Sleep problems, including snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and restless legs syndrome, are common. Good sleep is necessary for optimal health and can affect hormone levels, mood and weight.
Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing is disrupted during sleep. Men, overweight people, and people over 40 are at greater risk for sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can cause hypertension, stroke, or heart failure.
Snoring: Not only is snoring a nuisance, but 75% of people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea (when breathing is disrupted during sleep for short periods), which increases the risk of developing heart disease.
Sleep Walking: Experts estimate that sleepwalking afflicts between 1% and 15% of the general population. It’s more common in children — especially those between the ages of 3 and 7 — than in adults. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2004 Sleep in America Poll, 1% of preschool children and 2% of school-age children walk in their sleep at least a few nights a week. The persistence of sleepwalking into adulthood is common. Overall, it is more likely to happen in sleep-deprived people. Fortunately, sleepwalking is not usually associated with underlying psychiatric or psychological problems. It’s simply a sleep disorder that usually happens when a person is in the deep-sleep phase, which should be the most restful, recuperative phase. Instead, sleepwalkers begin to do activities typical of wakefulness, such as talking, sitting up and looking around the room, getting out of bed and roaming the house, or even picking up car keys and going for a drive — all while remaining in deep sleep.
Insomnia: Insomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms:
*Difficulty falling asleep
*Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
*Waking up too early in the morning
*Feeling tired upon waking
There are two types of insomnia: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia.
Primary insomnia: Primary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems that are not directly associated with any other health condition or problem.
Secondary insomnia: Secondary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems because of something else, such as a health condition (like asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medication they are taking; or a substance they are using (like alcohol).
Hypersomnia: If you consistently feel drowsy during the day, talk to your doctor. You may be suffering from a sleep disorder called hypersomnia, which causes excessive daytime sleepiness.
Sleep Paralysis: Have you ever felt like you were awake but unable to move? You might have even felt afraid but could not call for help? This condition is called sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis may leave you feeling frightened, especially if you also see or hear things that aren’t really there. Sleep paralysis may happen only once, or you may have it frequently — even several times a night. The good news: sleep paralysis is not considered a dangerous health problem. Read on to find out more about sleep paralysis, its possible causes, and its treatment.Sleep researchers conclude that, in most cases, sleep paralysis is simply a sign that your body is not moving smoothly through the stages of sleep. Rarely is sleep paralysis linked to deep underlying psychiatric problems.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder: In a person with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), the paralysis that normally occurs during REM sleep is incomplete or absent, allowing the person to “act out” his or her dreams. RBD is characterized by the acting out of dreams that are vivid, intense, and violent. Dream-enacting behaviors include talking, yelling, punching, kicking, sitting, jumping from bed, arm flailing, and grabbing. An acute form may occur during withdrawal from alcohol or sedative-hypnotic drugs.