Snoring is no laughing matter. Loud snoring could be a warning sign of an underlying sleep disorder called sleep apnea.
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty to initiate and maintain sleep despite giving oneself adequate opportunity to sleep.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations like burning…
Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles naturally.
Sleep terrors (or) night terrors usually start with a terrifying scream, increased heart and breathing rates, sweating and a frightened expression. They last from one to several minutes and are different from nightmares. In contrast to nightmares, which are frightening dreams with vivid recall, patients rarely remember specific details of a night terror.
Somnambulism, commonly known as sleep walking, may present as the patient executing any motor activity (walking, sitting up on the bed, etc.) during sleep. During the episode, the person’s vision seems to remain intact, coordination of the central nervous system is maintained to some extent, but there is a danger of accidental injuries.
Read our concise and detailed list of hacks for a good night’s sleep – and get working on ensuring yours.
Most healthy adults need an average of 6-8 hours of sleep a night. Some individuals can function without drowsiness with less than six hours of sleep, while others cannot perform at their peak unless they have slept ten hours! Despite what you may have heard, your need for sleep doesn’t decline as you age. If you have trouble staying alert regularly, it means you aren’t getting enough good-quality sleep. Other signs include a tendency to be unreasonably irritable with people around you – family, friends or co-workers, and difficulty concentrating.
Normal sleepers have a relatively predictable “sleep architecture”- the term used to describe an alternating pattern of REM (rapid-eye-movement) and non-REM sleep. REM sleep is when you dream with a high level of mental and physical activity. The best sleep occurs when you have the right mix of REM and non-REM sleep, say scientists
Everyone suffers at least an occasional night of poor sleep. Still, some individuals may be more vulnerable to longstanding difficulty – teenagers, students preparing for examinations, young adults with no fixed lifestyle patterns, shift workers, travellers, older adults and those suffering from acute stress, depression or chronic pain.
Stress is considered to be the leading cause of short-term sleeping difficulties. Everyday stress triggers include education/job-related pressures or family problems. Usually, the sleep problem disappears when the stressful situation passes, but if you don’t manage sleep problems such as insomnia properly, they will persist after the original stress has passed. Despite what you may have heard, your need for sleep doesn’t decline as you age. If you have trouble staying alert regularly, it means you aren’t getting enough good-quality sleep. Other signs include a tendency to be unreasonably irritable with people around you – family, friends, or co-workers – and difficulty concentrating.
You may be doing things during the day or night without much thought, including drinking alcohol or beverages containing caffeine in the afternoon or evening, exercising close to bedtime, following an irregular morning and evening schedule, and doing other mentally intense activities just before getting into bed.
Sleep is incredibly elusive for those who work shift jobs. Shift work forces you to sleep when activities around you and your biological rhythms signal you to be awake. Some studies show that shift workers are two to five times more likely than employees with regular daytime hours to fall asleep on the job.
Jet lag is the inability to sleep caused by travelling across several time zones, throwing your biological rhythms out of sync. It helps to avoid caffeine and alcohol during long flights.
Several physical problems, including arthritis, pains, backache, or bodily discomfort, can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and sleep soundly.
Expectant mothers and those experiencing hormonal shifts from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or menopause and its accompanying hot flashes – can also have their sleep intruded.
Certain medicines like decongestants, steroids and some prescription tablets for high blood pressure, asthma, or depression can cause sleeping difficulties as a side effect.
Sleep apnea (recognized by snoring and interrupted breathing) causes brief awakening during sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness. Involuntary limb movements during sleep, such as Restless Legs Syndrome, break up the typical sleep pattern causing you to have a night of less refreshing sleep, resulting in sleep debt or daytime sleepiness.
A distracting sleep environment such as a room that is too hot or cold, too noisy or too brightly lit, can be a barrier to sound sleep. Pay attention to your bed’s comfort and the habits of your sleep partner. If you have to lie beside a snorer or someone with sleep difficulties, it often becomes your problem too!
Snoring is no laughing matter. Loud snoring could be a warning sign of an underlying sleep disorder called sleep apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a temporary interruption of breathing that occurs repeatedly during sleep – this is caused by a narrowing of the airway. People suffering from sleep apnea often have non refreshing sleep and feel excessively sleepy during the day, which affects their productivity. Sleep apnea is closely related to hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Treating sleep apnea by a sleep specialist has proven to reduce the risks of these life-threatening problems.
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty to initiate and maintain sleep despite giving oneself adequate opportunity to sleep. Insomnia affects an estimated 30-50% of the general population. Insomnia could be secondary to other medical disorders, too. Some common night time symptoms include inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, waking too early in the morning, and/or have difficulty falling asleep after waking. Daytime symptoms include lack of energy, irritability, frequent napping, daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating and inattentiveness. It is imperative that the individual seeks medical attention for the same as failure to treat insomnia can have various consequences on physical as well as mental health.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations like burning, creeping and tugging in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move when at rest. RLS is a sensory and motor abnormality believed to have a genetic basis; it occurs both in children and adults. Many people who have RLS also have Periodic Leg Movement Syndrome (PLMS) – this happens during sleep when the legs move involuntarily.
Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles naturally. A person with narcolepsy experiences fleeting urges to sleep while at work or school, during a conversation, playing a sport, eating or most dangerously, when driving an automobile. It may also be associated with a sudden loss of muscle power (cataplexy), vivid hallucinations as sleep sets in or upon awakening and brief episodes of total paralysis at the beginning or end of sleep. In addition to daytime drowsiness and involuntary sleep episodes, most patients also experience frequent awakenings during night time sleep. Narcolepsy is a debilitating problem and is often under-recognized. Diagnosis and early treatment can make a dramatic change in the life of these individuals.