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Alaska Sleep Education Center

Sleep Disorders: Symptoms and Causes

Posted by Sally Norton on Feb 20, 2019 11:15:00 AM

A good night`s sleep is what we all need if we are to be productive and energetic throughout the day. Sleeping is our body`s way to regenerate and recharge and to give us the fuel we need for surviving the day ahead of us.

Unfortunately, a lot of people experience different sleep disorders, which prevent them Sleep Disorders symptoms and causes (2)from getting the rest they need. For those uninformed, sleep disorders are the changes in the way we sleep, and they can have a detrimental effect on our overall health. A shocking fact is that 80 million American constantly struggle with sleep deprivation, which makes sleep disorders a dangerous enemy that needs to be defeated.

As a sleep clinic, we have dealt with numerous disorders. However, there are four that seem to be bothering an average American the most. We will describe them in detail.

Insomnia

Without a doubt, the most common sleep disorder is insomnia. Every person has experienced this type of sleep disorder at least once in a lifetime, as insomnia can develop due to many different factors. But, before we get to the causes, let`s first see what the symptoms are. Seek professional help if you experience some of the following symptoms on a regular basis. 

  • Having a lot of trouble falling asleep
  • Waking up throughout the night without any apparent reason
  • Feeling tired in the morning 
  • Waking up much earlier than planned

Constantly waking up before your alarm clock starts ringing is a sign of insomnia.

Moreover, it helps to know that there are two types of insomnia - primary Sleep Disorders symptoms and causes (1)insomnia and secondary insomnia. If you have secondary insomnia, it means that your sleep disorder is connected to some other medical condition, such as depression. If you have primary insomnia, it means that there are other causes that are influencing your quality of sleep. 

  • Experiencing a lot of stress on a daily basis, coming from different sources
  • Outside factors like noise and light
  • Medication that you are taking
  • Changes in your sleep pattern, such as jet lag

Usually, the most common cause of insomnia is stress. We are surrounded by it constantly, so it is no wonder that we have problems getting the recommended eight hours of sleep. Besides, stress can come from almost every aspect of our lives, such as our jobs, divorce, moving to another state - you name it.

So, what are you supposed to do? For starters, you are supposed to relax. Yes, you can have an enjoyable and stress-free long distance relocation, you just have to try. And yes, divorce is hard on anyone, but perhaps you can look at it as a new beginning. Try to find the positive side to everything you do, and you will have a lot fewer problems falling asleep at night. 

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Disorders symptoms and causes (3)Sleep apnea is the second most widespread sleeping disorder which affects nearly 20 million Americans. What makes sleep apnea so dangerous is the fact that a person may not even be aware they suffer from it, at least not until it starts doing some serious damage, which it can. If you leave your sleep apnea untreated, there will come nights when you may stop breathing for over one hundred times per night, which will leave your brain deprived of oxygen.

Therefore, in case you have a snoring spouse, don`t discard it so lightly. Your significant other could be suffering from one of the most common and dangerous sleeping disorders. If you experience any or all of the following symptoms, seek medical attention.

Snoring is an indicator of a lot of sleep disorders. Watch out for changes in the sleeping pattern of your significant other.

  • Waking up during the night and feeling a choking sensation
  • Feeling sleepy and forgetful
  • Waking up with a sore throat
  • Having mood changes and morning headaches

Restless leg syndrome

Do you know that feeling when you are falling asleep and suddenly your leg, or your whole body twitches? That is just another normal day in the life of the people that suffer from RLS. Even though restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder, it is classified as a sleeping disorder, as well. The constant twitching of your leg disables you from falling and staying asleep. Moreover, RLS usually occurs at night or when you are inactive, and when your body is resting. The most common symptoms of RLS include: 

  • An irresistible need to move
  • Throbbing and itching sensations in the leg
  • Ceasing of all the symptoms in the early morning hours

Usually, the only thing that may help RLS symptoms is a gentle massage or some sort of physical activity. Unfortunately, these two provide temporary relief only.

A brisk walk may keep your RLS in check.

Narcolepsy is one of the most severe sleep disorders

The first thing you need to know about narcolepsy is that it is a neurological disorder. A person that has narcolepsy has troubles controlling their sleeping cycle. What makes narcolepsy so dangerous is the fact that people suffering from it can involuntarily fall asleep at any given moment. This is called a `sleep attack`. 

Sleep Disorders symptoms and causes (4)Arguably, narcolepsy can be life-threatening. If you fall asleep while behind the wheel, there is no telling what may happen. Besides, people suffering from this sleeping disorder often find it hard to get regular employment and they face a lot of financial problems. It helps to know that, if you are suffering from narcolepsy, you may be able to qualify for social security disability benefits, and at least get some money for all the trouble you are going through. And, you are going through a lot, as symptoms of narcolepsy include: 

  • Sleep paralysis 
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Cataplexy
  • Hallucinations

Glancing at these symptoms for a moment gives you a clue as to why narcolepsy is one of the most dangerous sleep disorders. If you suffer from any of the disorders mentioned above, you should make sure you get some help. Moreover, if you suspect you may have one or more of these sleeping disorders, make sure you get tested. There is never any harm in checking. 

Do you or a loved one suffer from sleep apnea? Don’t hesitate to contact Alaska Sleep Clinic today for your free consultation. Are you ready to get on the road to better sleep and better health all around? Alaska Sleep Clinic is ready to help you improve your sleep AND your life.

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Topics: insomnia, Narcolepsy, sleep disordered breathing

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