Sleep Disorders: an Overview
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When we think about sleep disorders most of us think about having trouble falling asleep, the typical tossing and turning while staring at the alarm clock as minutes tick relentlessly by. Yet, there are other diverse, yet annoying sleep disorders that may affect many people trying to catch some zzzs before heading to work. Following are some sleep disorders explained and their possible causes.
-You wake up in the middle of the night
You fall asleep soundly upon hitting the pillow but then every morning at 2 AM you find yourself tossing and turning unable to fall asleep again. This annoying problem may simply be a case of insomnia but often there may e an underlying problem keeping you awake such as acid reflux, trouble breathing, restless leg syndrome or worries that seem to be worse in the middle of the night.
Often, people wake up in the night look at their alarm clock and are so worried about trying to fall asleep again that they are unable to sleep from simply thinking about sleeping. They typically will stare the alarm clock and grow worried as they notice that it is 200 AM, then 215 AM, finally 230 AM and they are still wide awake.
If this is the scenario, turn your clock facing the other way before bedtime. Avoid any caffeinated drinks after lunch each day. Try to limit your water intake before bedtime so to reduce your nightly trips to the bathroom. Avoid also exercising 2-3 hours prior to bedtime. If you find yourself up for a long time in the night, grab a book and put the lights low. Look for a relaxing book with nothing too engaging and then try to sleep again once your eyes grow tired.
-Your legs tingle or ache
You feel like twitching your legs often, sometimes even every 30 seconds and this interferes substantially on your quality of sleep. The condition is known as restless leg syndrome, often abbreviated as RLS . Fortunately, there are medications which can be prescribed to relieve the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.
-A painful headache wakes you up
Often the cause of those night time headaches can be related to teeth grinding a condition known as Bruxism. The continuous teeth grinding which affects individuals affected by bruxism is known to cause facial pain, jaw misalignment, damaged teeth and tension headaches. Mouth guards are helpful in preventing tooth damage while relaxation techniques may help ease the stress which is a known culprit of bruxism.
-You visit the rest room too often
While drinking less may reduce the occurrence of visiting the loo too often, there are some medical conditions that may be causing your night time bathroom habits. You may want to rule out diabetes, an over active bladder and if you are a man over 50 you may want to have your prostate checked out.
-You wake up soaking in sweat
You wake up in the night and your night gown is soaked in sweat and you did not have a bad dream. The causes of this may be various: you may be sleeping in a warm room, you may be going through menopause or you may suffer from sleep apnea. It is highly recommended to let your doctor know about this issue as there may be rare, yet possible, underlying causes as well such as heart disorders, thyroid problems or even tuberculosis or cancer.
-You snore terribly loudly and wake up tired
You may be suffering from sleep apnea especially if you are over weight, if your neck circumference is on the large size, if your spouse complaints about your snoring or if you wake up unexplainably tired every morning. Sleep apnea may be effectively diagnosed by spending the night at a sleep lab and treatment mainly consists of using a device that delivers oxygen. Because of potential risks involved with suffering from sleep apnea (sleep apnea has also caused death) it is imperative to see a doctor right away.
As seen, there are various conditions and causes that may be causing lack of sleep. If you or your spouse are suffering from some form of insomnia or sleep disorder consult with a doctor so that you have ruled out the most serious underlying health conditions first.
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