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What Are Sleep Disorders and How Can I Get Help for One?

Sleep disorders can range from mild issues to serious illnesses, from problems that last a few weeks or months to chronic afflictions that can follow you for years. Learning to understand what sleep disorders are and how you can get help for them is vital. After all, sleep is one of the most important parts of our daily routines.

What Is a Sleep Disorder?

The [National Library of Medicine] defines a sleep disorder as a condition that disturbs your ability to sleep normally. There are many different types of these disorders. In fact, there are over 80 issues that fall under this category. Some of the most common sleep disorders include

  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia or narcolepsy
  • RLS, or restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Disorders associated with one’s circadian rhythms, which are supposed to regulate the times when you’re sleepy and the times when you’re awake
  • Parasomnia, sometimes known as sleepwalking

What Can Cause a Sleep Disorder?

Many different issues, behaviors, and even genetic predispositions can cause sleep disorders. In truth, some people are just born more likely to experience one of these issues. Other people might have another condition, like a mental illness or a physical problem that could lead to a sleep disorder.

Certain medicines can also cause some of these disorders, so it is important to always talk to your doctor about the possible side effects of a medication. Some behaviors like drinking too much alcohol, taking in too much caffeine, or doing something at a different time than normal — such as working during the night shift — can lead to a sleep disorder.

How Do I Know I Have a Sleep Disorder?

The common symptom that links all sleep disorders is difficulty maintaining normal sleeping patterns ([Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]). But there are other signs you should look for as well. Ask yourself the questions below.

  • Do I wake often during the night and find this to be normal?
  • Do I have trouble falling back to sleep once I wake up?
  • Does it take me more than half an hour to fall asleep at night?
  • Am I often told I move around, snore, jerk, or stop breathing while sleeping?
  • Do I find myself very sleepy at inopportune times during the day?

If you experience any of these issues, you may have a sleep disorder.

How Can I Manage My Sleep Disorder?

One of the best ways to manage a sleep disorder is to take on better sleeping habits. If you notice that you make it harder on yourself to fall asleep by doing things that aren’t good for you, try to change these habits. Changes can include eating healthier, exercising regularly, etc. The better your habits are when you are awake, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep.

Also, before you get ready for bed, try taking a warm bath. Make sure you do not turn on the TV as you’re trying to fall asleep. Rain sounds or white noise machines are much better ways to tell your brain it’s time to shut down for the night.

When Should I See a Doctor for Sleep Disorder Treatment?

Certain sleep disorders can be mild, but some can be life-threatening. Also, any time you haven’t been sleeping restfully for a long period can threaten your overall health. So, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about your sleep disorder when the home remedies just don’t seem to be making a difference. In addition, if you notice you stop breathing while sleeping, that you are in pain while trying to sleep, or you have any other red flag symptoms, you should consult a doctor.

Certain natural supplements, therapy, and relaxation techniques can be helpful, as can some medications. But it is still always necessary, no matter what option you choose, to talk to your doctor and make sure the option of your choice is a safe route. CareCube offers sleep disorder services that can assist you. Contact us today to find out how we can help improve your sleep.

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Call or come into your local CareCube today to learn how we can help you!