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The collective term, sleep disorder refers to a group of conditions that affect your ability to sleep, your quality of sleep, when you sleep and the duration of sleep, all of which can negatively impact the proper functioning of your body during the day. Furthermore, in some cases, sleeping disorders may be an indication of underlying medical or mental health conditions which could contribute to other medical problems. Lack of sleep may cause fatigue, moodiness, low concentration levels, and poor overall health. However, these sleeping issues may eventually go away when the underlying cause is treated or with a lifestyle change.

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Types of Sleeping Disorders

Insomnia

Insomnia refers to the inability to fall or stay asleep. It may be a symptom of another condition caused by stress, anxiety, jet lag, hormones, or digestive problems. This sleeping disorder may lead to:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Impaired work performance
  • Poor school performance
  • Difficulty concentrating
Sleep Apnea

Abnormal breathing patterns and breathing pauses during sleep are the major characteristics of sleep apnea. This sleeping disorder is a medical condition that causes the body to take in less oxygen and thus waking you up during the night. The two types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea which occurs when airflow stops because the airway space is blocked or too narrow.
  • Central sleep apnea is a problem in the connection between the muscles that control your breathing and brain function.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a type of sleep movement disorder causing an irresistible sensation and urge to move your legs or arms while trying to fall asleep at night. The urge to move may be tingly, aching, and uncomfortable and usually occurs when you are resting or lying down.

Parasomnias

Parasomnias is one of the sleeping issues that cause abnormal behaviors and movements during sleep. For instance:

  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep talking
  • Bedwetting
  • Teeth grinding
  • Groaning
  • Nightmares
Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder characterized by sleep attacks that happen while awake. The patient suddenly becomes tired and experiences extreme sleepiness, and falls asleep without warning during the day. In addition, narcolepsy can cause sleep paralysis, which may make you physically unable to move immediately after waking up. While narcolepsy may occur independently, it is also linked to some neurological disorders, like multiple sclerosis.


Effects of Sleeping Disorders

  • Lack of healthy sleep may cause serious health problems like heart attack, high blood pressure, or stroke
  • Lack of sleep kills sex drive; specialists report that sleep-deprived men and women register lower libido levels and less interest in sex. Low sex drive could be because of exhaustion, sleepiness, and increased tension.
  • Lack of enough sleep ages your skin as your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol breaks down the skin collagen, which is the protein that keeps the skin smooth and elastic. Thus, leading to dull skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.
  • Lack of sleep causes weight gain as it stimulates appetite and cravings for high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods while increasing hunger, leading to obesity.

When you are experiencing sleeping issues, it is important to seek diagnosis and treatment right away from a professional, because sleep disorders can become deadly when left untreated. For more information about sleeping disorders and health, matters feel free to schedule an appointment with Joanne.

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