Do you know that more than $15 billion are added to the National Health Care costs with more than 70% Americans suffering from some kind of sleep disorder?
If you look visibly tired on most days, have trouble waking up and cannot start the day without a pit stop at your nearest Starbucks, it is possible you are not getting enough sleep leading to low productivity and efficiency.
Tiredness, fatigue, irritability, lack of concentration, and even obesity are common symptoms as well as triggers for sleep disorders.
What is a Sleep Disorder?
Good sleep is necessary for good health. A sleep disorder is a medical condition affecting your sleep patterns and quality of sleep adversely. A large population suffers from chronic sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.
Do you know there are more than 84 kinds of sleep disorders known in the medical world?
Types of Sleep Disorders
Insomnia – One of every three people in US suffers from insomnia or sleeplessness at some point in their life. The main culprits leading to this condition are stress, anxiety, too much caffeine or liquor and other lifestyle factors. The patient may not get restful sleep or find it difficult to sleep at night and feel sleepy at odd hours. Following tips can help prevent insomnia:
- Maintain a routine
- Exercise regularly
- Cut down on caffeine
- Avoid heavy meals at night
- Relax your mind before sleeping with light music, light reading or deep breathing
Restless Legs Syndrome – This disorder is characterized by uncomfortable sensations felt in the limbs while sleeping. Most patients constantly move their legs while sleeping and may also wake up during night to move around as movement soothes the tingly, prickly or painful sensations they feel while sleeping. About 10% Americans suffer from this sleep disorder that may be alleviated with the following remedies:
- Drink water and having bananas to keep your potassium level in check
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Avoid too much sugar or starch in your meals before bedtime as it can cause blood-sugar fluctuations
- It can also be a good idea to maintain a diary of triggers so that you can identify and avoid them
Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea is found in all age groups but more than half the cases are reported in patients 40 years or above in age. The patient feels obstruction in breathing that disrupts the sleep. The pause can last up to few seconds and normal breathing usually resumes with a gasp. As the airway becomes choked during sleeping, the condition can be serious if left undiagnosed. Over 10 million Americans suffer from this disorder and many cases remain undiagnosed. Here are some tips that can prevent or help with mild cases of sleep apnea:
- Lose weight
- Treat congestion and other breathing problems promptly
- Stop smoking and limit the intake of alcohol
- Consult a physician who can recommend a CPAP mask and other effective treatments
Minimum 7-8 hours of restful sleep is essential for our bodies to function optimally. If you are not getting adequate sleep, have problem falling asleep or do not feel refreshed after a night’s sleep, it is time to analyze your sleep habits. It is probable you are suffering from a sleep disorder and small lifestyle changes can help in alleviating the symptoms. For chronic cases, your physician may refer you to a sleep center, where specialists can design effective treatments based on your sleep patterns.