Sleeping Disorders: Causes and Prevention
Sleep according to Wikipedia is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muses during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and reduced interactions with surroundings.
It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli but is more reactive than a coma or disorders of consciousness with sleep displaying different, active brain patterns. Simply, sleep is a natural state of rest in which your eyes are closed and your body and mind are inactive.
Definition of terms
The disorder is a deviation from the normal.
A sleeping Disorder is a situation in which a person finds it difficult to sleep at the appropriate time. Furthermore, the American Psychiatric Association defines sleep disorder as the problems with the quality, timing and amount of sleep which result in daytime distress and impairment in functioning.
Importance of sleep
2. It helps the brain to function well.
2. Sleep helps man to rest from the activities of the day.
3. It reduces tiredness and weakness of the body.
4. It helps in recovering from sickness rapidly.
5. It prevents pains in the head.
6. It restores the muscles back to the best position after the day’s activity.
Symptoms of sleep disorder can be caused by the following: abnormal weight gain for some people, tiredness in the day, decrease in productivity, finding it difficult to sleep and stay asleep, restlessness while sleeping, loss of concentration, depression, etc.
Causes of sleep disorder
Sleep disorders can be triggered by sickness especially those that are accompanied by pains (arthritis, typhoid fever, ulcer, and so on), frequent urinating, respiratory problem(when you cannot breathe very well through the nose, sleeping becomes difficult). Cold or cattarh can also make sleeping difficult. Ageing is another factor that causes sleep disorders. Alcohol can make sleeping difficult.
Types of Sleeping Disorder
(a) Parasomnias: This is the abnormal movement of the body parts as well as unusual behaviour that takes place while sleeping. Examples of parasomnia are sleepwalking, sleep talking, groaning, urinating on the bed otherwise known as bedwetting, clenching of the jaws, and reoccurring nightmares.
(b) Insomnia: This is when someone finds it difficult to fall asleep and remain asleep. Here the person wakes up early. Insomnia can be caused by anxiety, stress, overthinking, and digestive issues. It makes one fall into depression. Insomnia that occurs at a stretch in a month can be referred to as chronic insomnia.
(c) Hypersomnia: This is when one oversleeps in the daytime but does not sleep at night. Such a person can sleep while driving, eating, sitting, etc. It can be very dangerous.
(d) Sleep Apnea: It is a situation that prevents the body from taking in enough oxygen thereby causing an unnecessary pause in breathing while sleeping. Apnea can be obstructive when the supply of oxygen is interrupted because the airways are too narrow or obstructed. It can be central when there is a disconnection between the nerves that control breathing in the brain.
(e) Narcolepsy: It is a kind of paralysis because the body is unable to move during and after sleep. It also means falling asleep without any warning. It could be a sign of a disorder in neurological functions. Narcolepsy is said to be genetic.
How to deal with a sleeping disorder
There are medications that are usually given in the treatment of sleep disorders but it must be taken at the doctor’s prescription. Because the prescription given depends on the type of disorder experienced.
Aside from taking medications, there are some useful tips that would enhance sleeping well.
* Create a conducive environment: Most people find it difficult to sleep in a noisy environment while others do not. So make sure the environment suits your body.
* Turn off the light if you can’t sleep well with the light on and turn on the light if you can sleep with the light on.
* Program your mind towards sleeping.
* Rake all negative thoughts out of your mind.
* Turn off the television.
* Take a warm bath which will get the body relaxed.
* You can listen to a calm and soothing song.
* Treat any health issue that might hinder sleeping well.
* Avoid drinking too much water before going to bed. This will help reduce urinating frequently during sleep.
* Reduce alcohol intake and drinks that contain caffeine.