3 Conditions That Could Be Ruining Your Sleep
Most people will experience some disruption in their sleep at different times in their life. Unfortunately, achieving restful sleep can be a long-term battle for many people. Identifying various problems that might be the culprit can help you find the solution.
Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing while you sleep. Most people with sleep apnea are not aware there is a problem until someone tells them about horrible snoring or gasping for breath. People with sleep apnea often feel tired throughout the day because they are frequently waking up during sleep, but are not aware of the disruption. To formally diagnose sleep apnea, you may be sent home with a pulse oximeter to determine if you stop breathing at night. You might also need a sleep study where you are monitored in a lab as you sleep. Depending on the exact cause of sleep apnea, removing your tonsils and adenoids might help. Also, a CPAP machine worn during sleep is frequently prescribed for sleep apnea.
Parasomnia can encompass a range of disordered sleeping behavior, such as sleep talking, sleepwalking, having night terrors, and more. Many of these conditions are especially unusual if they occur during rapid eye moment (REM) sleep. During REM sleep, your body is paralyzed, so you should not be able to move. In some cases, people with REM sleep disorder might move, fight, yell, or otherwise act out what is going on in their dreams. Sleepwalking or talking is common, but is not conducive to restful sleep. For some people, sleepwalking is potentially dangerous if they travel throughout or out of the house. Some people have reported waking up at the dinner table, eating raw meat, while others have woken up at a nearby store. Sleepwalking or talking may be associated with mental-health issues, such as anxiety or depression, or they may occur as a rare side effect of sleeping pills.
An obvious culprit of disrupted sleep is insomnia. Most people think of the inability to go to sleep as insomnia, but difficulty maintaining sleep or waking up prematurely are other forms of insomnia, too. Many cases of insomnia can be managed with improved sleep hygiene, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time, having a comfortable bedroom environment, and not drinking caffeine later in the day. If insomnia is a symptom of stress, anxiety, or depression, speaking with a mental-health professional can help. Sleeping pills are often prescribed as a last resort because they can be habit-forming and will not solve the root of the problem.
If you suspect you have a problem with sleep, it cannot hurt to ask your doctor about testing. Diagnosing the exact problem is the first step to achieving restful sleep. To learn more, visit a sleep clinic today.