. Sleep is critically important to healthy living, yet up to 70 million Americans suffer from common sleep disorders. Sleep disorders can be very complex; there are approximately 80 different medically established sleep disorders. In this article we’ll discuss 3 of the most common of these disorders.
Insomnia is one of the most common betrayers of a good night’s rest. In fact, most individuals will have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at one point in their life. Insomnia symptoms include difficulty or inability to fall asleep, waking up too early in the morning, waking in the middle of the night with an inability to go back to sleep, and waking up fatigued.
Insomnia can last for a night or it can be a long-term problem. Most insomnia is caused by anxiety, emotional disturbances or general levels of stress. Most of the time resolving the main emotional causes will alleviate insomnia. In some cases it’s useful to get the advice of a mental health professional.
One of the most dangerous of these common slumber disorders is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when an individuals’ sleep is interrupted (as often as 100 times per night) while they sleep. The constant interruption means that not all the levels of sleep are achieved and oxygen can dip to dangerous levels. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with a sleep study and treatment methods vary. The most common treatment is the use of a CPAP machine which blows a pressurized stream of air through an individuals nose and mouth while they sleep.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
RLS is a disorder that causes a sensation of pulling, tingling or pain in legs. RLS occurs at night and usually happens when an individual rests. It can happen lying down or sitting down. Because RLS typically occurs at night it can dramatically interfere with a person’s ability to get sleep. It impacts about 10% of Americans.
Diagnosing Your Inability to Sleep
Sleep disorders can be serious and it’s important to seek the advice of your physician if you’re concerned about the quality of your sleep. Some of these disorders can be treated by the help of a doctor or a therapist. Often times a patient can benefit from a sleep study. Sleep studies can provide information about how much sleep a patient gets over a given period of time and what quality of sleep it is. The key to treatment is proper diagnosis, so seek medical attention sooner than later.