Sleep Disorders: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Written by Nigel Simpkins

Quality sleep is vital to get the most out of life. Insufficient sleep worsens your cognitive performance at work or school and is a risk factor for many health conditions. The following article discusses everything you should know about sleep disorders and healthy ways of managing them.

Understanding Sleep Disorders

A sleep disorder can refer to over 100 different sleep-affecting conditions; the most common types include:

  • Narcolepsy: Suddenly falling asleep sleep is the main symptom of this condition, where the brain doesn’t have the optimal ability to alternate between wakefulness and sleep.
  • Insomnia: A person has consistent problems falling asleep or waking up early or frequently throughout the night.
  • Sleep apnea: A condition in which your breathing repeatedly stops and then resumes again in your sleep. 
  • Restless legs syndrome: RLS refers to having a strong urge to move your legs, even while resting.

Signs of Sleep Disorders

An occasional problem sleeping does not necessarily qualify as a sleep disorder. However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, you should seek assistance from a medical professional. They can discuss potential treatments, such as Myers Park and Eastover NAD therapy, that can replenish this coenzyme to healthy levels, helping regulate metabolic processes and the circadian rhythm.

Potential signs you may have a sleep disorder include:

  • You are exhausted during the day. It might indicate a sleep disorder if you feel drowsy during the day but still have problems falling asleep at night.
  • Sudden and frequent wakeups. If you repeatedly have problems staying asleep throughout the night, that could be a symptom of a sleep disorder.
  • Unusual experiences during sleep. For example, you fell from the bed or woke up in a strange position.

What Causes Sleep Disorders?

A vast range of issues and health conditions can impact your sleep quality. The common factors include the following:

  • Respiratory issues: Having problems breathing could affect your ability to stay asleep. Simple colds or allergies are common reasons behind this issue.
  • Pain: Possibly due to an injury or a chronic condition, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. Intense headaches can also affect sleep quality.
  • Anxiety and stress: These issues are problematic when falling asleep but can also lead to troubled or disturbing dreams, negatively impacting sleep quality.
  • Nocturia: According to research, this is a condition where you frequently get up to urinate during the night.

Treating Sleep Disorders

A professional healthcare provider can diagnose a sleep disorder after conducting the necessary exams and tests. Two approaches exist to treat these conditions, and combining them is often the most effective approach to getting a good night of shut-eye.

Using a Medical Approach

Melatonin supplements are popular among patients with sleep disorders since this hormone is crucial in regulating the circadian rhythm. Other natural remedies, such as herbal teas, could provide relaxation and help you fall asleep. Individuals with these disorders often utilize sleeping pills or other medications to help, but a doctor must prescribe them. 

Adjusting your lifestyle

A study published in 2021 revealed that adjusting lifestyle factors could positively affect sleep quality regardless of age. Consider modifying the following habits if you have a sleep disorder:

  • Increase your physical activity: You can choose simple walks, running, or gym exercises depending on your physical condition. The idea is to use up all that energy so it will not keep you awake at night.
  • Take a pass on caffeinated drinks after 4 PM: Caffeine can negatively impact your sleep quality.
  • Establish a sleeping routine: A consistent time to sleep and wake up can deliver the messages to your mind and body to follow that schedule. 
  • Adjust your diet: Reducing sugar consumption and eating healthy food like fish, fruits, and veggies, can promote sleep quality and overall physical health and well-being.

Final Thoughts

The approach toward managing your sleep disorder often depends on the specific condition. Managing chronic sleep disorders requires time and effort. Adjusting your lifestyle and using the right treatments can improve sleep and quality of life. If you believe you are struggling with a sleep disorder, it is imperative to consult with a doctor to establish a treatment plan as soon as possible.