Good sleep is good medicine for the body. Sleep disorder or deprivation is dangerous to overall health and can expose individuals to the risk of chronic disease, worsen cognitive ability, and motor performance. Below are 7 types of sleep disorder you want to know:
7 TYPES OF SLEEP DISORDERS
Excessive sleepiness can have drastic long term effects on health and is characterized by drowsiness and sluggishness which interfere with daily activities. This is commonly caused by:
Poor sleeping habits like irregular sleep schedule
Side effects from certain medications
Underlying Medical conditions
Excessive Sleepiness Associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Just as the name implies; “apnea” refers to interruption or break in breathing.
Obstructive sleep apnea is an obstruction to breathing that occurs during sleep, which causes sleep fragmentation that results in excessive sleepiness during the day. Individuals with OSA snore loudly and choke/gasp between episodes.
This is characterized by difficulty in getting to sleep and staying asleep. It leads to excessive daytime sleepiness and resultant health problems due to continual sleep deprivation. This is commonly initiated by;
Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety
Physical illness and pain
Neurological problems such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Poor sleeping habits
Medications like antidepressants, anti-asthma medications, etc.
Irregular sleep schedule
Unhealthy lifestyle habits
Shift Work Disorder
This is a sleep order directly related to an individual’s work schedules, in which case, the body’s internal clock, also known as ‘Circadian rhythm’, is disoriented due to irregular work schedules that cause irregular sleep habits.
Shift workers are prone to excessive sleepiness resulting from insufficient sleep or sleep deprivation, alongside other health risks like high blood pressure and cardiac diseases.
Non-24-Hour Sleep Wake Disorder
The ability to sleep at night and be awake in the day is controlled by an endogenously generated near-24-hour ‘circadian’ clock rhythm (that is, an “internal body clock”).
Patients with Non-24 hour disorder have disrupted circadian clock not in sync with the 24-hour day-night cycle due to the inability of light to reach the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in the brain that synchronizes the circadian system.
This condition is common among blind people for their visual disorder that causes loss of light perception, which resultantly prevents the light-dark cycle from synchronizing their internal body clock
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by hallucinations, cataplexy, excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep disruption, and sleep paralysis. It has an underlying genetic influence and having a relative with narcolepsy might mean a possibility of developing the disorder.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
Also known as Willis-Ekbom-Disease, is a movement disorder characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs while they are at rest which is accompanied by unpleasant sensations. Symptoms are most severe in the night time or during inactivity and are temporarily relieved by movement or pressure.
Treating Sleep Disorders
Some of the root causes of sleep disorders are nutritional, environmental, hormone imbalances., medication side effects, emotional and psychological causes.
These implicated causes can be treated via lifestyle modifications in the following ways:
By optimizing diet, environment, and sleep hygiene.
Increasing physical activity
Behavioral medicine, such as mindfulness, meditation, and breathing techniques, is used alongside botanical medicine in addressing psychological factors implicated as causes of sleep disorders.
Passionflowers and adaptogens such as Ashwagandha are prescribed to treat stress, anxiety, and depression.