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How common are sleeping disorders?

Are you someone that struggles to fall asleep no matter how sleep-deprived you are? Have you ever experienced sudden attacks of sleep? Or times where your breathing just stops?

People often have a sleepless night every now and then. Sleeping disorders are more serious, however, as they can negatively change the quality of your sleep. Everyone can experience a sleeping disorder sometime in their life, as they’re quite common!

This article will cover how common are sleep disorders, their different types, how to tell if you have a sleeping disorder, as well as the causes.

Some examples of sleeping disorders

  • Insomnia is when you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, or waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep. This condition can be acute or chronic, and it can also come and go. Usually, it’s due to stress or a traumatic event.
  • Narcolepsy happens when you are severely drowsy during the day and suddenly fall asleep without warning. People who suffer from this may find that it’s accompanied by a sudden loss of muscle tone, triggered by a strong emotion.
  • Sleep apnea is when you have unusual patterns of breathing while you’re sleeping. There are three types: obstructive (the most common when the throat muscles are relaxed), central (when the brain doesn’t send signals to the muscles that control breathing), and complex (a combination of both).
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS) occurs when you experience an uncomfortable sensation that causes the urge to move your legs. This happens in the evening or night time when you’re sitting down or trying to fall asleep. Many people feel the need to move their legs in order to resolve the crawling, throbbing, aching, or electric feeling.

Do I have a sleep disorder?

Everyone can struggle with sleep at times. However, insomnia is more serious than a restless night. Symptoms involve tiredness during the day, irritability, as well as issues with concentration or memory.

Narcolepsy is also characterised by excessive sleepiness during the day. More significantly, people who have this sleeping disorder can experience hallucinations or sleep paralysis.

People with sleep apnea snore loudly in their sleep, as well as have episodes where they stop breathing. They may also encounter a dry mouth in the morning, as well as a headache.

With RLS, you may feel a creeping, crawling, electric sensation after sitting or lying down at night. People usually find relief by moving their legs. Your legs may also twitch and kick while you sleep.

Do you have any of these symptoms, or find yourself sleep-deprived for at least a few months? Then you most likely suffer from a sleeping disorder chronically, if so.

Causes of common sleep wake disorders

The main causes of sleep disorders can be due to your lifestyle. For example, staying up late, too much stress, as well as consumption of certain medications or alcohol. Genetics can also play a role, as well as any medical or psychological issues.

Should that be the case, you can consider making better choices. Cut down on your alcohol or screen time just before you go to bed. Establish a good night-time routine. You can also mute your notifications so work doesn’t bother you!

If the problem persists, it might be worth contacting your GP. They can refer you to some medications that could help, or a specialist to properly combat the issue.

How common are sleeping disorders? Very. Whether it’s insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or resting leg syndrome, many people experience it for a number of reasons. For example, the lifestyle choices they make or biological factors that are more out of their control.

If your sleep-deprivation has been persistent for a few months, it’s important to get it treated. Whether that’s through making a few choices, seeing a specialist, or talking to a therapist. Sleep is essential for our overall wellbeing. Lack of sleep can affect our physical health, mental health, as well as our daily routine.