Sleep is one of the most essential ways to maintain a sound and normal health and lifestyle. Sleeping helps in keeping the body fit and healthy. However, sleep is not always normal for most people worldwide. In the United States alone, more than 50 million people suffer from different types of sleeping disorders every year. Although the number of sufferers continues to grow each year, medical experts and scientists do not really fully comprehend this type of physiological condition.
A normal amount of sleep varies according to a person’s needs, that also depend on a number of factors such as age. Babies are the ones who require the longest hours for sleeping, averaging from 16 to 18 hours of sleep. Adults, on the other hand, need seven to eight hours of sleep a day. According to the most recent sleep studies, adults who are over 60 years of age are the ones who are diagnosed to have sleeping disorders.
Today, there are nearly 70 types of sleeping disorders that are generally defined into three categories:1. Disturbed sleep2. Excessive sleep3. Lack of sleep. Most sleep disorders are easily treated by means of various medical treatments if conditions are diagnosed correspondingly. Once a diagnosis is given by a doctor, the condition may be categorized either of the three types mentioned above.
1. Disturbed sleep. A disturbed sleeping condition is related to obstructive sleep apnea, which is known as an interrupted mode of breathing while an individual sleeps. This condition, which mostly triggers adults, may occur due to respiratory or neurological disorders. An individual diagnosed with this condition experiences loud snoring, thus, appearing that he or she is gasping for air. Apart from complications at the nasal passages, the obstructive sleep apnea may also occur due to obesity, alcoholism, and enlarged tonsils.
In sleep apnea, the sleeping cycle is disturbed or interrupted because the person needs to wake up at least 100 times each night to abate the muscles and resume breathing. As the amount of oxygen in the brain decreases, morning problems like headache may eventually occur. People who suffer from this sleep disorder are also susceptible to stroke and heart disease.
2. Excessive sleep. Narcolepsy is the most common condition under the excessive sleep disorder. In this condition, a person tends to have uncontrollable sleep patterns. The duration of abrupt sleep ranges from minutes to hours. Sleep attacks anytime, anywhere, thus, affecting an individual’s everyday activities, for he or she can fall asleep even while working.
Generally regarded as an inherited sleeping disorder, narcolepsy is also accounted to neurological and brain diseases. People who suffer from this sleeping disorder tend to tire easily and have hallucinations.
3. Lack of sleep. Insomnia is a common sleeping disorder that is defined as the inability to fall asleep. This condition is experienced by most individuals at some point in their lives. As insomnia significantly affects a person’s life, this condition generally results to stress, unbalanced diet, and emotional issues as sufferers worry and obsess about not getting enough amount of sleep.