Sleep disorders are characterized by disruptions in the sleep patterns in a number of ways and from different causes. The following are some of the more common types that are diagnosed
Insomnia is the condition wherein the individual experiences sleeplessness in many ways, such as trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or not being able to remain asleep for the desired period. This problem can arise from any cause like lifestyle habits, using certain medications, physical health issues, and also psychological conditions.
Insomnia may be short-term or long-term, but it results in experiencing daytime sleepiness, stress, difficulty in focusing, fatigue, depression, mood swings, and also the increased risk of motor accidents.
Treatment is usually provided by identifying the cause and providing the remedy for that, along with using sleep medications and making lifestyle changes to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Behavioral therapy and other restorative methods can also help manage insomnia, though it may take some time to fully overcome the problem
This is a type of sleep disorder that is deemed to be neurological. This condition involves the inability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Individuals with narcolepsy tend to experience extreme daytime sleepiness and fall asleep at any place and time. Even with sufficient hours of sleep at night, the quality would be poor and leave the person feeling groggy the next day. The exact cause of narcolepsy is not known but medical researchers have linked the cause to the loss of orexin-releasing neurons and also to genetics.
Narcolepsy does not have a cure but can be managed with medications and also lifestyle changes. Sleep medications and wakefulness-promoting drugs are immensely useful in regulating the sleep-wake cycle that is disrupted. The healthcare provider also works with the patient for using non-medication treatment methods that can help control daytime sleepiness and promote good quality of sleep at night
Sleep apnea is yet another common sleep disorder. This condition is characterized by pauses in breathing or going to phases of shallow breathing while asleep. These pauses are often followed by loud snoring that could begin with either a snorting or choking sound. This type of sleep disorder results in the sleep quality is poor and then makes the person feel fatigue or excessive sleepiness in the daytime.
Sleep apnea can be of three types – obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, or a combination of the two. The diagnosis is made by studying the overnight sleep patterns and if at least five episodes per hour are recorded.
It is important to seek treatment for sleep apnea and also reduce the associated risk factors as it could lead to other health complications. Treatment depends on the severity of the problem with medications, lifestyle changes, breathing devices, and even surgery if necessary.