We have been reviewing how we worry, and now we are going to look at some of the things that can get impacted when we are feeling this way. Sleep is one of them, and if we don’t sleep, this can have such a negative impact on how we feel.
Sleep is one of our basic human needs. Proper sleep is critical to many health aspects including our hormone levels, maintaining a good mood, and even weight management. However, not everyone can achieve good and sound sleep on their own. There are sleep disorders, a group of conditions that impair the ability to sleep well regularly, which negatively affect many people’s sleep. These sleep disorders can impact how you function during the day as well as at night. Whether caused by a health problem, stress, or an unhealthy lifestyle, sleep disorders are significant health issues.
There are 7 Major Sleep Disorders
Insomnia is when you have a problem at night when you can’t seem to fall asleep, no matter how desperately you tried or how exhausted you are. We all have times when this happens but if this happens to you regularly then insomnia might be the reason. It is a condition defined as difficulty in falling or staying asleep. There are three classifications of insomnia – transient, acute, and chronic. Acute insomnia is short-term and can be caused by jetlag due to international travel, or a traumatic experience. Chronic insomnia is long-term and lasts for more than a month. Here are some of the things that can also cause insomnia: certain medications, excessive consumption of alcohol, nicotine and drug use, stress and anxiety, and mental health problems such as depression.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes your legs to move or shake because of an unpleasant sensation. It usually happens during the nighttime when you sleep, which makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep. RLS can occur at any age, although it is commonly observed in adults and gets worse with age.
REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD) is a condition in which a person acts their dream out, whether it’s a simple, dramatic, or violent dream. People with RBD lack the state of paralysis we normally experience during the REM phase of our sleep. Thus, allowing them to move their limbs and act out their dreams. RBD can cause disturbance to others in the home. It also serves as a danger to the person with the condition, as they can get up and move around without being aware.
Sleep Apnoea happens when your breathing is interrupted while sleeping, which causes you to wake up suddenly. If you have this condition, you may either be taking pauses while breathing or be releasing shallow breaths. Those who have this condition repeatedly stop breathing during sleep. When left unchecked, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and heart attack. It also reduces your sleep quality. The following are three types of this condition: Obstructive sleep apnoea occurs when your airway is blocked when the muscles in your throat relax. Central sleep apnoea works the opposite way, your airway functions properly, but it is your brain that fails to tell the body to breathe. Complex sleep apnoea syndrome is a combination of both obstructive sleep apnoea and central sleep apnoea.
Narcolepsy refers to excessive daytime sleepiness or drowsiness that cannot be controlled. People with this condition tend to suffer from sudden attacks of sleep at random moments during the day, even while operating machinery or working. Regardless of the circumstance, people with narcolepsy find it difficult to stay awake, and it can cause disturbances and interruptions in your commitments.
Parasomnias are disruptive sleep-related disorders. Abnormal movements, talk, emotions and actions happen while you’re sleeping, although your bed partner might think you’re awake. Examples include sleep terrors, sleepwalking, nightmare disorder, sleep-related eating disorder and sleep paralysis.
Non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder (N24) is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder in which an individual’s biological clock fails to synchronise to a 24-hour day. Instead of sleeping at roughly the same time every day, someone with N24 will typically find their sleep time gradually delayed by minutes to hours every day.
If you are suffering from any of these, it’s important that you seek medical advice on how to treat these sleeping disorders. The three types of insomnia include transient insomnia which is less than one-week, acute insomnia which is bouts of poor sleep which are short term, and chronic insomnia which is a long-term health condition. The first two types of Insomnia can be related to your daily stress levels and mental health issues. Chronic insomnia is more complex and you should be seeking medical advice. But with all insomnia issues there are things you can do to help support better sleep. Stick to a sleep schedule, by keeping your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day including on weekends this can help your mind form better sleep habits. Exercise can play a key role in better sleep so do stay active, as those daily stresses can be reduced by all forms of exercise. If you are taking a range of medications, it is worth checking with your GP to see if this combination of medications could be causing an issue with your sleep. Even if you feel tired, try to avoid or limit taking naps in the daytime as this can get your body out of sync with the nighttime sleep patterns. Avoid or limit caffeine, alcohol, drug use and nicotine, as all of these can be disrupting your sleep pattern. Don’t put up with pain, if you are in pain then this will for many people, negatively impact your sleep quality. Also, avoid large meals and beverages before bed, as digestion is one of the bodies biggest bodily functions and can negatively impact your sleep.
If you have got all those practical things in place then it is time to look at those worry habits that we reviewed in the last blog. Having fewer worries, plus being calmer and clearer in your mind, will help you feel better and sleep better. The next blog will look at different ways to help you lower stress levels to help you get a better night’s sleep. Have a great day x