Emily Lockhart writes about 8 common sleep-associated disorders in her article, “8 Common Sleep Disorders.” They include, Obstructive Sleep Apnea Disorder (OSAD), Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, Jet Lag, Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder, Narcolepsy, Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), and Sleepwalking. Sleepwalking is considered a parasomnia disorder. Both an article in WebMD and in HealthLine explain that other parasomnia disorders include nightmares, night terrors, sleep talking, “confusional” arousal, groaning, nightmares, bedwetting, teeth grinding, or jaw clenching.
An article on ACCQ Sleep Labs’ website adds other disorders to the list. These include Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS), Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder, Insomnia, and Circadian Rhythm Disorder. Persistent or continued form of jet lag and may worsen due to usage of digital devices at sleeping hours. The disorders lead to 24/7 fatigue, laziness, and lack of motivation. They may even cause irritation and frustration along with drowsiness.
According to Lockhart, OSAD is a condition where breathing in the upper airways is temporarily blocked during sleep. This causes an interrupted sleep throughout the night due to loud, labored snoring, and stressful sleep. This results in severe daytime drowsiness, depression, moodiness, and an inability to concentrate during the waking hours. OSAD is closely associated with another syndrome called UARS. They both are similar in respect to blockage of breathing.
Lockhart next talks about Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD) and Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder (APSD). DSPD is when patients experience difficulty waking up in the morning. It affects a person’s biological clock. The body no longer syncs with normal required hours of sleep. It is impossible for the diagnosed individual to wake up even with an alarm clock or with someone waking them up. APSD is the exact opposite of DSPD; individuals with this condition lose the need to sleep. Their biological clock sets to rise earlier than it should. ASPD is most common in seniors and is often linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Lockhart believes narcolepsy is one of the most dangerous disorders. The patients get “sleep attacks” at any time of the day. It does not matter where they are what they are doing. It can happen during conversing, walking, driving, climbing stairs, or working. The sleep attacks occur without warning and can occur despite a good sleep at night. Narcolepsy causes a dysfunction in the brain mechanisms that manage sleeping and waking.
The ACCQ sleep labs website adds more to Lockhart’s explanation on Narcolepsy. They state that, “Other classic symptoms of narcolepsy include: cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle function), sleep paralysis (inability to talk or move upon waking or falling asleep) and hypnagogic hallucinations (vivid, dream like episodes that occur as you are falling asleep).”
Another WebMD article talks about sleep cycles and how REM plays a role in narcolepsy. During the sleep cycle, the sleeper enters rapid eye movement (REM) stage about 90 minutes into sleep. An individual with narcolepsy experiences REM almost immediately in the sleep cycle. REM may also occur during the waking hours.
In Lockhart’s article, she discusses another disorder known as Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake syndrome. This is when the sleeping period grows longer and longer. The biological clock sets to 25 hours or longer. This condition is mostly found in blind individuals as there is an absence of light cues. Lockhart also talks about Restless Sleep Syndrome (RLS). RLS causes a form of sensation in the lower legs. It may burn, ache, itch, twitch, or tingle upon falling asleep. This condition is often found in middle-aged people, especially those who have a family history of RLS. RLS is often associated with periodic limb movement disorder.
An article on WebMD, “Causes of Sleep Problems,” and an article on HealthLine, “Sleep Disorders,” state the general causes of sleep disorders to be physical disturbances, such as ulcers pain, chronic pain, or nocturia; medical issues, such as asthma, allergies, or respiratory problems; psychiatric disorders, such as depression or anxiety; environmental issues, genetics, night shift work, medications, or aging.
HealthLine shares medical treatments for sleep disorders. These treatments include sleeping pills, melatonin supplements, allergy or cold medication, medication for any underlying health issues, breathing device or surgery, or a dental guard for teeth clenching.
An article on WebMD, “Preventing Sleep Problems,” shares healthier options as a way of preventing sleep disorders. Incorporate more vegetable and fish, reduce the intake of sugar, reduce stress and anxiety via physical activity, create, and follow a sleep schedule, drink more water during the day and less at night, limit the caffeine, decrease tobacco and alcohol consumption, and eat low carbohydrate meals before bedtime.
This healthy lifestyle not only treats the sleeping disorders, but can also prevent them. For further prevention, people are encouraged to sleep on a comfortable bed in a dark and quiet room. Keep the temperature comfortable—not too hot and not too cold. Turn off all electronics and try to relax before going to bed. Reading a book, listening to music, or taking a shower can all help people relax. If you are in bed and cannot sleep, making a to-do list may also be beneficial. A good night’s sleep will lead to a productive day.