What is a Sleep Disorder
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 25% of Americans report some periods of sleep deprivation. The most common reason given for sleep deprivation is the modern hectic lifestyle. There really is nothing more important to a healthy lifestyle than getting restful sleep on a consistent basis.
Sleep deprivation is simply – not getting enough sleep to function successfully in activities of daily living. Sleep deprivation can be chronic or acute. A chronic sleep deprived state results in fatigue, sleepiness in the daytime, difficulty in problem solving, attention and clumsiness and can cause weight loss or weight gain.
It is not uncommon for a sleep disorder to go undiagnosed because few people know about sleep disorders and are likely to shrug off poor or lack of sleep as being unimportant. There is also a tendency for the pop culture to reject the need for treatment of a sleep disorder. This attitude is dangerous to your health. Sleep disorders can be very serious and create or contribute to several chronic health situations including: depression, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Sleep Disorder and Driving
Another concern, related to sleep deprivation, is the affect sleep deprivation has on driving and being drowsy or actually falling asleep behind the wheel. The National Sleep Foundation reports that in 2010 60% of adults drive when they are sleepy and of that number 37% reported they have fallen asleep while driving.
Categories of Sleep Disorders
Sleep Disorders fall into several types, in fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine identifies 81 different kinds of sleep disorders. Of course, there are some more prevalent than others. The most common types of sleep disorders are: insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors, REM sleep behavior disorder, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, sleepwalking, snoring and teeth grinding.
Signs and Symptoms of a Sleep Disorder
It is not easy to diagnose a sleep disorder, but some symptoms to look out for include: sleeping too much during the daytime, not being able to go to sleep-insomnia, moodiness and irritability, trouble thinking and snoring. Other signs of a sleep disorder include having difficulty falling asleep, waking frequently, awakening too early or falling asleep very quickly.
Treatment for a Sleep Disorder
The treatment of choice for a sleep disorder depends on the type of sleep disorder and the nature of the sleep disorder. Sometimes medication is prescribed, at other times surgery may be necessary and still at other times, using an external device and changes in behavior and habits need to be addressed.
The goal of sleep disorder treatment is to ensure an individual acquires a normal sleep pattern to avoid the onset of many health complications that accompany sleep deprivation.
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