Sleep troubles are often a result of stress, a hectic schedule, or other sleep disorders and medical conditions that can cause changes in the way you sleep. Continuous sleep disturbances can have a negative impact on your general health, safety, and quality of life. For example, sleep deprivation can impair your thinking abilities and increase your chances of getting health issues.
Excessive daytime sleepiness, uneven breathing, or increased movement during sleep are some of the symptoms of sleep disorders. An inconsistent sleep and waking cycle, as well as difficulties falling asleep, are further indications that something is wrong.
There are numerous types of sleep problems. They are frequently classified by how and why they occur or how they can affect you. Sleep disorders can also be classified based on habits, issues with your natural sleep-wake cycles, respiratory issues, difficulties sleeping, or how sleepy you feel during the day.
Examples of Sleep Disorders
The following are some examples of common sleep disorders:
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which you have difficulties falling or staying asleep all through the night.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which you have irregular breathing patterns while sleeping. Sleep apnea can be classified into numerous categories.
RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome) is asleep movement disorder. It is also known as Willis-Ekbom illness, which is characterized by an unpleasant feeling and an urge to move the legs when attempting to sleep.
Narcolepsy is a condition characterized by excessive tiredness throughout the day and falling asleep unexpectedly.
There are numerous methods for diagnosing sleep disorders. However, most sleep disorders can only be adequately treated by doctors once they have been correctly diagnosed.
Many people can regain undisturbed sleep by changing their sleep patterns and addressing any concerns that may be causing their sleeping problems. If these measures do not improve relaxation and sleep, your doctor may offer cognitive behavioral therapy, medications, or both.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) helps you regulate or remove negative thoughts and behaviors that keep you awake and is often suggested as the first line of treatment for people who have insomnia. CBT-I is typically as effective or even more effective than sleep medicines.
The cognitive component of CBT-I enables you to identify and change thoughts that interfere with the ability to sleep. It can assist you in controlling or eliminating unpleasant thoughts and worries that keep you up at night. It may also entail breaking the loop of worrying that much about going back to sleep that you can't fall asleep.
CBT-I's component assists you in developing excellent sleep patterns and avoiding behaviors that prevent you from sleeping soundly. Among the strategies are:
- Stimulus Control Therapy. This strategy assists in the removal of factors that condition your mind to oppose sleep. For example, you may be encouraged to establish a consistent bedtime and waking time, avoid naps, use the bed exclusively for sleep, and leave the bedroom if you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, only returning when you're drowsy.
- Sleep Deprivation. This therapy reduces the amount of time you spend in bed and discourages daytime naps, resulting in sleep deprivation, which leaves you tired the next night. Once your sleep is improved, you can progressively increase the amount of time you spend in bed.
- Light Therapy. If you fall asleep and then wake up too early, you can use light to reset your internal clock. For example, you can use a lightbox or go outside at times of the year when it is light out in the evenings. Consult your doctor for recommendations.
- Remaining Passively Awake. This therapy for learned insomnia, also known as paradoxical intention, aims to reduce worry and anxiety about being able to sleep by getting into bed and attempting to stay awake instead of expecting to fall asleep.
- Relaxation Techniques. Techniques for relaxation can be reduced during bedtime by using progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, and breathing techniques. Practicing these strategies can help you relax by allowing you to control your breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and mood.
Your doctor may recommend other strategies related to your lifestyle and sleep environment to help you build habits that support sound sleep and daytime alertness.
Prescription sleeping drugs can assist you in falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Doctors normally do not recommend taking prescription sleeping pills for more than a few weeks, but few drugs are approved for long-term usage.
Prescription sleeping pills may cause daytime drowsiness and increase the risk of fall accidents. Moreover, they may become habit-forming, so it’s important to check with a doctor about these prescriptions and their potential adverse effects. If you want to save more on these prescription medications, use the BuzzRx App to find up to 80% savings on your meds at pharmacies near you.
Sleep disorders are not deadly, but they can negatively affect your quality of life, impairing your thinking, productivity, mental health, and overall physical health. If you're having trouble sleeping, don't be afraid to consult your doctor. Good sleep is essential for your health. Hence, follow your healthcare provider's advice and practice proper sleep hygiene.