Sleeping Disorders


I am going to start by telling you what a sleeping disorder is. A
sleeping disorder is a problem that affects something to do with sleep. Not all
sleeping disorders have symptoms that are obvious to a person or their family
and friends, here are some common sleep disorders.

- Insomnia - Sleep Apnea - Narcolepsy - Restless Leg Syndrome - Parasomnia
- Bruxism - Jet Lag - Shiftwork

I will be discussing the sleeping disorders listed above and what
symptoms they can cause.

Insomnia is a chronic sleeping disorder in which it is very difficult to
start and continue sleeping. One of the other symptoms of insomnia that is most
recognized is waking up repeatedly in the middle of the night. Lack of sleep
leads to two other things, daytime fatigue and restlessness. These are bad on
the job and at school while doing tests or other important work.

The amount of sleep that each person needs to feel alert during the day
varies. If you have a night of sleep which is much less than the amount of
sleep you need, then you will more than likely feel quite sleepy the next day.
Thirty-three percent of adults in America have a case of insomnia at least once
in their life. Most cases only last one or two nights, but insomnia can
continue for weeks or possibly even months.

There have only been three standard types of insomnia that have been
identified by doctors. They are as follows:

- Transient insomnia is considered a few sleepless nights that is usually
brought on by stress, excitement, or environmental changes. A person could have
trouble sleeping the evening before a big meeting or shortly after a breakup or
a fight with his girlfriend. - Short-term insomnia is usually two or three
weeks of poor sleep caused by continual stress at work or at home, as well as
medical and psychiatric illnesses. Eliminating the source of the stress usually
takes care of the irregular sleep patterns - Chronic insomnia is considered
poor sleep that lasts two weeks or longer. It can possibly be related to
medical, behavioral, or psychiatric problems. Usually poor sleep leads to
decreased feelings of well-being. Chronic insomnia can usually recur.

If difficulty sleeping was the only problem with insomnia, then it
wouldn\'t be so bad. Some of the other problems it can cause is anxiety in
noticeably impaired concentration and memory. To keep episodes of insomnia at a
minimum, sleep specialists recumbent practicing good sleep hygiene.

There is another sleeping disorder called Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is
not really problems with going to sleep, it is more dealing with problems while
you are sleeping. Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea include

- loud or irregular snoring - excessive daytime sleepiness - repeated nightly
arousals - non-refreshing sleep - morning headache - nightly periodic absent
breathing

Loud snoring at night can be more than just a nuisance. It can actually
signal to you that something could be wrong with breathing during sleep. In
most cases, there are no serious medical consequences associated with snoring.
But for about 20 million Americans, this loud, habitual snoring can indicate a
life-threatening disorder know as sleep apnea. An apnea is actually a lack of
breath.

For most people during sleep, it is normal for the breathing muscles to
relax. The problem is, for some people, excessive muscle relaxation occurs
which disrupts breathing. Disordered breathing during sleep also can occur if
the brain stops sending the needed messages to the breathing muscles. In either
case, the presence of apnea should be taken seriously.

Sleep apnea is more common in middle-aged men and overweight people.
People with sleep apnea often complain of insomnia or excessive daytime
sleepiness. Waking up with headaches is another symptom of sleep apnea. So is
impaired memory and concentration. Problems arising from sleep apnea can
include heart and lung disease, and can also cause heart failure in severe cases.


There are three typical forms of sleep apnea, with varying degrees of
respiratory movements.

- Obstructive Apnea is the most common and severe form. It is associated with
an upper airway obstruction and a loss of airflow even though the respiratory
muscles are active. When muscles of the soft palate at the base of the tongue
and uvula relax and sag, the block the airway and cause loud, labored breathing.
When breathing stops, pressure builds up until the sleeper lets out a gasp for
air. Each gasp causes a mini-awakening. People with obstructive apnea can stop
breathing for 10 seconds or more, several hundred times a night. Snoring is
present. - Central Apnea is when the airway remains open