Do you wake up in the morning feeling tired or unrefreshed even though you have had a full night of sleep. During the day, you may feel fatigued, have difficulty concentrating or you may even unintentionally fall asleep. You don’t realise or know but your body may be waking up numerous times throughout the night. You may have a sleep disorder.

With over 80 sleep disorders, a good nights rest is becoming a luxury in today’s time. With stress, food and drink that hinder sleep (even so-called healthy foods), non-optimal sleeping habits or sleep hygiene, waking up tired is becoming the norm for many today.

Not sleeping optimally and being sleep deprived are a potential cause to high levels of fatigue, heart disease, and a risk to diabetes and mental health. Sleeping well, not matter what is going on around one is achievable with a few DIY tricks to one’s lifestyle habits.

Although there are many sleep disorders, the following, which can be sub-categorised further, are the more prevalent disorders for not sleeping optimally and feeling tired or drained on waking. Many are unaware they are suffering from a disorder. It’s noteworthy that, these and many other sleeping disorders are treatable with not too much effort.

Insomnia – as high as 35 percent of adults complain of insomnia. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep complaints. It occurs when you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. The causes, symptoms and severity of insomnia vary between persons.

Insomnia is not only about not being able to fall asleep, it may also include difficulty staying asleep throughout the night or waking up too early in the morning. Insomnia involves both a sleep disturbance and daytime symptoms. Insomnia negatively affects work performance, impairs sound decision-making and can have devastating effects on relationships.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) – approximately one in ten adults could be suffering from RLS. RLS is a neurological disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move one’s legs.

Sufferers of RLS feel an uncomfortable sensation, unexplained pain, or crawling feelings in their legs. Symptoms often manifest themselves during periods of restfulness, most notably while trying to fall asleep. The discomfort associated with RLS can range in severity from irritating to painful.

Because the condition causes pain or discomfort and a need to constantly be moving the legs to relieve symptoms while in bed, it negatively impacts the quality and amount of sleep that sufferers get at night.

42928631 – diagnosis sleep apnea, pills and stethoscope.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is also one of the most common sleep disorders. OSA is a serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. The airway repeatedly becomes blocked, limiting the amount of air that reaches your lungs. When this happens, you may snore loudly or making choking noises as you try to breathe. Your brain and body becomes oxygen deprived and you may wake up. These cessations in breathing can last up to 10-20 seconds at a time, and can occur up to hundreds of times a night.

Unless assessed or highlighted by one’s partner, sleep apnea is a disorder that often goes unrecognised by the sufferer for years.

A small study found individuals who have severe sleep apnea could be at a higher risk of silent strokes. A key finding showed that 91 % of the individuals that experienced a stroke also had sleep apnea and were also more prone to experience silent strokes as well as brain lesions which elevated risk of disability. If expressing the symptoms of wakeful tiredness, and given the risk of a stroke, one would be responsible towards oneself to investigate if OSA is present

Hypersomnia’s are a group of sleep disorders that causes a person to be excessively sleepy. People with a hypersomnia may fall asleep at times that are inconvenient or even dangerous, such as at work or while driving.

Narcolepsy – is a lifelong sleep disorder that makes you feel overwhelmingly tired, with the potential for sudden uncontrollable sleep attacks. Narcolepsy can impact nearly every aspect of your life.

REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) – for most people,  dreaming is purely a “mental” activity, where dreams occur in the mind while the body is at rest.  People who suffer from RBD act out their dreams. They physically move limbs or even get up and engage in activities associated with waking. Some engage in sleep talking, shouting, screaming, hitting or punching. Some even fly out of bed while sleeping.

Sleepwalking and talking – formally known as somniloquy, is a sleep disorder defined as talking during sleep without being aware of it. Sleep talking can involve complicated dialogues or monologues, complete gibberish or mumblin.

Night Terrors – happen during deep, non-dreaming sleep. A night terror is very similar to a nightmare but with a far more dramatic presentation.  Nightmares happen during dream sleep while night terrors occur in non-REM sleep and aren’t so much scary dreams, but more like a sudden shock of fear that happens as you go from one sleep phase to the next. They are known to last several minutes and longer.

With the many listed sleep disorders, and more being researched, it’s important for one suffering from any type of sleep problem or disorder to seek treatment or get to the root cause of the problem. If you feel that your sleep problems may be caused by a disorder, there are a number of interventions you can implement to solve your sleep issues from DIY tips and tricks to contacting our sleep clinic to schedule a home sleep study. Following a sleep study you will be well equipped with sufficient knowledge for improving your sleep, well-being and protecting yourself against the consequences and ill-health effects of non-optimal sleep.

Peter Šmanjak

Owner and Founder at Infinite Risk

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