Different Types of Sleep Disorders and How to Treat Them

While catching up with family and associates over the weekend at your favorite joint for some grilled steak and booze can be healthy, it ceases to be if it becomes habitual. This is because, in addition to other health risks, it can put a toll on your sleep health.

Now, this is, of course not the only thing that can affect your sleep and create room for sleeping disorders. Sleep problems can be brought about by a wide range of factors, including physical disturbances, medical issues, environmental factors, and psychiatric challenges such as depression, stress, and anxiety.

Now, sometimes we deny the body the rest it deserves, forgetting that sleep can have a huge impact on mood, concentration, and energy levels. This is not to mention the long-term effects it can have on one’s overall health, relationships, and productivity at work.

The good thing is that most sleep disorders are treatable and curable. In this piece, we’ll take a look at different types of sleep disorders and how to treat them. Let’s begin with a brief description of what sleep disorders are.

What Are Sleep Disorders?

In a nutshell, a sleep disorder is a long-term condition that regularly affects your ability to have sound sleep at night. While some people experience sleep challenges occasionally, these do not amount to a sleep disorder until it becomes regular than usual.

In most cases, a sleep disorder will also interfere with your day-to-day life and may put a toll on your relationships, as well as your work life. Some of the most common sleep disorders and their treatments include the following:

1. Sleep Apnea

This is among the most common sleep disorders. It is characterized by bouts of breathing pauses as the airways become blocked and breathing is obscured during sleep. This causes less oxygen intake in the body, and the patient may wake up gasping or choking. Noisy snores are an added symptom of this condition.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Treatment:

There are various treatment options for sleep apnea. One of the most common options is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (CPAP), which opens your airways as you sleep. However, CPAP therapy is often expensive and for those with mild sleep apnea, a night guard device or sleep apnea mouthpiece is often a better alternative.

But even then, not all sleep apnea mouthpieces are the same. Some work better than others in terms of comfort, effectiveness, and ease of use. Of course, you want to look for more quality and a better mouthpiece, as these devices basically help to prevent snoring while keeping your airway open during sleep. Other treatment options include surgery, positional therapy, and weight management programs.

2. Insomnia

Insomnia is used to refer to sleep deficiency, where the person experiences difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. The condition can be short-term or long term, respectively known as acute/transient and chronic insomnia. Some common causes of insomnia include hormonal changes, poor sleep hygiene, medical conditions, and sleep schedule disruptions. While some take it lightly, recurrent insomnia is a real health problem. It can wreak havoc in one’s lifestyle and affect their overall wellness in many ways.

Insomnia Treatment

Insomnia Treatment:

Some common treatment options for insomnia include the following.

Medication – The doctor may prescribe some sleeping pills or antidepressants depending on your situation.

Diet – This includes avoiding large meals and beverages before sleep to eliminate the need for slumber breaks to visit the washroom. Substances such as caffeine and alcohol should be minimized and avoided before bed.

Sleep schedule consistency – This involves keeping a consistent sleep schedule, like sleeping and waking up at the same time every day.

3. Parasomnias

This is a disorder that causes abnormal movements and behaviors during sleep. These behaviors may include walking, talking, grinding teeth, and even bedwetting in your sleep. Treatments for parasomnias include behavioral therapy, medication, and home remedies.

4. Narcolepsy

Drowsiness during the day is common in many people but in the case of narcolepsy, it is more pronounced and can make you feeble to the point of collapsing. People with narcolepsy fall asleep without warning. Hallucinations may occur as you transition from wake to sleep and vice versa.

Narcolepsy Treatment:

Treatment for narcolepsy is often through medication and scheduled napping during the day.  Medications may include stimulants and drugs such as Xyrem to keep you awake during the day.

In addition to the above, other common sleep disorders include restless leg syndrome and REM sleep behavior disorder. The most important thing to note is that treatments vary greatly for these disorders. Instead of self-medicating with sleeping pills the next time you can’t sleep, you are advised to seek medical attention from an authorized physician.