Top 7 most common sleep disorders

30 January, 2017

Did you know that over 25% of the population has trouble sleeping? Not resting enough can be the trigger for other health problems, and therefore solving those sleep issues that negatively impact the quality of your rest should be a priority if you want to have a healthier life. Today we tell you what are the most common sleep disorders and alterations, and bring a few tips for those who suffer from them.

1. Insomnia… I can’t sleep!

Getting into bed can be a real nightmare for those who suffer insomnia or have trouble sleeping. It is estimated that about 25% of the population suffers from this problem, which is usually associated with stress and anxiety. It can also have physical causes and be related to another pathology or be linked to a lifestyle that is incompatible with a good rest. If you find it hard to fall asleep (initial insomnia) or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, look for the causes and try to find solutions, since, in the long run, having little sleep or bad sleep has harmful consequences for our physical and psychological health.

2. Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder happening during the REM phase. Patients who suffer from apnea suffer a pause in breathing during sleep, which usually recovers with a loud snoring. This shock interrupts the individual’s REM phase and returns him to a light sleep state, preventing him from resting properly. Usually, people who suffer from this disorder are not aware of it and usually realize when they sleep with someone else, because their snoring awakens the partner and also makes it difficult to rest. Sleep apnea is not a trivial problem, because if the breathing pause is too long, it can damage the neurons due to the lack of oxygen supplied to the brain.

3. Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking is a sleep disorder that occurs during the deep sleep phase and becomes visible when the sleepwalker leaves the bed and walks or performs other tasks. It usually happens to children, although it is not rare in adults who do not sleep enough, abuse sedatives or alcohol or suffer from other associated diseases. During episodes of sleepwalking, sleepwalkers are deeply asleep, so it can be very difficult to wake them up. Although popular wisdom advises not to wake up a sleepwalker, others recommend doing so, in order to avoid extreme behaviours. Sleepwalking is not a disease in itself and is usually “cured” by improving sleep habits. In more severe cases, treatment may include hypnotism.

4. Nightmares

Having nightmares every now and then is not really an issue. However, when recurrent bad dreams do not let us sleep, we should consider seeking the help of a professional, since nightmares are a natural response to stress and anxiety and when repeated too much may be a symptom of depression. They usually occur in REM sleep and are more common in the last hours of sleep. Some authors argue that certain medication can produce nightmares.

5. Night terrors

On the other hand, night terrors happen when we are half asleep. These are episodes in which the dream realm gets mixed with the real world and we are unable to tell one from the other. Suffering night terrors can be overwhelming: even if they last for a only few minutes, the victims of this type of parasomnia are prey to fear when they suffer these episodes. Its diagnosis and treatment is complex and always involves visiting a professional specialized in mental health.

6. Nocturnal hyperhidrosis

It is not really hot in the room, but you wake up sweating like a pig. If that happens to you, your problem is night sweats: excessive sweating that may be associated with an organic or psychological cause. First, we must rule out that temperature is behind sweat, before looking for other causes. Spicy foods, plentiful dinners or stress can be the cause of this annoying sleep disturbance, which can become a real headache for the sufferer. Sometimes, sweating is a symptom of some pathology, so if the problem persists we recommend that you check with your doctor.

7. Restless Legs Syndrome

The Willis-Ekbom disease o Restless Legs Syndrome can be recognised for an uneasy feeling when resting, which makes the ones who suffer it to stand or walk around and move till this feeling stops. This syndrome affects the sleep quality and the patients’ everyday life making them feel sleep, anxious and even causing depression, having a huge negative impact on those affected by the disease.de vida de las personas afectadas.

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