Sleep related disorders are very pervasive medical issues that have an effect on millions of individuals every year. While several people experience this as mild sleeping trouble, like occasional nightmares, others have very severe disorders that may negatively affect their well-being if not treated at the earliest. In reality, 95% of persons suffering from sleep related problems remain undiagnosed. This shocking number denotes that plenty of people are not getting the appropriate advice or medication that they need, which put them in the risk of damaging their health permanently.
A. Lack of sleep: In some instances in life, people are likely to experience a myriad of symptoms from insufficient sleep. However, lifestyle, work demands as well as family responsibilities can keep them from getting enough sleep; a constant lack of sleep may cause or worsen conditions like depression, heart ailments and hypertension. Common signs of insufficiency of sleep include fatigue, irritability and blurry vision.
A.1 Bedtime Procrastination: Lack of sleep is commonly understood to be caused by brain chemical imbalances or anxiety. But what is not discussed often enough is the modern issue of postponement of pillow time usually due to the constant availability of entertainment like video games, Netflix, Snapchat, etc. The associated dopamine rush of consuming content on our mobile phones can lead to bedtime procrastination tendencies thereby leading to a lack of sleep and its associated symptoms.
A.2 Social Jetlag: When there is constant misalignment of sleep patterns, social jetlag takes hold again leading to a lack of sleep or sleep that is poor in quality. Our current lifestyle format of 5 days working with 2 days as a weekend usually lead to people messing up their sleep schedule by sleeping extremely late on weekend nights. A night out partying on Friday will lead people to catch up on all the fun they’ve missed out on during the week by staying up late. The common thought is to “sleep in” the following morning. What happens in actuality is similar to experiencing the symptoms of jetlag on a regular basis. The body has no way to re balance its normal circadian rhythm and sleep issues ensue.
Both sleep issues A1 & A2 above are less understood with few cures and information. They are commonly not thought of as direct causes for their effects like depression, anxiety and fatigue. It’s become all too easy to dismiss sleep issues under the blanket term insomnia that is commonly only treated with medication and cognitive therapy. If the underlying cause of bedtime procrastination is addressed, in many cases, insomnia itself can become a thing of the past without the need for using any medication.
B. Excessive sleep: Even though several persons suffer from sleeping problems that avoid them staying and falling asleep, some selected group of people actually sleep way too much. Hypersomnia is excessive sleep clinically described as getting sleep of more than ten hours every night but still suffering from daytime sleepiness.
While the specific causes of too much sleep differ with every individual case, mostly, treatments for the sleeping problem involves in making changes in lifestyle. People who suffer from hypersomnia tend to be dismissed as being lazy but medication, psychological issues, thyroid problems, auto immune disorders and even food allergies can cause hypersomnia. One of the rarer problems to be encountered, I’d always recommend starting with a blood test to determine if things like vitamin levels and thyroid hormone levels are up to scratch. Then I’d look into whether an auto immune disorder or lupus is at play.
C. Interrupted Sleep: Any condition wherein your sleep does not go along a regular sleep cycle or does not remain in one of the sleep phases for sufficient sleep is an interrupted sleep problem. Those who suffer disrupted sleep have a tendency to not only get less sleep but also not to have deep enough sleep. Unluckily, this frequently denotes that people do not reach the exact levels of needed rest to be regarded as restorative sleep.
D. Children and Sleep Disorders: The diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in kids is particularly hard due to the fact that children not only have a tendency to be less liable describe accurately their sleep related symptoms but they also experience broad, vague signs of sleep disorders that are hard to detect. Likewise, kids have more active brains and arguably need more sleep than adults do due to their developmental phases. A broader range of sleep disorders can be seen in children including nightmares, night terrors and bed wetting.
E. Women and Sleep: Women like men also experience sleep chaos for universal reasons but it is estimated that women are two times more probable to suffer from a sleep disorder as compared to men possibly due to the delicate balance of hormones in a woman’s body. Bedtime procrastination and social jetlag are on the rise as lifestyle related conditions in women however and the reasons for these illnesses differ slightly from men but are fundamentally the same. Social media, mobile phones & tablets go beyond temptation to the point of subtle addictions in women leading to disrupted sleep patterns and insomnia.