Sleeping illnesses not only affect the amount of sleep that you receive each night, they have a large effect on your everyday life. Sleeping illnesses can occur as a result of stress, anxiety or as a result of health complications caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.
Although everyone experiences problems sleeping at some point in their lives, regular lack of sleep can lead to serious health complications and could be a symptom of a sleep disorder. Irritability, stress, anxiety or inability to concentrate during the day are all symptoms of a sleep disorder and could lead to further problems if ignored.
One of the most common types of sleep disorder is insomnia. Insomnia can occur as a result of an individual being stressed or anxious over a particular event or as a result of a poor sleep routine. If you find that you are unable to fall asleep after half an hour or more after going to bed or you are unable to fall back to sleep after waking up, then you may be suffering from insomnia.
Although not serious in itself, insomnia can lead to serious health problems due to the lack of sleep and should be treated. Relaxation methods and cutting out caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes from your diet can help to reduce the risk of insomnia.
Sleep apnea is another common sleep disorder and can occur as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. Those that are overweight are more susceptible to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when an individual takes short pauses in breathing during sleep. These pauses can last up to 20 seconds and usually occur 20-30 times every hour. Sleep apnea, particularly Obstructive Sleep Apnea, can be dangerous, so it is important that the disorder is treated. Treatments devices such as CPAP can help to treat sleep apnea as well as changes in lifestyle such as more exercise, which will help individuals to lose weight and lower the risk of sleep apnea.
Other sleep disorders include narcolepsy, which involves individuals falling asleep unexpectedly even after receiving enough sleep during the night. If left untreated, narcolepsy can be dangerous, particularly if the sufferer falls asleep whilst driving. It can be treated by using medication or receiving behavioural treatment.
Keeping a dream diary or record of sleeping patterns will help you and your doctor to diagnose a sleep disorder. Keep notes on your eating patterns, such as food or drinks that you have had before bed will also help you to recognise any sleep disorders.