It is necessary to get adequate sleep. Inadequate sleep affects a person's mood, energy, and concentration through the day. When it prevails for a longer period of time, it aggravates stress, depression, anxiety, as well as cause poor health and impairs overall performance, both at work and at home.
If you are currently suffering from insomnia or other sleeping disorder, you are not alone. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, at least 40 million Americans suffer from long term or chronic sleep disorders while some 20 to 30 million experience intermittent sleep problems.
There are various types of sleep disorder.
Insomnia — the most prevalent sleep disorder, insomnia is the complaint of not getting sufficient sleep. Insomnia is not dependent on the number of sleep or how long it takes for a person to fall or stay sleep but the overall quality of sleep.
Symptoms of insomnia
· Difficulty staying and falling asleep
· Frequent waking up in the middle of the night
· Feeling angry and restless before going to sleep
· Waking up tired or restless
· Fragmented and light sleep
Sleep apnea is caused by a blockage in the upper airways, making it difficult for the afflicted person to breathe while sleeping. Severe sleep apnea can be life threatening as it interferes regular breathing and limit the oxygen in the system. Most people may not be aware that they already have sleep apnea as they do not remember the cause of their awakenings.
· Waking up with headaches, chest pain, nasal congestion, dry throat, shortness of breath
· Waking up tired and restless even though you think you have sufficient sleep
These are symptoms to watch out for if you suspect you have sleep apnea. The person sleeping next to you may recognize the following symptoms of sleep apnea while you are sleep.
· Loud and chronic snoring
· Snorting, choking, or gasping for breath during sleep
· Frequent breathing pushes during sleep
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, consult with a doctor immediately to get immediate relief.
People with narcolepsy fall sleep involuntarily during daytime. Narcolepsy makes people feel drowsy and sleepy even in the most severe circumstances and environment. If you have narcolepsy, you can fall sleep while talking, eating, or even while driving. It is considered a life-threatening condition as afflicted individuals never know when they will fall sleep.
· Start to have dreams right after falling asleep
· Losing control of muscles when you're angry, happy, or experiencing strong emotions
· Hearing or seeing things when you are drowsy
· Moving difficulties when waking up after a sleep attack
Restless leg syndrome or RLS
A difficult syndrome to diagnose, RLS occurs while lying down or resting. Individual with RLS often feel uncomfortable within the legs and experience strong urge to move due to tingly and creeping sensations.
· Irresistible urge to move the legs while resting
· Recurring jerking and cramping of legs during sleep
· Creeping sensations gets worse at night
The abovementioned sleep disorders need medications and proper diagnosis and treatment from sleep doctors. While insomnia can be treated by certain lifestyle changes and medications, the other three disorders need specialized treatment to restore the quality of sleep and life.