Can’t Sleep: Can Be a Sleep Disorder

Do you wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to sleep again, no matter how tired you are or how hectic your day was? Or do you feel your mood, health and ability to perform daily tasks have altered or worsened? It can be sleeping disorder, insomnia with a risk of some serious underlying condition.

sleep disorders

Each one of us must have experienced this at one time or another. According to the Institute Of Medicine, 50-70 million Americans are affected by sleeping disorders that has been linked to excessive daytime sleepiness, car crashes and behavioral problems. The following health problems are commonly associated with sleep disorders:

  1. Prolonged medical and physical conditions: There are many medical and physical conditions that can cause sleep disorder. Some of the common problems are:
  • Heartburn due to the acidity: Lying down in bed often worsens the heartburn, which is the result of the backup of stomach acid into the esophagus. Avoid the heartburn by abstaining from fatty or heavy food items, alcohol and coffee. Over the counter drugs can help you suppress acidity and aid sound sleep.
  • Diabetes: Diabetic patients find it difficult to sleep because of night sweats and urge to urinate frequently due to diabetes. This affects the sleep pattern and cause inconvenience.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders: Arthritis pain makes it hard for people to fall asleep and resettle when they shift positions. Also, treatment with steroids often causes insomnia. You might feel the urge to take the pain killers before bedtime to relieve swelling and pain in your joints during the night, but it might result in sleep disorder.
  1. General mental disorders: People with depression or anxiety often find it difficult to fall asleep. Anxiety, panic attacks and depression often strike at night and it becomes very difficult to sleep. Further, the sleep loss exacerbates the problems and worsens the situation.
  2. Brain and nerve disorders: There are certain nerve and brain disorders that cause sleeplessness. People who suffer from epilepsy are prone to seizures twice more likely as people who suffer from insomnia. The brave wave disturbance causes seizures cause deficit in the slow-wave sleep. Over the time the anti-seizure drugs correct the sleep disturbances if used for long. Other nerve disorders that cause sleep disorder are tumors, strokes, headaches and Parkinson’s disease.

Do not accept poor sleep as a way of your life; instead seek a sleep medicine specialist help. Remember, sound sleep is a necessity and a key to up your potential, and not a luxury.





Different Types Of Treatments And Services Assured By Sleep Disorder Clinic

Are you frustrated most of the times throughout the day? Has your partner complained about your bringing down the house at night with your snoring? Then it is high time that you consult a medical practitioner as it is very critical to get a good night’s sleep for the healthy body and mind. It helps you to function properly, contributes to your health and promotes restorative functioning such as facial skin cell rejuvenation.

If your ability to sleep is affected by prolonged snoring and want to live a happy and healthy life, then you must consider the following treatments and services offered by sleep disorder clinics:

  1. Sleep program: There are many online interactive programs that benefit individuals who are experiencing insomnia, generally from 1 to 6 months. This is an alternative treatment to take sleep medications. People who have persistent insomnia, for more than six months may also benefit from this program. Individuals in this program will learn the lifestyle and sleep habits that will improve their sleep patterns. A good sleep program includes:
  • 6 weeks of effective sleep therapy
  • A daily sleep score and online sleep log
  • Recommendations for improving sleep on a regular basis
  • Activities that help to induce sleep
  • Personal goal/progress charts
  • Motivational tips
  • 6 unique relaxation practices
  1. PAP Therapy: Positive Airways Pressure testing is often recommended for individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This condition causes the upper airways to collapse during sleep. This prevents air from entering your lungs. The PAP device works by keeping the airways open via air pressure that is introduced, though a nose mask or similar apparatus. The air travels to the throat and into the upper airways. The quantity of air pressure is then measured by the pap machine in the sleep study. Two types of devices may be used in PAP therapy:
  2. CPAP or Continuous Positive Airways Pressure has been the most frequently used PAP devices. The Auto PAP can modify the pressure that is applied in the night to determine the absence or presence of respiratory disorders that are sleep-induced.
  3. Adaptive-Servo Ventilation is a positive airway pressure that constantly monitors a patient’s breathing patterns. A mask delivers air through the mouth or nose.  Both devices can be adjusted to different sizes to match the individual’s needs. The sleep technologist or specialist will do the fitting.
  4. PAP-Naps: This procedure occurs in the daytime and is offered to patients who are hesitant or resistant to undergoing diagnosis and treatment of a sleep-related breathing disorder, the PAP therapy. It involves a group or individual education, close follow up, sleep technician coaching, objective data monitoring and telephone calls. The PAP-Nap is an in-lab, cardio-respiratory, abbreviated recording monitored by a technologist. The goal is to improve a patient’s PAP compliance. Pap-Naps are offered in the setting of PAP therapy to patients who suffer from sleep breathing issues and are co-morbid with other conditions such as panic attacks, insomnia, and anxiety. The procedure may vary from 60 to 180 minutes, during which time the sleep technologist will provide individual counseling and coaching to help the patient overcome barriers to PAP therapy.
  5. Sleep Test: Many sleep disorders like sleep apnea requires an overnight observation in a sleep laboratory. During this sleep testing, electrodes placed on your head will record your brain activity, muscle activity and eye movement. Sensors are also placed on your chest, abdomen and nose monitor breathing patterns. On the night of the test, you will be asked to sleep at your usual bedtime. Individuals who suffer from narcolepsy may have to undergo a multiple sleep-latency test following the overnight sleep test. The sleep test provides a comprehensive and objective evaluation that will help medical professionals with a complete picture of your sleep patterns.

These sleep treatments and services offered at sleep disorder clinic needs to be chosen keeping the personal health and medical condition in consideration.

Three Types Of Sleep Disorders You Need To Know About

People frequently talk about spending restless nights because they cannot sleep well. But what most of us don’t realize is that frequent inability to sleep is a warning bell. It marks the onset of sleep disorder, a medical condition that affects the sleep patterns of an individual.

Sleep disorders can be grouped into three categories: lack of sleep or insomnia, excessive sleep and disturbed sleep. Read below to know more about each of them:

Lack of sleep

Insomnia is an inability to fall into the state of sleep. This is a common problem experienced by most people on an occasional basis. When it does happen, most people feel exhausted or tired and it disrupts daily routine. Insomnia may result from diet, emotional difficulties, stress, underlying disease, or other factors.

Individuals experiencing short term insomnia may be prescribed sleeping pills. For long term sufferers, sleeping pills may exacerbate the condition. For them, meditation or professional assistance is recommended.

Disturbed Sleep

Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing is interrupted during sleep. A neurological disorder or mechanical malfunction in your windpipe may be the underlying factor. Age is another reason, because as you get older your muscle tone begins to relax, which may contribute to the collapsing of your windpipe.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where blocked air and loud snoring last for up to 60 seconds. The person may appear to be snorting or gasping for air due to the lack of oxygen. When this happens, the brain responds by tightening the muscles and opening the windpipe. Factors that contribute to sleep apnea include obesity, enlarged nostrils and narrow nasal passages. Smoking, alcohol and sedatives may worsen this condition. Long term effects of the windpipe, closing leads to oxygen deprivation. This is the primary trigger behind decreased mental function and morning headaches. Individuals suffering from sleep apnea are at an increased risk for developing stroke and heart disease.

The other common disturbed sleep disorders are REM sleep behavior disorder, restless legs syndrome and Periodic limb movement disorder. All these need to be addressed with the help of sleep clinics or experienced medical experts.

Excessive Sleep

Narcolepsy is a medical condition whereby a person falls asleep throughout the daytime, lasting from a minute to more than thirty minutes. These sleep attacks occur uncontrollably and can occur at any time, even when the person is busy with an activity. Narcoleptics demonstrate an abnormal sleep pattern. Their entry into REM sleep is premature without entering the normal sequence of sleep. This condition is genetic and has been associated with neurological disease and or brain damage.

The other excessive sleep disorders are Cataplexy, sleep paralysis and Hynagogic hallucinations.

man with sleep paralysis

All the sleep disorders must be dealt seriously as little carelessness can pose serious health and life risks. The best way to tackle the sleep disorder is to acknowledge that you are suffering from disorders and need assistance. This will ensure a health professional and personal life.


Top 3 Home Remedies For Curing Insomnia

It is 4:00 A.M. and still the sleep has not knocked your door, and you begin to feel helpless and worries as how will you work tomorrow? How will you cope up with a presentation at the meeting or how will you manage the kids, being sleep deprived?

On an average adult need seven to eight hours of sleep, but insomnia doesn’t let them sleep. Research shows that insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and over one-third of US population finds it difficult to sleep enough to function well throughout the day. Also, insomnia has a number of serious health risks associated like cardiovascular diseases, depression and anxiety. To deal with this serious issue, here are some home remedies for curing insomnia:

  1. Get comfortable: The sleep may elude if the bed is too soft or too hard or if the pillows are not right. To get proper sleep it is very important to sleep in a quieter room. As per the National Sleep Foundation the ideal sleep inducing environment is quiet, dark, comfortable and cool. Also, remember the bedroom is the place for sex and sleep and not for eating, work or arguing with your partner.
  2. Limit alcohol and caffeine: Though, alcohol can make you feel drowsy and put you to sleep, but you will wake up later in the night because of full bladder or a headache or stomach ache. Also, after the sedative effect of alcohol disappears, the rebound effect gives you a lot of trouble to sleep again. And caffeine on the other hand stimulates the brain and affects the sleeping pattern.
  3. Take little sugar: It is suggested to finish your meal at least two to three hours before the bedtime. But to get a sound sleep, a glass of milk and some cookies can do wonders. Eating sugary foods about thirty minutes before bedtime act as a sedative and induce sound sleep. Honey has the same effect like sugar. Add one tablespoon of honey to your cup of herbal tea or warm milk and enjoy a relaxed sleep.

Other home remedies that you must try are establishing a sleep pattern, exercise, adequate carbohydrates and meditation. The secret is to make the body and mind feel relaxed so that you can sleep.

Types of Sleep Problems in Children

Children are known to be most innocent sleepers. Usually a sleep disorder is linked to stress and since children are not expected to be stressed, they are bound to have a sound sleep. If stress was the only reason which doesn’t allow people to get the best night sleep, probably, no children in the world would suffer from sleep disorders. But, the truth is far from reality as according to a report by National sleep Foundation, almost 69% of children aged below 10 years of age suffer from one or other kind of sleep disorder. Some of the most common sleep disorders present in children are:

  1. Insomnia: This is one of the most common problems in which a child faces problem in falling asleep. Apart from the initial sleeplessness, the child may also wake up frequently throughout the night. It is important to find the cause of insomnia as it can be because of some stress or a psychiatric condition of the child. Try to induce a calming environment for the child before taking him to bed.
  2. Night terror: A night terror is nothing more than a frightening dream but the problem with night terror is that they awaken a child. A night terror has an upsetting effect on the child and may not allow him to sleep again thus making him sleep deprived. If your child complains of nightmares, try to assure him that he is safe. You can also install a nightlight in his room.
  3. Sleep talking: A large number of children have a habit of talking or laughing or even screaming while being asleep. A sleep talking child is usually unaware of what he is doing. Even though this is a common problem, this is not considers serious as sleep is not disturbed.
  4. Sleep walking: A sleep deprived child is most likely to sleep walk. Sleep walking is most common between children of three to seven years. An average sleep walks lasts somewhere between five to 20 minutes. Even though, it doesn’t affect the child’s sleep, the child may get hurt while sleep walking.
  5. Snoring and sleep apnea: Snoring is usually produced by partial blockage of nasal airways while sleeping. A child who suffers from chest congestion or tonsils may snore at night. Sleep apnea is also a result of inability to breather properly while sleeping. It is a serious problem and must be addressed to the doctor at once. Sleep apnea can even cause behavioral changes in the child.

In most of the cases, this goes unnoticed and the problem gets aggravated. It is high time you analyze the sleeping pattern of your child and look for the following symptoms if present:

  • Your infant or newborn is extremely irritated or fussy
  • Your child snores or makes loud noise while sleeping/ breathing
  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Complains night mares or wakes up frequently during night

If any of these symptoms is resent in your child, you must acknowledge his problem and talk to a doctor to get professional help. A sleep disorder can actually have a lost lasting effect on the development of overall development of a healthy personality.

All You Need To Know About Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy, a neurological disorder affects the control of wakefulness and sleep. People with narcolepsy experience extreme daytime sleepiness and uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime. These sleep attacks can occur at any time of the day and during any activity.

In a typical sleep cycle, the body enters the early stage of sleep that is followed by deeper sleep stage and roughly about 90 minutes the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. But people suffering from narcolepsy, REM occur almost immediately in the sleep cycle and periodically during the waking hours. It is during the REM sleep that we experience the muscle paralysis and dreams that explains the symptoms of narcolepsy.

rem sleep

Causes of Narcolepsy

Though, the causes of narcolepsy are still not identified, but research shows that genes play a major role. The genes control the chemical production in the brain that signals awake and sleep cycles. In case of faulty genes, the cycle is abrupt and it causes problems. Some experts believe narcolepsy to be the result of a deficiency of hypocretin chemical produced by the brain.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy

Wondering, what are the symptoms of narcolepsy? Some of them are mentioned for your reference:

  1. Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS): Excessive daytime sleepiness interferes with the normal activities on a daily basis, irrespective of whether the person with narcolepsy had sufficient sleep at night. People suffering with EDS report lack of energy, mental cloudiness, lack of concentration, memory lapses, extreme exhaustion and depressed mood.
  2. Sleep paralysis: Here the person witness temporary inability to speak or move while waking up or falling asleep. These episodes generally last for a few seconds to minutes. Right after the end of the episode, the person recovers with their full capacity to speak and move around.
  3. Cataplexy: Herein, the person experiences a sudden loss of muscle tone that results in weakness and loss of voluntary muscle control. This might result in body collapse to slurred speech to total depending on the muscles involved. In most cases it is triggered by intense emotions such as anger, laughter and surprise.

Risks involved

Narcolepsy is a lifestyle threatening sleep disorder as it affects your daily activities and make you feel disabled by affecting the relationship at work or home. The laziness, antagonism and disinterest that mark the symptoms are often not understood by many which mar the personal and professional relationships. This is not all, the risk of accidents is quite high due to the abrupt and variable nature. In most cases, people have been reported to have fallen asleep while driving.

So, if you or your loved one is suffering from Narcolepsy, it is best to seek immediate medical assistance and visit to sleep clinic for the best help.

My husband Snores: How should I deal with it?

You come back home after a tiresome day and get into bed after winding up the day. The moment you fall asleep, a loud noise startles you and you find it impossible to sleep. Is this creating trouble between you and him? Survey shows, a snoring partner is the second biggest reason for divorce after a cheating partner.

snoring husband

Undoubtedly, it is tough to deal with a snoring husband, but a little careful thought for the man you love and married, would certainly help you sail through this phase. Instead of feeling irritated and helpless, as a supporting partner, you must deal with it patiently and look for probable solutions. Some of the ways to deal with the problem are mentioned below:

  1. Talk to him: Snoring is an unconscious process and there are high chances that he is not even ready to accept that he snores. Sit together and instead of shouting at him of making fun of his snoring, make him understand that snoring is not healthy. Look for the reasons that make him snore and help him to overcome them. Some of the reasons that can be behind his snoring can be:
  • Being overweight: Get him up early in the morning and go for jogging. Help him lose those excess pounds and ensure a better sleep for both of you. Make some quality lifestyle changes including healthy eating habits.
  • Chest congestion: If he is suffering from chest congestion, he will feel difficult to breath and this result in snoring. Seek a doctor’s help to get rid of his chest congestion.
  • Avoid alcohol: Alcohol relaxes muscles all over the body and the relaxed nasal muscles result in snoring. Stay him away from taking any alcohol, especially at night.
  • Sleeping on back: Sleeping on the sides will help him get a better sleep and reduces snoring. So whenever you feel, the snores are getting louder, ask him to shift sides.
  1. Use anti snoring devices: There are a number of anti-snoring devices available in the market right from the traditional ear plugs to nasal strips. While an ear plug will help you get a better sleep a nasal strip will ensure a better sleep for both of you. You can try any one of them according to your convenience.

It is definitely your support that your snoring husband needs. So why not give him a chance and hit a sleep disorder clinic instead of the court for seeking divorce!  See 12 hours of snoring to learn more about snoring.



Is Lack of Sleep Affecting Your Weight?

Dieters around the world will be shocked to learn that their lack of sleep or issues with insomnia may be the cause of them gaining weight, or prevent them from loosing those last 10 pounds. According to studies that were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, loss of sleep may have a direct effect on how hungry a person is the following day.

Sleep and Hormones

The hormones ghrelin and leptin both influence appetite and are released during sleep. If you are lacking hours of sleep or have poor quality sleep the leptin levels will plunge and your brain will not be able to receive the message saying that your stomach is full, causing your appetite to increase during the day. In addition to leptin levels plunging, the ghrelin levels increase and stimulate your appetite even further, causing you to overeat.

For someone who is adhering to their healthy diet may find it extremely difficult not to eat larger servings or even cheat on their diet with a sugary snack. A common fix to frequent hunger pains tends to be a cup of coffee filled with cream and sugar. These types of temporary fixes can cause weight gain or prevent you from losing more weight.

Sleeping Habits

If you find that you are following all of the rules of your diet, eating healthy and exercising, but still can’t seem to shake off those last 10 to 5 pounds, you may want to focus on your sleeping habits. Are you eating right before bed? Even though it might be a healthy snack, eating before bed can cause your sleep to be interrupted. For example, you may enjoy a fresh orange right before bed. This healthy snack is approved for your diet and is low in calories and high in vitamins. However, it is also an acidic food that can cause you to wake up several times during the night due to discomfort from experiencing heartburn or acid reflux. The frequent waking up effects your quality and quantity of sleep and causes your leptin and ghrelin hormones to make you feel hungry. When you awake in the morning, instead of adhering to your healthy breakfast you have scheduled, you will probably want to consume more food, or grab a donut to satisfy your hunger pains.

Improve Your Sleeping Habits

You can do a few things that will help you improve your sleep. In this case you will want to begin with eating your last snack, meal and drink of the day at least two hours prior to your bedtime. In addition, you will want to avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine before bed as well. Drinking water prior to going to bed may seem harmless but it will cause you to frequently wakeup during the night and interrupt your sleep many times.

It is wise to eat a healthy diet and indulge in your favorite foods in moderation. However, if you find yourself frequently needing to eat unhealthy snacks, you may want to focus on your sleep habits and improving them in order to reach and maintain your goal weight.

This post pulled much information from the brilliant Slumber Sage, more info on their RebelMouse account.

Sleep Disorder makes Pregnancy Term Even Difficult

Pregnancy poses several hardships in a woman’s life. A woman undergoes millions of physical and mental changes right from the first day of pregnancy. Even though most of the problems like nausea, fatigue, constipation and hypertension are well addressed by gynecologists, there is another problem that is equally challenging but gets ignored by one and all. You guessed it right! It is sleep disorder or pregnancy insomnia. What makes the condition even worse is that you are actually not able to sleep even though you are tired. Wondering what the causes are behind it? Some of them are listed below for your convenience:

  1. Changing hormones: Pregnancy insomnia is the result of changing hormone levels. In fact, the excessive daytime sleepiness in the first trimester is the result of high levels of a hormone called progesterone. Some hormones change the working pattern of muscles which results in snoring during pregnancy leading to sleep apnea.
  2. Anxiety and emotions: Pregnancy is a time in which a woman is over brimming with emotions. These emotions include motherhood joy, anxiety about the remaining pregnancy and fears of delivery and labor, the future of the baby to come, maintain work life balance amongst all things. All these things increase the anxiety levels and aggravate insomnia.
  3. Physical discomforts: During the third trimester, there is a very frequent urge of urinating which hampers a sound sleep. Apart from it, the growing belly also causes discomfort and you have to keep changing sides to shift the weight and as a result you end up having sleepless nights.

Even though sleep disorders are considered as a part and parcel of pregnancy, they have a direct impact on some of the problems like low birth weight, preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. So it is highly recommended to consult your gynecologist about your sleep disorders instead of spending away the nights tossing on the bed. In case, your problem is severe, you may also consult a sleep disorder clinic to ensure a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby.

5 Tips To Deal With Seasonal Sleep Disorder

If the transitions from summers to winters or winters to spring leave you tossing at night, you are not alone. The National Sleep Foundation shows that on an average 50 to 70 million people are affected by sleep-related problems and the changing weather is particularly disruptive to the peaceful sleep time. Wondering what is the reason behind it? It is because the bodies need a set amount of sleep to feel fresh and with ‘fall back’ or ‘spring forward’ our body fails to adjust the bedtime. This results in the compromise with the ability to maintain the needed hours of rejuvenation. To deal with the seasonal sleep disorder here are 10 tips to deal with it:

  1. Breath affects the sleep: The onset of spring also marks the allergy season. Therefore, it is pretty important to sleep well during the allergy season by maintaining good nasal hygiene. The best way is to use nasal drops. Pollens and other allergens impact our breathing during the night, which can wreak havoc on sleep.
  2. Prepare yourself for the time change: With ‘spring forward’ or ‘fall back’ it is recommended to count backward from the time you need to wake up by eight hours. This should be your daily bedtime. Keep forwarding 15 minutes daily before a week of the time change. On the day of the change you will be well-rested and back on the schedule.
  3. Limit the stimulants: It is very important to stimulate the activities too close the bedtime to produce a surge of endorphins that hinders good sleep. Some things that you must totally avoid are paying bills, discussing financial stress and intake of caffeine. Cut down on the intake of liquid at least two hours before your bedtime as the full bladder acts a stimulant that prevents you from staying asleep throughout the night.
  4. Get unplugged: Experts recommend turning off of our TV, computers, phone or iPad at least thirty minutes before you hit the bed. This is because these can excite your nervous system, both psychologically from the content and biologically from the lights. Let the mind relax and not excite it by bringing distractions to it.
  5. Eat for sleep: Did you know that your evening snacks can promote high quality sleep. It is advisable to focus on foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium. The combination of nutrient increases the melatonin and serotonin level in the body. For the nighttime snack it is recommended to take a yogurt parfait with Greek yogurt, strawberries and bananas that is topped with almonds to stabilize the nerve and muscle fibers. In case you suffer from hot flashes, eat a bowl of whole grain cereals or fruit smoothie. These food items help in easing out the hormonal fluctuations at night and ensure a good night’s sleep.

These 5 tips will help you combat the seasonal sleep disorder and live a healthy, happy and satisfied life.