The evolving field of sleep medicine is one that is always making new discoveries that can help humans better understand sleep. Let's dive into the different types of sleep disorders to understand it better.
One of the areas where sleep medicine focuses on is sleep disorders.
There has been a lot of research on our sleeping patterns, trying to find the causes, symptoms and treatments for these disorders. Also, there have been a lot of information released by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) about this topic.
A sleep disorder, also known as somnipathy, is a medical disorder of the pattern of sleep of a person. There are several types of sleep disorders. There are well-known ones like insomnia, and there are other ones that are less known. Below are the different types of sleep disorders, their causes and possible treatments.
Here is video explaining the psychiatry of sleep disorders.
Seven Different Types of Sleep Disorders
This is the most common type of sleep disorder known right now. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep and also to maintain sleep. There are several causes of insomnia and certain medications can also cause this condition as a side effect. Other causes are high levels of stress, anxiety, depression and drugs or alcohol abuse. Treatment that deals with insomnia include cognitive behavioral therapy or medications. Cutting off caffeine is also recommended to get more quality sleep. It is also said that the best sleep aids are often made from ingredients found in nature.
Insomnia is one of the causes of sleep paralysis. It is a condition when you're suddenly awaken from your slumber.
This is a rare type of sleep disorder that is a part of a group of conditions called Parasomnias. It can cause people to act things out when they are asleep. Sexsomnia is also usually treated by medications. It is advisable to sleep alone until one contains the situation and also to end drug and alcohol abuse if any.
Explosive Head Syndrome (EHS)
While this disorder may have an intimidating name, it is actually not as bad as it sounds. It is another type of parasomnia. It involves a sleeping person experiencing loud bangs in their head when sleeping. One feels as if guns are firing in his head, bombs going off or clanging cymbals. Doctors recommend taking medications for this condition. Also, reducing exposure to stress is another way to keep on top of this EHS.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
This disorder is self-explanatory. It is the movement of legs and other limbs during sleep. People having this condition can kick out and move their limbs over a hundred times in a single night. There is no certain cause of Restless leg syndrome, but it is often theorized to be a hereditary disorder. RLS is particularly common in women, especially when they are pregnant. One can treat RLS by reducing caffeine intake and exercising regularly.
Sleepwalking is a well-known sleep disorder. This disorder manifests itself via the person getting up and walking while sleeping. Sleepwalking is particularly common among children. Certain medication is one of the causes of this condition. Also, lack of sleep and illnesses can cause sleepwalking. One can treat sleepwalking by reducing liquid when it is near bedtime. Also, a quiet environment is very much recommended. It is similarly advised to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
This is a sleep disorder whereby the person cannot control sleep-wake cycles. This results in involuntary and random periods of sleep during the day, lasting from short few seconds to minutes. Narcoleptics could also suffer hallucinations and paralysis during such involuntary periods. This is dangerous as the periods can happen anytime, even when driving. One can treat narcolepsy by medications and behavioral changes.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This is a very common sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing while asleep. This disorder is serious as it can cause uneven heart rate, a deficient supply of oxygen to the brain, and, in worse cases, death. Obstructive Sleep Apnea also increases the risk of hypertension and having a stroke. We recommend that you visit a sleep specialist to get professional advice. One can treat this condition by lifestyle and behavioral changes, such as dieting and sleeping on your side. In severe cases, doctors recommend surgery for some patients.
The Reality of Sleep Disorders
According to the Center for Disease and Control (CDC), one in three Americans is sleep deprived. One should not take these different types of sleep disorders lightly as they usually have long-term effects. Some of them, like Obstructive Sleep Apnea, can result in death.
We recommend seeing a sleep specialist if you exhibit any of the symptoms with any of the different types of sleep disorders explained above. We also suggest optimizing your sleeping area by getting the recommended pillow and mattress, even a sleep app to help you sleep.