Catching sufficient sleep every day / night, is important for the physical and emotional well being of our body. Sleep is not about resting our body or taking a break from whatever we are doing, but sleep plays a vital part in helping our body to recover from the daily toll on our bodies, after our day’s activities. It also helps us recover from illnesses and injury. Insufficient sleep over a span of time is an indication of diabetes, heart diseases, obesity and depression.
If a person is stricken with a sleep disorder then this affects the person’s ability to get sufficient restful sleep during the night.
Causes for Sleep Disorders
According to the statistics put together after a 7 year research, about 70% of the population in India, are affected by sleep related problems. Some of the sleep disruptions may be because of changes occurring due to biological processes in the body, like aging or diseases that are associated with pain or mental health ailments, such as anxiety and depression.
When the circadian rhythm in our biological clocks is disturbed because of working late shifts or because of jet lag, it scrambles the sleep cycle or if in the habit of taking long naps during the day, then this once again disrupts the sleep cycle.
Types of Sleep Disorders
There are 6 different categories of sleep disorders.
Insomnias – this condition occurs when, you experience daytime fatigue, the morning after your night of sleep, when you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. An occasional night of disturbed sleep or staying up too late does not mean that you have insomnia. However, at least 30-35% of older adults complain of this disorder and in many cases insomnia occurs in age groups where there is stress, medical and mental health problems.
Hypersomnia – this is a group of sleep related disorders. A person with hypersomnia is prone to excessive sleeping and will fall asleep anywhere and anytime, which could endanger the person having such a disorder.
- Narcolepsy is a form of hypersomnia where the patient has a lifelong sleeping disorder. In this disorder, sudden potential for sudden attacks of the need to sleep will affect and impact the patient’s life.
- Kleine- Levin Syndrome is an episode or series of sleep patterns where the patient will experience sleepiness and will sleep for durations. The duration of sleep may occur anywhere from 2 days to a week and it can occur several times in a year.
- Idiopathic Insomnia – the cause for this type of insomnia is still unknown. It causes the patient to sleep anywhere from 12 to 14 hours in a day and involves a daily period of an uncontrollable need to sleep.
- Long sleepers who sleep longer than those in their age group need their daily dose of 10 to 12 hours of sleep. This actually is a good quality of sleep. But when a long sleeper does not get adequate amount of sleep they tend to be sleepy which impacts the quality of their life.
Sleep Movement Disorder – Restless legs syndrome, Periodic limb movement, Leg cramps while sleeping and sleep rhythm movement are all conditions that cause sleep disorder.
Circadian Rhythm – occurs when there is a disturbance in the regular sleep-wake patterns of an individual. For example travelers who have jet lag, or individuals working late night shifts.
Parasomnias involves a group of experiences or events occurring as the person is falling asleep, or during sleep or while waking up. The individual may appear to be knowingly doing whatever they are doing, but in reality have no memory or realization that they are actually involved in the act. For example a sleepwalker will be still sleeping but may be walking around, but will wake up elsewhere not knowing how they got there.
This article has just touched the tip of the iceberg with reference to sleep disorders. There is much more to this than meets the eye. There will be more articles on this disorder from our neuro specialists, with frequent updates. So tune into our monthly newsletter to keep abreast of the medical developments at Kauvery Hospital.
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