Sleeping Disorders-What are they and how to Overcome them

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Sleeping disorders
Senior woman having sleep disorder, lying in bed

Sleeping disorders are conditions that cause people to sleep too much or too little. These sleeping disorders can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Here is a Complete Overview of sleeping disorders and numerous ways to tackle them.

There are two main categories of sleep disorders.

Insomnia

Insomnia is a condition in which an individual has difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early in the morning.

There are two types of Insomnia:

  • Primary Insomnia

It is the most common form of Insomnia. It is described as excessive wakefulness occurring at night and unable to fall asleep for more than 30 minutes after going to bed.

  • Secondary Insomnia

It occurs when there is an underlying medical cause such as depression, anxiety, or stress.

Parasomnias

Parasomnias are characterized by abnormal behaviors that occur during sleep. Parasomnias include hypnagogic hallucinations, nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep terrors, confusional arousals, restless leg syndrome, bruxism, and nocturnal enuresis. Nocturnal enuresis refers to involuntary urination during sleep. Other forms of parasomnias are not considered part of this discussion because they do not involve
behavioral abnormalities but rather physiological disturbances. They include narcolepsy, Kleine-Levin syndrome, REM behavior disorder, periodic limb movement disorder, and ideomotor seizures.

Parasomnias can be divided into three general groups:

  • Arousal symptoms
    Arousal disorders include sleepwalking, sleep terrors, and sleep-related confusional arousals.
  • Sleep-related eating and drinking
    Sleep-related eating and drinking include sleep-related chewing, snoring, and laughing/crying; these may be seen in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Sleep-related talking and moving.
    Sleep-related talking and moving include sleep talking, sleep talking and loud crying, sleep talking and kicking, and sleep talking and mouthing objects. It is important to note that many sleep problems also have other psychiatric conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and substance abuse.

If you think your child may have a sleep disorder, discuss this with your doctor. He will want to rule out any underlying causes before diagnosing your child. For example, if your child has asthma, he would like to make sure that the air quality in your home is safe. Once the cause is ruled out, he may suggest treatment options. Treatment for sleep disorders depends on the type of sleep problem.

Can children have sleeping Disorders?

Yes! A child with a sleeping disorder needs to see their pediatrician for evaluation. Your pediatrician can diagnose and prescribe a course of treatment.

How do you know if your child has a Sleeping Disorder?

If your child has been diagnosed with a sleeping disorder, chances are they have had sleep studies done to evaluate their sleep patterns. The asleep study measures things like:

• Amount of time spent sleeping

• Number of times woken up during the night

• How long it takes to go back to sleep after being awakened

• Heart rate and blood pressure before going to sleep

• Blood pressure and heartbeat throughout the night

These tests help rule out other medical causes of poor sleep. If you notice any changes in your Child’s behavior or mood, contact your doctor immediately.

How can you tell if your Child’s sleep issues are related to ADHD?

Children with ADHD often have sleep disturbances, especially during late adolescence and early adulthood. However, sleep problems may occur without an ADHD diagnosis. Children with ADHD are more likely to experience sleep problems than their peers without ADHD. Sleep problems in children and teens with ADHD affect daytime functioning, including attention, concentration, memory, and behavior. They may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. They may wake up frequently throughout the night and feel tired during the day.

What is the difference between a sleeping Disorder and Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when there is too much tissue in the throat blocking airflow while breathing. It happens because the tongue falls back into place and blocks the opening of the nose, causing snoring. When a person stops breathing for 15 seconds or more, oxygen levels drop, which affects the brain and other organs. Most people who have sleep apnea don’t know about it until they stop breathing repeatedly.

Sleeping disorders are also associated with obstructive sleep apnea. OSA occurs when the soft tissues in the upper airway collapse and block airflow. For example, if your tonsils fall and block your airways, you may develop sleep apnea. Because these conditions are linked, doctors will sometimes recommend surgery to remove parts of the jaw or tongue to improve airflow and reduce snoring.

How are the treatments proceeds in sleeping disorders?

The first step in treating a sleep disorder is to determine what the underlying cause is. This may require further testing. The next step is to treat the underlying cause. There are medications available that can help with some types of sleep disorders. Many children with ADHD have comorbid sleep problems, so medicine may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Following are Some Treatments that are used to treat sleep disorders

1)Pharmacologic treatments

Zolpidem

They are used for primary Insomnia. Zolpidem works by increasing levels of GABA in the brain. It is not effective in children younger than six years old.

Ambien

It is a short-acting sedative-hypnotic drug that helps people get to sleep and stay asleep. Do not use Ambien for more extended periods than recommended. Side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, dry mouth, blurred vision, and confusion. Ambien can only be prescribed by a physician and must be taken according to directions.

Clonidine

Clonidine belongs to a class of drugs called alpha agonists. Alpha agonists work by relaxing muscles, including blood vessels, lungs, heart, and GI tract. They are used for primary Insomnia. Clonidine may improve sleep in adults when given at bedtime.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the body. It plays a role in regulating sleep cycles. In most cases, melatonin should be discontinued before starting therapy with zolpidem or clonidine. If discontinuation of melatonin does not produce adequate improvement in sleep, then melatonin may be added to treatment regimens.

2) Nonpharmacologic Treatments:

Relaxation Exercises

Relaxation exercises can be done lying down or sitting up. Examples include progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing, guided visualizations, yoga, and tai chi.

Stress Management Techniques

Meditation, exercise, and yoga are examples of stress management techniques.

Light Exposure

Exposure to bright light in the morning promotes alertness. Bright lights are best avoided after dark and before bedtime.

Alcohol/Caffeine Withdrawal

Withdrawing alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants from your diet can help promote restful sleep.

3)Cognitive Behavior Therapy

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors. CBT is effective in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, pain, and OCD. CBT can help improve sleep patterns and manage Insomnia. However, CBT cannot cure an existing sleep condition. It is often combined with other therapies that address specific stress management techniques, relaxation exercises, mindfulness, and cognitive restructuring.

How can you solve my sleeping problem naturally?

1) Exercise

Try to get some exercise every day. Try walking or running for 20 minutes 3 days per week. You’ll find yourself feeling better and getting a good night’s sleep.

2) Diet

Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods high in fat and sugar.

3) Stress

If you’re stressed out, try to relax. Take time each day just for yourself. Go outside, listen to music, take a walk, meditate, play sports, read books, or do anything else that helps calm you down. Don’t let stress control your life. Instead, learn ways to cope with stressful situations so you can stay calm under pressure.

4) Sleep Hygiene
Make sure your bedroom is comfortable and quiet. Keep all electronic devices (including computers and smartphones) out of reach. Use blackout curtains to keep out natural light. If possible, use earplugs during loud nighttime activities like watching TV.

5) Relaxation Exercises

Progressive Muscle Relaxation: This technique involves tensing different muscles in sequence and then relaxing them one by one. It takes 5 to 10 minutes and can be practiced anywhere. The goal is to focus on tense body parts and release them slowly.

Conclusion

Therefore, being deprived of sleep is a medical condition, and we must look forward to eliminating these disorders and leading a peaceful life. One must always make sure that they take a good nap, especially children, and strive to eliminate these causes naturally.

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