Sleep disorders are a common problem– in fact, the National Sleep Foundation reported that over half of Americans have reported having mild to severe sleeping problems. Because National Sleep Awareness Week is this month, we are continuing a series of blog topics on sleep – after all, a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind healthy and happy.
With that in mind, today we’re breaking down three common sleep disorders that you can experience, and some treatment options for each one.
The most commonly reported sleep condition in the United States is insomnia. Typically, insomnia is thought of as the inability to sleep, but the term can actually refer to any situation in which a person cannot get the amount of sleep they need to be rested and alert.
Often, there are causes at the root of insomnia; the condition does not always exist in and of itself. Stress and restlessness can be major causes of insomnia. Insomnia can also be a symptom of a larger medical problem.
Try to identify what is contributing to your insomnia: are you stressed because of a major life change? Does your brain have trouble shutting down at night? If you aren’t able to identify the cause, and the problem persists, you should see a doctor to help you find the right course of action.
Sleep apnea often goes hand in hand with snoring, but it is a very serious condition and should be treated immediately. This disorder actually causes people to stop breathing while they sleep – the sleeper will actually wake up abruptly to breathe.
Not only is this condition dangerous, it can cause a lack of good rest – if you are consistently waking through the night to breathe properly, you aren’t getting the deep sleep your body needs, and you can be tired and have little energy throughout the day.
There are a number of ways sleep apnea can be treated – some you can do yourself. Quitting smoking, quitting drinking, and losing weight can all help reduce your sleep apnea. However, because of the nature of the condition, it is recommended you see a doctor and conduct a sleep study. There are several medical machines and treatments that can help you breathe normally during the night.
Last on our list is fibromyalgia – a common condition that causes stiffness and pain in muscles and joints.
Lack of sleep due to fibromyalgia is a cycle – pain keeps you from falling asleep, and a lack of good sleep makes your pain worse. Several studies have shown that, in sleep deprived subjects, pain tolerance lowered and discomfort increased.
On the flip side, treating your lack of sleep can help reduce pain overall. This is an issue to talk about with your doctor – but regular exercise, establishing a sleep pattern, avoiding naps, and relaxation exercises are all methods that will help you establish good sleeping habits and encourage sleep at night.
There are lot of things that can go wrong with sleep – but sleep is so important to helping us get our days right. If you are having trouble sleeping, its essential to see your doctor to see if you can pin down the problem. Once you’ve done that, there are a number of ways to help you get a great night’s sleep.