Experiencing trouble sleeping from time to time because of issues such as stress, illness, travel or due to other temporary interruptions in your daily routine is normal and should not worry you. However, if the sleep problem becomes a regular occurrence and interferes with your normal life, then you may be suffering from a sleep disorder.
What Is A Sleep Disorder?
A sleep disorder can be described as a condition that frequently interferes with your ability to get quality or enough sleep. A sleep disorder can be characterized by symptoms such as problems getting to sleep, waking up feeling tired or exhausted, difficulties staying awake during the day, problems controlling your emotions, etc.
Apart from affecting your sleeping routine, a sleep disorder can also affect your physical and mental health, hurt your moods and energy, lead to weight gain and even interfere with your overall productivity and wellbeing.
However, you don’t have to live with a sleep disorder since there are quite many ways of dealing with this problem. In this post, we will talk about the most common sleep disorders and also give you some tips on how you can change your life around by ensuring that you get the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep.
Common Sleep Disorders
If you are unable to sleep well or at all during the night, then you could be suffering from insomnia. Insomnia can be caused by several factors such as underlying health condition, stress, medications, jet lag, depression, and anxiety. Consuming too much coffee a few hours to sleep can also lead to insomnia. It is essential to understand the root cause of insomnia as it will determine the remedial course of action to take.
2. Sleep Apnea
Another common sleep disorder is sleep apnea. This is where you temporarily stop from breathing while sleeping, hence getting your sleep disrupted.
People suffering from sleep apnea often don’t recall these awakenings, but they usually feel depressed during the day, are irritable and fatigued. If untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health conditions such as high blood pressure.
While some people struggle getting to sleep, there are some who are overly sleepy during the day.
Narcolepsy is a severe sleep disorder that occurs as a result of brain dysfunction. It is believed that this condition interferes with the brain mechanism responsible for sleeping and waking up. People suffering from this condition often fall asleep while working, talking or even driving!
Unfortunately, the cure for this condition has not yet been identified, but researchers believe that a combination of several treatment options can help deal with the symptoms hence enabling you to have a healthier life.
4. Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder
While other people struggle to sleep, there are some sleep who can’t just wake up or sleep on time. People suffering from this condition are unable to sleep or wake up during normal hours. For them, if it is not between 2-6am, they can’t get any sleep.
According to research, this condition is more common in teens. However, most people learn to outgrow this behaviour with time.
Other common sleep disorders include jet lag, shift work disorder, circadian rhythm sleep disorder, etc.
How to Beat Common Sleep Disorders
Now that we know the most common sleeping disorders, how can we overcome them?
· Set a sleeping pattern
Research has found out that maintaining a regular sleep pattern can help deal with most cases of sleep disorders. Although you can be tempted to stay late or oversleep on weekends and holidays, it is crucial that you maintain a consistent wake and sleep time every day. This will ensure that your body gets used to that routine and hence you don’t struggle getting to sleep or waking up. Staying up during a weekend may mean oversleeping on Monday!
· Limit day naps
Although day naps can be tempting especially after missed sleep, they may not always help. As already mentioned, our bodies get used to a regular sleeping pattern, and so if you nap during the day, you may end up interfering with this routine. Try and associate your sleep with cues such as consistent bedtime, darkness, low noise from the neighbourhood, etc.
· Reduce stress
If suffering from stress, you can enrol in the various stress reduction technique and relaxation therapies available today. Some of these techniques include imagery, biofeedback, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing techniques.
It is crucial that you go to bed on a relaxed mind to ensure that you don’t waste too much of your sleep time worrying or thinking.
· Cognitive therapy
If suffering from insomnia, then you may consider enrolling in cognitive therapy sessions. One of the best things about cognitive therapy is that it may help you identify things or thoughts causing you to lack sleep.
Also, cognitive therapy will help you set reasonable and achievable sleep goals.
· CBD oil for sleep
It turns out that CBD oil for sleep is an effective natural treatment for many sleep disorders.
CBD or Cannabidiol has a number of known health benefits including pain, anxiety, depression and stress relief. According to research, most cases of sleep disorders are caused by some underlying conditions such as stress, anxiety, and pain. By eliminating the underlying conditions, CBD is able to treat even the most severe cases of sleep disorder.
One of the best things about CBD oil for sleep is that it is a natural compound and does not have the adverse side effects associated with other sleep treatment techniques such as the use of pharmaceutical drugs.
· Limit activities in bed or before bed
If you suffer from insomnia or any other sleep disorder, it is vital that you don’t engage in too many active activities in bed or just before bed. For instance, try not to listen to the radio or watch television for at least one hour before bedtime. It is also crucial that you don’t use your phone or any other electronic device while in bed. This is because such activities are likely to increase your alertness hence making it difficult for you to fall asleep.
As you can see, there are so many ways of dealing with sleep problems. However, if your problem persists or is as a result of an underlying medical condition such as chronic pain due to cancer etc., it is crucial that you see your doctor as he will be able to advise you on the right course of action to take.