Have a hard time falling asleep? Do you frequently wake up at night? If so, you might be dealing with a sleep disorder, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or narcolepsy. These problems affect over 40 million people in America alone. Sleep apnea alone occurs in more than five percent of the population. Over time, sleep deprivation increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, weight gain, and other chronic illnesses.
Approximately 75 percent of adults have sleeping problems regularly. Insomnia and other sleeping disorders are usually caused by stress, but they may also indicate an underlying health condition. Most people struggling with these issues report a strong urge to take naps, daytime fatigue, difficulty staying asleep, depression, mood swings, and poor concentration.
Insomnia, one of the most common sleeping disorders, makes it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Hypersomnia causes excessive sleepiness throughout the day. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you stop breathing at night or make chocking noises. Some people may also experience restless leg syndrome, leg cramps, and periodic limb movements during sleep. Night terrors and nightmares can affect your mood, causing irritability, panic attacks, and even chronic depression.
Most sleeping problems go away by themselves. Some may require medication or counseling. In general, these issues can be managed through lifestyle changes, such as keeping a consistent sleep schedule, turning off electronics at bedtime, and avoiding certain foods, alcohol, and caffeine.
If you have a sleeping disorder, try to identify its cause. These problems may be triggered by upper respiratory infections, colds, allergies, chronic pain, and anxiety. Take the time to relax and reduce stress in your life. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Consider taking melatonin supplements or herbal sleeping pills. Valerian and chamomile tea calm the nervous system, leading to better sleep. If these problems don’t go away, you can try acupuncture or cognitive behavioral therapy.