Sleep disorders are some of the most common conditions all across the world. A study conducted in India showed that about 1/5th of a healthy, productive age group of the Indian population had SRD or Sleep-Related Respiratory Disorders and about 30% of them suffered from occasional insomnia. Let us go through the types of sleep disorders and how you can address them.
Insomnia is the term that is used when a person experiences difficulty sleeping or trying to fall asleep or stay asleep. This is one of the types of sleep disorders which is very common. There are two kinds of insomnia.
- Transient insomnia is when a stressful situation happens and the person’s sleep gets affected. For example, losing a loved one. It could also happen due to jet lag or if you work shifts. Right now, many people may be experiencing stress because of COVID-19, and this may affect their sleep patterns.
- Chronic insomnia is when a person has difficulty falling asleep for at least a month. The person may get good sleep for a few nights and terrible sleep for some other nights.
Signs of insomnia could include the following-
- You experience restless sleep and you cannot get enough sleep to keep you refreshed for the day.
- You have difficulty sleeping even if you are tired
If you think that you are exhibiting the signs of insomnia, you must consult a psychiatrist. The treatment for Insomnia can include either medication prescribed by a psychiatrist, or non-medical techniques such as cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation techniques, etc.
In this disorder, your airways get blocked and therefore you are unable to breathe properly in your sleep. The signs of sleep apnea could include –
- Snoring loudly
- Waking up at night with a sore throat
- Waking up at night choking
- Feeling tired during the day
Treatment for a person who exhibits the signs of sleep apnea could include CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy which is a machine that is used to keep the person’s airways open, undergoing surgery, using a dental appliance, positional therapy, etc. ‘
This condition often leads you to fall asleep at any time, and it does not matter where you are. People experiencing this disorder are not able to regulate their wake and sleep cycle. The symptoms of narcolepsy include –
- Fall asleep without any warning
- If you feel drowsy during the day
- Experience temporary loss of muscle control that makes you feel weak
- Disturbed sleep at night
The first step to treating someone who shows the symptoms of narcolepsy is to contact a general physician so he or she can tell the patient what to do next, and so they can figure out how extreme your case is.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
RLS refers to an uncontrollable desire to move your legs when you are sleeping or resting. You could have RLS if you experience
- A strong urge to move your legs
- Crawling sensation or ache in your legs
- The symptoms mentioned above get worse at night
- Relief when you move or stretch
Medications and behavioral therapy are generally used to treat Restless Legs Syndrome, so it is important to reach out to the nearest doctor as soon as possible.
These disorders are very common and if you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms of these types of sleep disorders, there is no need to panic. The good news is that there is always help and many patients have overcome such disorders. To stay healthy and safe, you must contact the respective doctors to make sure your condition is treated before it gets worse.