistible urge to move your legs (or arms) at night. The urge to move occurs when you’re resting or lying down and is usually due to uncomfortable, tingly, aching, or creeping sensations.

4)Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that involves excessive, uncontrollable daytime sleepiness. It is caused by a dysfunction of the brain mechanism that controls sleeping and waking.

5) Circadian rhythm sleep disorders

We all have an internal biological clock that regulates our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, also known as our circadian rhythms. Light is the primary cue that influences circadian rhythms. At night, when there is less light, your brain triggers the release of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. When the sun comes up in the morning, the brain tells the body that it’s time to wake up.

When your circadian rhythms are disrupted or thrown off, you may feel groggy, disoriented, and sleepy at inconvenient times.

6) Shift work sleep disorder

Shift work sleep disorder occurs when your work schedule and your biological clock are out of sync.

7) Delayed sleep phase disorder

Delayed sleep phase disorder is a condition where your biological clock is significantly delayed. As a result, you go to sleep and wake up much later than other people.

8) Jet lag

Jet lag is a temporary disruption in circadian rhythms that occurs when you travel across time zones.

Self-help for sleep disorders

While some sleep disorders may require a visit to the doctor, you can improve many sleeping problems on your own.

Improve your daytime habits. Regardless of your sleep problems, sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, getting regular exercise, limiting your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, and managing stress will translate into better sleep over the long term.

Develop a relaxing bedtime routine to prepare your mind and body for sleep. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool, avoid heavy meals and too many fluids late at night, take a warm bath, read, or listen to soothing music to unwind, and turn off screens at least one hour before bedtime.

Get back to sleep when you wake up at night. Whether you have a sleep disorder or not, it’s normal to wake briefly during the night. If you’re having trouble getting back to sleep, try focusing on your breathing, meditating, or practicing another relaxation technique. Make a note of anything that’s worrying you and resolve to postpone worrying about it until the next day when it will be easier to resolve.

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