Sleep Disorders, Sleep Remedies & Insomnia Relief


7 Signs of a Sleeping Disorder

A sleeping disorder is defined as, “a disruptive pattern of sleep that may include difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time, or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep.” There are seven signs that indicate you have a sleeping disorder. These seven signs include difficulty waking up in the morning and/or waking up too early in the morning, difficulty concentrating, a problem with falling asleep at work, feelings of depression, anxiety, moodiness or general irritability, a creepy, crawling sensation experienced in the legs at night, snoring on a regular basis and waking up often throughout the night. Let’s take a closer look at each of these signs …

If you have a difficult time hauling yourself out of bed in the morning, even after getting seven to eight hours sleep and you don’t feel as if you slept a wink or if you find yourself waking up too early in the morning (for example waking at 4AM when you don’t have to get up until 7AM) and you cannot fall back to sleep you are suffering from a sleeping disorder. Poor quality of sleep can be as detriment to one’s health as can an inadequate amount of sleep. The sleep cycle consists of four stages and during each of these stages our body secretes a number of hormones that play a role in regulating our metabolic rate along with other health considerations. If our sleep is disrupted on a regular basis the sleep cycles are thrown off resulting in feelings of exhaustion upon waking, lethargy and lack of readiness to embrace a new day. If you experience this problem a visit to the doctor would be well advised in order for the cause of the problem to be uncovered.

If you develop problems with concentrating on small or big tasks (at work or home), coordination, reaction time, attention span and /or a difficulty with problem solving then a sleep disorder could be to blame. Getting a good night’s sleep is often underrated. Sleep is a necessary part of the human condition and sleeping well enables us to function to our optimum best throughout the day. Any sleep disorder left to its own devices can lead to chronic sleep deprivation which can wreck havoc with many aspects of a person’s life including their work, home life, driving abilities, physical and mental health and social activities.

Drifting off to sleep at work or in school can simply be the sign of staying up too late the night before, drinking too much, worrying too much right before bedtime or staying up late watching a movie or visiting with a friend. We all have the occasional sleepless night but when it becomes a constant problem it has developed into a sleep disorder and will very soon begin affecting your life performance- for the worse. Any number of sleep disorders could be to blame including insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or restless legs syndrome. Seek the advice of a health professional.

The fourth sign, feelings of moodiness, irritability, depression or anxiety can indicate a sleeping disorder. Life in general is easier to cope with on a day-to-day basis when we are well rested and at our best health wise. Look closely into the cause of your mood swings, depression, etc. In some causes a sleeping disorder, for example short-term insomnia might be the result of situational factors such as a recent death in the family, a move or a job loss, but in other causes it could be something more serious and more long-term.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is experienced by 15 percent of the population and is characterized by a “creepy, crawling feeling” in the legs or some people describe it as “pins and needles.” The feeling can make it difficult to fall asleep or can wake a person up suddenly and make them want to shake out the discomfort in their legs. Although not considered serious or even life threatening, RLS can be a frustrating sleep disorder for an individual and if he/she doesn’t sleep solo, for the other person in the bed as well. If this condition becomes frequent and extremely disruptive, medications can be prescribed to relieve the symptoms.

The sixth sign, snoring in and of itself is not harmful but it can very often be the symptom of a sleeping disorder known as apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing is interrupted or stops all together during sleep. The signs that indicate you may be suffering from sleep apnea included gasping for air, gagging, a choking sensation, interrupted breathing and frequently waking throughout the night. There are three types of sleep apnea- obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA) and mixed sleep apnea.

The seventh sign is waking up frequently during the night. As described above, this could be the symptom of sleep apnea and any number of other problems, be they physical or psychological in nature. Quite often this sleep problem is due to what is known as improper “sleep hygiene” which is basically just lifestyle considerations such as eating habits, exercise habits, smoking, drinking, jet lag, etc. The good thing about these lifestyle factors is that they are under a person’s control.

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