Sleep is one of our basic human needs. Proper sleep is critical to many health aspects including our hormone levels, maintaining a good mood, and even weight management. However, not everyone can achieve good and sound sleep on their own. There are sleep disorders, a group of conditions that impair the ability to sleep well regularly, which negatively affect many people’s sleep. These sleep disorders can impact how you function during the day as well as at night. Whether caused by a health problem, stress, or an unhealthy lifestyle, sleep disorders are significant health issues.
Here are 5 major sleep disorders:
1. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
RLS is a condition that causes your legs to move or shake because of an unpleasant sensation. It usually happens during nighttime when you sleep, which makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep. RLS can occur at any age, although it is commonly observed in adults and gets worse with age.
You probably have had nights when you could not fall asleep, no matter how desperately you tried or how exhausted you are. If this happens to you often, insomnia might be the reason. It is a condition defined as difficulty in falling or staying asleep. There are two classifications of insomnia, acute and chronic. Acute insomnia is short-term and can be caused by jetlag due to international travel or a traumatic experience. Chronic insomnia is long-term and lasts for more than a month.
The following are other causes of insomnia:
- Certain medications
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Nicotine use
- Mental problems, such as depression
- Unpleasant sleeping environments
3. REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD)
REM sleep behavior disorder is a condition in which a person acts their dream out, whether it’s a simple, dramatic, or violent dream. People with RBD lack the state of paralysis we normally experience during the REM phase of our sleep. Thus, allowing them to move their limbs and act out their dreams. REM can cause disturbance to others in the home. It also serves as a danger to the person with the condition, as they can get up and move around without being aware.
4. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea happens when your breathing is interrupted while sleeping, which causes you to wake up suddenly. If you have this condition, you may either be taking pauses while breathing or be releasing shallow breaths. Those who have this condition repeatedly stop breathing during sleep. When left unchecked, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and heart attack. It also reduces your sleep quality.
The following are three types of this condition:
- Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway is blocked when the muscles in your throat relax.
- Central sleep apnea works the opposite way. Your airway functions properly, but it is your brain that fails to tell the body to breathe.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Narcolepsy refers to excessive daytime sleepiness or drowsiness that cannot be controlled. People with this condition tend to suffer from sudden attacks of sleep at random moments during the day – even while operating machinery or working. Regardless of the circumstance, people with narcolepsy find it difficult to stay awake, and it can cause disturbances and interruptions in your commitments.
Sleep Disorder Management in Irmo, South Carolina
Sleep is critical to our wellbeing because it helps us relax and recharge for the day ahead. If you are having trouble getting sleep, talk to a doctor today.
At SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, we provide our patients medical care for all types of conditions, including sleep disorders. Our physicians can help you get the good night’s sleep you deserve. To make an appointment, please call us at (803) 749-1111.