What is a sleep disorder?
Sleep disorders are the conditions that result in irregular sleep and modify the way of regular sleep patterns. It affects the overall health and quality of life. Some of the common sleep disorders are sleep apnea, insomnia, snoring, and sleep deprivation. Lacking proper sleep may have a negative impact on energy, mood, concentration, and further health consequences. A combination of medications and lifestyle modifications can help to treat sleep disorders.
What are the types of sleep disorders?
Following are few of the common types of sleep disorders:
- Insomnia - difficulty in falling asleep or asleep throughout the night. It can be chronic, intermittent, and transient
- Sleep apnea - abnormal breathing patterns during sleeping
- Narcolepsy - extreme sleepiness during the day
- Parasomnias - cause abnormal movements and behaviors while sleeping. They are groaning, nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep talking, bedwetting, jaw clenching or teeth grinding
- Restless leg syndrome - causes an annoying sensation that urges to move the legs when trying to fall asleep
What are the signs of sleep disorders?
Following are few of the signs of sleep disorders:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Irregular breathing
- Increased movement during sleep
- Irregular sleep and wake cycle
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Urge to take naps during day times
- Lack of concentration
What causes sleep disorders?
Sleep disorders can be caused due to several conditions or diseases. Mostly sleep disturbances develop as a result of an underlying health problem. Few of the conditions that cause sleep disorders are:
- Respiratory problems
- Chronic pain due to arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, continuous headaches, fibromyalgia
- Anxiety & depression
Who can treat sleep disorders?
Neurologists can treat and cure sleep disorders with proper medications and lifestyle modifications.
How can sleep disorders be diagnosed?
The doctor performs a physical examination and collects information about the symptoms and medical history. Then, the doctor may suggest tests such as:
- Polysomnography: sleep study to assess brain waves, oxygen levels, and body movements
- Electroencephalogram: to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain to detect any problems
- Genetic blood testing: a blood test to diagnose narcolepsy and underlying health conditions