Sleep Disorders and Solutions

person lying on bed

Signs, Symptoms and Treatments for Lack of Sleep Epidemic

At some point in their lives, most adults suffer from some sort of sleep problem, such as insomnia, sleep deprivation or snoring. More severe sleep issues, like sleep apnea, narcolepsy or sleep walking may be the cause. Whatever the case, it’s important to find out the cause and treat it before it gets worse.

Sleep Studies

Most areas have medical facilities that offer sleep studies. Often located in hospitals, these studies are done in sleep clinics, where the patient is observed overnight. The sleep study professional will check brain activity, oxygen levels in the blood, eye movement, pulse rate, breathing rates, snoring and other functions. These studies generally need to be prescribed by a physician. After the study, the specialist will make a sleep disorder diagnosis.

Types of Sleep Disorder Tests and Sleep Studies

Sleep studies are helpful in determining what the condition is, in order to prescribe the best treatment for the sleep disorder.

  • Polysomnogram—to check vital body functions while sleeping.
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test—to see how long it takes to fall asleep.
  • Multiple Wake Test—measures ability to stay awake.

Insomnia Sleep Disorders

People who suffer from insomnia have problems falling asleep or remaining asleep. According to MayoClinic.com, it’s one of the most common medical issues. Without enough sleep, people aren’t refreshed, don’t feel well, lack energy and often make poor decisions in all aspects of life. Many people suffer insomnia at some time, but when it becomes chronic, they need to make some changes in order to get the sleep they need.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation often has a specific cause that can be pinpointed and changed or treated. Lack of enough sleep can hinder the thought processes, render the sufferers incapable of dealing with stress and affect the immune system. Causes may be noise, too much light that interferes with the sleep cycle, night sweats from hormonal changes or other medical issues, the condition must be dealt with for health reasons.

Medical Sleep Aids

Specialists will order a sleep disorder treatment, based on their findings. For people with chronic sleep issues, sleep aids may help get the needed rest. These may include prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills, sleep masks or earplugs. Some people prefer more natural methods.

Homeopathic Sleep Aids

Those who prefer a more natural method of inducing sleep may prefer to try an herbal remedy.

  • Valerian—an herbal supplement taken about an hour before bedtime.
  • Melatonin—a supplement taken about a half hour before bedtime to replenish the melatonin that is naturally found in the body.

Sleep Relaxation Techniques

If the sleep disorder stems from stress or tension, there are several relaxation techniques that may help.

  • Visualization—imagining a relaxing scene.
  • Yoga—combines stretching, deep breathing and meditation.
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation—tense then relax the muscles, one muscle group at a time.

Diet

Certain foods may induce or prevent a good night’s sleep.

  • Eliminate or decrease caffeine
  • Eliminate or decrease sugar
  • Increase foods containing tryptophan
  • Increase magnesium, which helps with relaxation

Serious Sleep Disorders

People who suspect they have more serious sleep disorders should consult their doctor. Sleep apnea, chronic snoring, narcolepsy and sleep walking may need medical treatment.