Sleep Disorders and Treatment
Sleep disorders affect millions of Americans. Obstructive sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, and can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
Other disorders include insomnia, parasomnia, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy and night terrors. These conditions impact the quality of life leaving many people too tired to enjoy life during the day and often impacting other family members.
Below are a few of the common sleep disorders that impact quality of life.
- Sleep Apnea: Condition that is characterized by snoring, occasional periods of choking or gasping while sleeping and daytime sleepiness
- Narcolepsy: This condition is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness or falling asleep frequently without warning
- Insomnia: This condition is best described as having difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep or waking up too early
- Restless Leg Syndrome: RLS is associated with a frequent and intense urge to move one's legs due to unpleasant sensations while trying to sleep
- Periodic Limb Movement Disorder: This condition is described as involuntary kicking or jerking during sleep
- Parasomnias: Characteristics of this condition include night terrors, sleepwalking and teeth grinding
Dangers of Poor Sleep
Poor sleeping patterns not only degrade one's quality of life, but can pose serious medical risks.
- Contribute to cardiovascular problems
- Contribute to neurological problems
- Increase risk of stroke
- Increase risk of anxiety and depression
- Increase risk of obesity and diabetes
- Increase irritability and unhappiness
- Erode work performance
- Strain personal relationships
- Increase work-related accidents
- Increase automobile accidents
- Reduced libido
Benefits of Good Sleep
Sleep nourishes the body. Good sleep patterns are as essential to good health as exercise and proper nutrition.
- Strengthens the immune system
- Heals and rejuvenates the body
- Recharges the mind
- Benefits physical activity
- Improves learning and memory
- Aids sociability
- Fosters good emotional health and happiness
- Improves job functioning