The Different Types of Sleep Disorders and How to Treat Them
Do you struggle to sleep at night, or do you sleep too much? Sleeping is one of those things we all have to do. Some of us love it, some of us hate it. But not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep can have big consequences for our lives.
We have to get our sleeping patterns right for us to serve as a functioning human for the day. Without a proper sleeping schedule, we won’t be able to work, have proper interactions with our friends and family, or live the life we want to.
But what might be causing your sleep conditions? Are you interested in the different types of sleep disorders? Here’s everything you need to know.
Insomnia is a scientific name for a condition that simply means you struggle to sleep at night. It can be characterized by not being able to get to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to return to sleep.
Adults need between 7-9 hours sleep per day, children need 9-13 hours, and toddlers even more. If you aren’t putting in those hours, then the chances are you have insomnia which you need to treat.
It was often said of former British Prime Minister Lady Thatcher that she only slept for 4 hours a night. However, this is not something to be proud of.
Her biographers state she was often burned out and she suffered from dementia in her old age and the early 2000s, just a few years after she left office.
Some studies show that lack of sleep can lead to an increase in Alzheimer’s protein.
Luckily, there are a lot of treatments for insomnia that don’t require medication or long periods in hospital; you simply have to change your lifestyle.
Try to avoid looking at computer, phone, or television screens at least one hour before you go to bed. This can be a struggle in our always-connected society but it’s important. Go for a walk before you go to bed and charge your devices in another room, if possible.
Be sure to exercise during the day. If you’ve been stuck indoors all day, you’ll find that you can’t go to sleep because you haven’t burned any energy. At the same time exercising up to four hours before you fall asleep can make you too energetic to sleep.
Ensure that your room is dark and enables you to get to sleep. Remove any distractions that make it difficult to sleep.
Avoid drinks that are high in caffeine such as coffee, tea, cola, and other soft drinks in the hours before you go to bed. Doctors think you should avoid caffeine 7 hours before you go to bed or as early as 2 pm.
If you take drugs such as cannabis or other substances, you should cut these out as well.
One way you can tackle common sleep disorders in the short term is to take some medication that will help you to sleep; night nurse is common, you could even try gummies for sleep or stronger medication that your doctor could prescribe.
Hypersomnia is the opposite of insomnia. This is one of the common types of sleep disorders in which you sleep excessively during the day. This might sound amazing to someone who struggles to get much sleep.
But it’s clearly a problem if you are spending all of your time in bed. You need to create a proper sleep schedule. You should speak to a doctor or a specialist at the earliest opportunity.
It may well be that you are suffering from stress and anxiety and oversleeping is your body’s way of coping; dealing with that underlying condition might help you to overcome the issue.
But you might have another underlying issue, particularly if you are falling asleep at random times of the day.
Narcolepsy is one of the rarest sleep issues. It’s a condition that can often take years to diagnose and treat. But it can lead to excessive bouts of falling asleep, even at random times of the day.
In some people the condition is so serious they can’t go more than an hour without falling asleep and it can be dangerous: someone with untreated narcolepsy, for example, could not drive a car or be in left in charge of heavy machinery.
Narcolepsy occurs when there is a limited amount of the chemical which tells the brain to stay awake: hypocretin. The immune system – white blood cells – wrongly attack the cells which create hypocretin.
There is no specific cure for narcolepsy at present but changes to your routine can prevent some of the more severe symptoms: getting a proper bedtime routine and trying to alleviate the stress in your life.
Doctors can prescribe tablets, but they will first suggest the patient sticks to a rigid bedtime.
Types of Sleep Disorders: There Are So Many
Many types of sleep disorders can affect our everyday lives. But it seems that there is no easy, quick fix for any of them. Although medication can be prescribed it should complement other major changes in your lifestyle and bedtime routine.
Going to bed early and at a set time as well as eating healthy and avoiding computer screens before bed are all part of a great routine.
If you are interested in learning more about the different types of sleep disorders be sure to check out the rest of our site.