Sleep disorder is a health problem that affects our sleeping pattern and leads to inability to sleep properly. Sleep disorder can be caused due to various reasons out of which insomnia is the common cause. Obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome are few other reasons of sleep disorder. Sound sleep is important for optimal health functioning and it can affects the hormone secretion in our body, growth and even weight. Be it occasional trouble in sleeping or sleeping disorder, right treatment and better sleep can always help manage the condition. As per a study conducted in the year 2015, around 93 per cent of Indians are sleep deprived. Hectic schedule, stress and frustration leads to some or the other form of sleeping disorder.
Types of Sleep Disorder
Insomnia: The inability to remain sleep or fall asleep is known as insomnia. Jet lag, anxiety, depression and hormonal imbalance are few of the reasons that lead to insomnia. The issue is more prevalent among adults.
Sleep Apnea: Experiencing pauses in breathing while sleeping is called sleep apnea. The condition causes less oxygen intake by the body during sleep.
Restless Leg Syndrome: The urge to move your legs when you try to sleep is known as restless leg syndrome. It is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease.
Narcolepsy: When you feel extremely sleepy throughout the day and you fall asleep suddenly at unusual time is known as narcolepsy. It is a form of sleep attack which can occur at any point in the day.
Parasomnias: Experiencing abnormal behavior and movement while sleeping like sleepwalking, bedwetting, sleep talking and nightmares, it is known as parasomnias.
Symptoms of Sleeping Disorder
Depending on the kind and severity of the sleeping disorder people experience different symptoms which include:
- Feeling extremely sleepy during day time
- Anxiety and irritability
- Difficulty in concentration
- Falling asleep at unusual times
- Unusual breathing pattern
To diagnose sleep disorders the doctor might ask you about your sleeping patterns and symptoms basis which he may advise tests that include:
Genetic Blood Testing: To diagnose conditions like narcolepsy and other factors that might be the underlying reason of the disorder.
Polysomnography: To evaluate the oxygen level in your body and brain waves to determine the disorder.
Electroencephalogram: To assess electrical activity in the brain leading to the disorder.
Treatment of Sleep Disorder
Sleeping disorders can be managed to a great extent with combination of lifestyle changes and medicines. Depending on the underlying cause and type of the disorder the doctor might prescribe you sleeping pills, breathing device, melatonin supplements or medicines for the other underlying cause. While taking the medicines is important, bringing a change in your daily lifestyle plays an equivalent role. For instance, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, maintain your body weight, cut down your caffeine and alcohol intake, quit smoking and eat smaller meal before going to bed. Try to sleep and wakeup at the same time, even in the weekends.
Cognitive behavior therapy, continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP), positional therapy and at times surgery can also be effective towards sleep disorder treatment.