Sleep disorders: Sleeping Disorders and Information

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On average, adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night.  Not getting enough sleep affects your ability to handle stress, memory, creativity, blood pressure, mood and appetite.  Getting too little sleep increases your 'sleep debt'--a term used by sleep experts referring to the difference between the sleep you should be getting, and the sleep you are getting.  When you acquire too much sleep debt, not only will your functioning be impaired, but you also may develop a sleeping disorder or medical condition such as hypertension or obesity.  

Types of Sleeping Disorders

  • Apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when you have lapses in your breathing during sleep.  The severity of apnea is dependent upon how frequent these lapses occur per hour.  
  • Insomnia. Insomnia is characterized by a difficulty falling or staying asleep.  Insomnia is classified as either primary or secondary.  Primary insomnia is when sleeping issues are not the result of other medical conditions or issues, while secondary insomnia is when the sleeping issues are caused by either a medical condition or substance.  
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding).  Grinding your teeth while you sleep is not uncommon.  It only becomes an issue when the grinding happens frequently enough to cause dental harm--possibly resulting in loss of teeth.  
  • Parasomnias.  Parasomnias are sleeping disorders which are partial arousals that occur between being awake and asleep.  Parasomnias include sleepwalking, night terrors, sleep paralysis, confusing arousals, nightmares, and other disorders.  

Sleep Disorder Facts

  • 40% of people will have symptoms of hypersomnia (the inability to stay awake/alert) from times to time
  • 1-6$ of children experience night terrors
  • Nearly 20% of the population is prone to sleepwalking--mostly children
  • 70% of the population experiences 'frequent sleep issues'
  • Middle-aged overweight men are at risk for sleep apnea
  • Middle-aged women are more prone to insomnia

Reducing Stress for Better Rest

80% of the population experiences Insufficient Sleep Syndrome--daytime sleepiness due to a lack of quality sleep at night.  Commonly, issues sleeping are the result of stress in one's life.  Follow these tips to help your stress and get better rest:

  • Assess what is causing your stress.  Once you know where your stress comes from, take steps towards cutting stress out of your life
  • Altering your diet towards healthier foods that are low in sugar and caffeine can help relieve stress and promotes health
  • Devoting time to spend with your family and friends is a good way to relieve some stress
  • Getting adequate sleep allows you to be able to take on a day's stresses much easier than you could without the proper amount of sleep.  Good rest helps improve your attitude and mental sharpness
  • Getting enough exercise is important to blow off some stream and helps in getting a proper night's rest
  • Delegating responsibilities at work and in the home allow you to not take on too many responsibilities and relieve some of your stresses