Count The Sheep – Common Sleep Disorders

Published on Author GG RayLeave a comment

sleep-disorder

Are you tired of not getting any sleep? Insomnia is a catchall phrase that encompasses all of those poor people out there who can’t fall asleep like the rest of us, but there can be some pretty serious reasons why you can’t get the rest you need. And even though you might be bale to function during the day, lack of sleep can lead to some serious health problems if it goes unchecked.

This article will look at some of the common sleep disorders that plague us tired humans, and some of the ways you can combat them. So keep reading, since you and I both know you aren’t going to bed anytime soon.

Sleep Apnea

This occurs when breathing pattern are interrupted during sleep. People with this disorder actually stop breathing for short periods of time, which can be a serious health problem for those with heart or lung conditions. Loud snoring is a common side effect of this condition, as are pauses in breathing, frequent sleep interruptions, snorting, coughing, and sensations of choking.

The end result is a poor night’s sleep, exhaustion and headaches.
If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea, you should visit your doctor. The only way to properly diagnose this disorder is through a sleep test. Since this is a potentially life threatening sleep disorder, it is very important to get it diagnosed and treated and quickly as possible.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Another common sleep disorder is RLS or Restless Legs Syndrome. This is where your legs are uncomfortable and moving them reduces that discomfort. Many people who suffer from this sleep disorder describe tingling or prickling sensations in their legs which prevents them from sleeping.

They then move their legs a lot which can also be disruptive for the sleep patterns of their bed partners. Some suggestions for treating this disorder include medication, hot showers, getting up and walking when your legs start to hurt and rubbing your legs.

Narcolepsy

This disorder is most commonly associated with the elderly, but it’s important to note that its peak onset actually occurs during the teen years. People with narcolepsy fall asleep anytime and anywhere, with their sleep attacks often lasting up to 30 minutes.

Some people who suffer from this disorder worry that they will fall asleep while they are swimming, for example. This is a very serious sleep disorder with no cure, but can be adequately treated in most situations through medication and other medical assistance.

Fortunately, this disorder is less common than other sleep disorders and only affects a small portion of the general population. However, if a family member suffers from this disorder, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about this because hereditary factors can also affect its onset.

Top Ten Non-medicinal Ways To Restore A Healthy Sleep Pattern

  1. Don’t drink coffee or alcohol close to bedtime (roughly, 4 hours prior). Both are stimulants, and even a single drink of one or the other could keep you awake just long enough to interrupt your sleep cycle.
  2. Don’t worry about whatever is happening the next day that is making you worry! One way to avoid that nighttime anxiety is by being organized. Sit down and make a list of all the things you need to do the next day to prepare for whatever it is you are agonizing over – a big meeting, a presentation, a test, etc. Then you will go to bed knowing that you have things well in hand, rather than lying awake staring at the ceiling.
  3. Exercise, but not late at night. Exercise is a great way to help your body develop a healthy sleep pattern, but avoid late night workouts as they will flood your body with endorphins, adrenaline, and increase your heart rate.
  4. Read a book. Lying awake staring at the ceiling will only focus your mind on the fact that you can’t sleep. Try reading a book until you start to feel tired, then you can crawl back into bed and get the sleep you need.
  5. Count something or think about something other than your lack of sleep. Counting sheep works because it distracts your brain from deep thinking, allowing your body to grab you in its sleepy hold. If sheep aren’t your style, try playing a game of golf in your head. Think about every shot you would make, the walking, etc. – any sport or activity will suffice, as long as it distracts you from the real problem.
  6. Avoid late-night snacks. Sometimes a full belly can be an inducement to sleep, but if you eat and drink a late at night you may have to get up and eat, or you will be too bloated to rest comfortably.
  7. Keep the bedroom free from distractions. This is your sleeping area, so try not to do work or watch TV while you are in bed. You need to train your body into realizing that this room is where sleep happens, so that when you enter the room you are entering an environment for sleeping.
  8. Try sex. Although sex does involve a little – sometimes a lot – of cardiovascular activity, it is relaxing and pleasing when you are done. That euphoric state of mind and body are good when you are trying to fall asleep.
  9. Get comfy. Change your pillows at least once a year, and make sure your mattress is still in working condition and that you rotate it regularly. Beds tend to be full of dust, dead skin, and little critters naked to the human eye. If you have allergies, regular cleaning of pillows, sheets and comforters will help alleviate the problems.
  10. Stick to a pattern! Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday, and this includes weekends. Your body will develop a rhythm for a sleep cycle, so constantly breaking that rhythm will lead to sleep deprivation, and eventually to sleepless nights.

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