Sleep Disorders

1 What are Sleep Disorders?

Sleep disorders are abnormal changes in sleep patterns or habits.

While stress might be a cause of sleep disorders there exists several other reasons for the development of sleep disorders.

Pineal gland is responsible for sleep wake cycle it secretes hormones which mediate sleep.

Sleep disorder may affect overall health, safety and quality of life.

Adequate rest to our body is required for normal functioning of daily processes.

With accurate diagnosis, doctors can treat most sleep disorders.


2 Symptoms

Sleep disorders manifest themselves through many signs and symptoms.

Some of them include:

  • irritable feeling,
  • trouble controlling emotions,
  • tiredness,
  • low energy levels,
  • difficulty falling asleep,
  • difficulty staying in sleep,
  • waking during the night,
  • difficulties in concentrating.

3 Causes

Sleep disorders may be caused by various factors. Although causes may differ, the end result of all sleep disorder is disturbances in body natural sleep wake cycle.

Some of the factors that cause sleep disorders include:

  • physical disturbances such as pain during ulcers,
  • respiratory problems such as asthma,
  • psychiatric disorders (depression and anxiety),
  • stress can also play a major role in sleep disorders,
  • genetics in case of narcolepsy play a major role in sleep disorders,
  • working at night,
  • many drugs as a side effect cause insomnia (sleep disorder),
  • aged people experience sleep disorders over 65 years.

4 Making a Diagnosis

Diagnosis of sleep disorders will start with physical examination to gather information about symptoms and medical history. Various tests will also be conducted such as:

  • Polysomnography: A sleep study that evaluates oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves to determine how they disturb sleep.
  • Electroencephalogram: A tests which assess the electrical activity of brain and can demonstrate any abnormal sleep patterns.
  • Blood testing: Commonly to diagnose narcolepsy and underlying health condition which might be the reason of sleep disorder.

5 Treatment

Treatment of sleep disorders can vary depending on the ongoing pathological process.

Some of the following medicines are used to test sleep disorders:

  • Sleeping pills,
  • melatonin supplements,
  • allergy or sold medication,
  • medications for any underlying health issues,
  • breathing device for sleep apnea,
  • a dental guard for teeth binding. 

6 Prevention

To prevent sleep disorders following things must be done:

  • sleeping at proper time (early to bed and to wake up early),
  • meditation will help relieve stress and will prevent sleep disorders
  • stop drug therapy which can disturb sleep wake cycle,
  • performing adequate physical exercise and yoga will help prevent sleep wake disorders. 

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

Several alternative and homeopathic remedies exist for sleep disorders. These include:

  • Awareness breathing: Try to keep narrow range of thought s before sleeping. Try to concentrate on each and every breath this will induce sleep faster, take slow and steady-deep-breaths focusing on inhale and exhale rhythm.
  • Yoga: A lot of researches have shown the correlation between yoga and insomnia and people with practicing yoga who are ill with insomnia have shown the signs of relief.
  • Aromatherapy: Sometimes good smell can induce sleep.
  • Total darkness: Keeping the room completely dark while sleeping will help to get sleep.
  • Meditation: It will relieve signs of stress and discomfort hence will induce sleep.
  • Warm bath: It is believed that a warm bath before going to bed will induce sleep.
  • Sound therapy: Some people find it easy to sleep in the presence of very low pitched music.

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Some of the following lifestyle changes must be done in order to improve sleep disorders:

  • incorporating more vegetables into food and reducing sugar intake,
  • reducing stress and anxiety by physical exercise,
  • cresting and following proper sleep schedule,
  • limiting intake of certain substances which are psychomotor stimulants,
  • drinking less water before bedtime,
  • decreasing tobacco and alcohol abuse.

Coping from sleep disorders requires frequent consultation with doctor, meeting people with sleep disorders to share experiences and reduce stress.

9 Risks and Complications

There are several risks and complications associated with sleep disorders.

Some of the following risk factors are responsible for development of sleep disorders:

  • Working at night: People who work at night have higher risk of disturbances in sleep wake cycle and develop sleep disorders.
  • Antidepressants: People who consume drugs such as antidepressants can develop sleep disorders.
  • Age: People over the age of 65 years are more prone to develop sleep disorders.

Complications are as follows:

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