Unfortunately, few adults actually sleep well during the night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 35% of adults rate their sleep as fair or poor. Even worse, 25% declared that they do not wake up with a feeling of being refreshed at least one time in a 7 days period. Insufficient sleep is actually labeled as one of the national health epidemics by the CDC.
The big problem is that the reason why you might not sleep well is not easy to identify. There are countless sleep disorders that exist. Before you quickly go to the store and change your mattress because you blame it for your sleeping problems, learn about the common sleep disorders mentioned below. You might be affected by them.
Insomnia is caused by certain medications, high stress levels, depression, anxiety alcohol abuse or drug abuse. Its main symptom is difficulty to fall asleep. Then, maintaining sleep is also difficult. It is normal to have a bad sleep from time to time but when you are suffering from the mentioned insomnia symptoms for a minimum of 3 months, you might have this disorder.
The treatment for insomnia is usually a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. Around 30% of US citizens suffer from this condition.
This is caused by a partial or complete throat blockage. Sleep apnea is characterized by morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, and excessively loud snoring. Because of this condition, you might end up not breathing many times during the night. Unfortunately, you do not realize the fact that this happens until there is someone else that tells you this is the case.
The most common of the sleep apnea treatments is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which is a machine that keeps your throat open with the use of a steady air stream. Around 25% of adults suffer from a minimum of a mild sleep apnea form.
Restless Leg Syndrome
It is not actually known what causes this disease but it might be hereditary and there is proof that some medications cause it. The symptom is basically an irresistible urge that you cannot control to move limbs. It often happens during evenings or when you rest. It is possible that you move or kick hundreds of times every single night.
The best treatment is reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption while you undergo regular exercise. Medication will be prescribed by doctors when it is necessary. 10% of people suffer from restless leg syndrome.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
In this case, the brain cannot prevent motor movement when you sleep. The common symptoms are intense and sudden movements while sleeping. When affected by this sleep disorder, you most likely jump out of your bed, trash it or hit furniture. Unfortunately, the best solution is almost always medication. Fortunately, this is a rare condition that just affects 1% of people.
This condition is caused by abnormalities that appear in the part of your brain that is responsible for controlling REM sleep. Those that suffer from this can fall asleep suddenly at really inopportune moments. However, most spend days feeling really sleepy. They rarely differentiate between sleeping and being wide awake.
What is very damaging is that it becomes very difficult to remain awake, even if the environment is stimulating, like a concert. If affected by narcolepsy, you might also be affected by cataplexy, which is a condition leading to fainting episodes. This can be caused by any emotional reaction, like when you laugh because you hear a joke. The only way to treat narcolepsy is to take medication. The only good news is that under 200,000 people are diagnosed with this condition every single year.