According to a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute report, more than 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders. About 3 to 4 million people suffer from moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, and about 10 percent of the entire American population suffers from chronic insomnia.
These common sleep disorders and many more affect every aspect of our being adversely, be it academics, work, and even relationships. It can also lead to diabetes and heart disease. That’s why it’s important to know what sleep disorders are and the four common ones.
What Are Sleep Disorders?
Sleep disorders are medical conditions that can stop you from getting adequate sleep, resulting in sluggishness and sleepiness during the day, among other symptoms. Lack of sleep can affect anyone on a broad scale. However, you may be experiencing a sleep disorder if:
- You experience sleeping difficulty regularly.
- You often feel tired during the day, even though you slept for more than seven hours at night.
- Your ability to function optimally during the day is impaired.
Types of Sleep Disorders
The most common types of Sleeping disorders include:
When a person suffers from insomnia, such a person can’t fall asleep or even get an adequate amount of time sleeping. Over time, this lack of sleep can lead to several issues, including diabetes, hypertension, and even weight gain. Other insomnia symptoms include irritability, issues with concentration, information retention, and difficulty returning to sleep.
- Restless leg syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is another medical condition where there is a stomach urge to move. Also known as the “Willis-Ekbom” disease, it causes sensations such as itching, creeping, crawling, tugging, and even burning. This type of condition is usually hereditary and can be associated with many diseases or medications.
Narcolepsy occurs when the patient’s brain cannot control the ability to sleep or stay awake. Patients often fall asleep during the day, alongside other symptoms.
- Sleep apnea
Finally, this medical condition occurs when you stop breathing in your sleep due to a blockage in the airway —known as obstructive sleep apnea— or because the patient’s brain cannot control the breathing correctly.
Therefore, the resulting lack of oxygen launches a survival reflex that brings you to consciousness just enough to resume breathing.
Whenever you begin to experience any symptoms that hinder your ability to rest properly, you should see a medical healthcare provider.