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Trouble getting to sleep is not a unique experience as almost everyone had experienced it. This is a very normal occurrence brought about, albeit temporarily by stress, illness and other external or internal factors. However, if going to sleep and staying asleep develop into a regular pattern and interferes with a person’s day-to-day living, then he might be suffering from a sleep disorder.
A Good Night’s Sleep is Important
People in good physical and mental health generally do not have problem falling asleep. Sleep loss is an indication of an underlying medical or mental health problem. Sleep loss can either be due to a minor or serious condition but the end point is that it negatively affects a person’s general health and mental wellbeing. A person who lacks sleep will have less energy, moodier, less inefficient in things that he does, and is less capable to handle stress. If a sleep disorder is ignored, the condition can cause physical and mental health deterioration, poor job or school performance, accidents and even affect relationships.
Common Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
It is not normal to feel exhausted and sleepy in the daytime or have trouble falling asleep unless there are valid reasons such as illness, taking care of an infant or adult patient, studying for exams, staying up late doing tons of things, and such. If the sleep pattern does not return to normal after the triggers have been controlled, then the next option is too consult with a general practitioner then eventually with a sleep doctor to see what is causing the sleeplessness.
Some of the most common symptoms of sleeping disorder are:
• sleepy or irritable during daytime • have trouble staying alert and awake while sitting down, reading or watching TV • tendency to fall asleep while driving • daytime napping • trouble in concentrating • slow to react • problem in controlling emotions • drinks too much coffee to keep awake
Common Sleep Disorders
The most common type of sleep disorder is insomnia. A person suffering from insomnia has trouble getting the right amount of sleep so he could feel refreshed and rested. Usually a symptom of an underlying mental condition, insomnia is linked to anxiety, stress and depression. Insomnia can also be a side effect of a person’s medication, his lifestyle and general physical activities.
Sleep Apnoea is a condition wherein a person temporarily stops breathing during sleep because of blockage in his airway. This episode happens several times an hour during sleep so the person naturally awakens (without his knowing it) all through the night. He wakes up grumpy, sleepy and un-refreshed.
Narcolepsy causes excessive and uncontrollable sleepiness during the day. A person may just suddenly fall asleep while talking, eating or driving. This is more of a neurological problem as it is caused by a dysfunction in the brain mechanism that controls sleeping and waking.
Circadian rhythm is another type of sleep disorder and is evident when a person’s circadian rhythm is disrupted. The disruption can be due to insomnia, jet lag, shift work, depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that causes a person to move his legs or arms while lying down, because of imagined creeping, aching and tingling sensations.
If you think you have a sleep disorder, your best option is to see a qualified doctor for consultation. If your problem is sleep apnoea, call us now. We can help you.
Call us at: 1300 744 441
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