Tips For Improving Sleep Quality with Sleep Disorders

Tips For Improving Sleep Quality with Sleep Disorders
 - Hyderabad

Pulmonologist

Hyderabad   |   24 Jun 2024

Quality sleep is of utmost importance not just to prevent chronic diseases but also to function normally in every day life. Getting a good nights sleep has major restorative capacity and our body goes through several physiological changes during sleep. Sleep Disorders effect one’s sleep quality, quantity and disrupts the various stages of sleep.

What are the different types of sleep disorders that people commonly experience?

Based on how your sleep is disrupted and what symptoms it is causing, different categories of sleep disorders exist.

  • Insomnia: This is the most prevalent and wide spread sleep disorder experienced by people. This indicates that the person is finding it difficult to sleep and maintain quality uninterrupted sleep.
  • Sleep Apnea: It is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Offen have complaints of snoring and day time fatigue.
  • Narcolepsy: In narcolepsy, it becomes extremely difficult to stay awake during day. 
  • Circadian rhythm disorders: In these types of sleep disorders, the internal clock also known as the circadian rhythm does not align with the normal day and night cycle. This can make it difficult to get quality sleep.
  • Movements during sleep: There can be some movement disorders like the restless leg syndrome that interrupts your sleep. These urges to constantly change body’s position can be a symptom of various underlying causes.
  • Parasomnias: This category of sleep disorders have become increasingly common today. Episodes of sleepwalking, hallucinations, sleep talking, sleep paralysis and night terrors can completely disrupt normal sleep.

These sleep disorders may be short term or long term based on the underlying reason. They severely effect the quality of life.

What are the potential causes and risk factors associated with sleep disorders?

Sleep hygiene can be disrupted by various underlying factors. These causes may be either related to a single factor or be multi factorial needing comprehensive intervention. 

Some factors that cause sleep disorders are:

  • Actual Physical pain: If there is a disease or trauma to the body such as a chronic pain from autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or migraines even conditions like fibromyalgia, it can cause several types of sleep disorders.
  • Upper respiratory obstructions: In conditions like sleep apnea, the breathing pattern is disrupted during sleep and it causes people to suddenly wake up to forcefully inhale. 
  • Psychological conditions: Conditions like depression disorders and anxiety can also be an underlying cause. 
  • Surroundings and Environment problems: Sometimes adjusting the surrounding you sleep in if the area is too bright or you get interrupted by loud noises, can help you sleep better.
  • Stress: Sometimes short term insomnia is triggered by a major life changing event. This could be related to either personal or professional losses. 
  • Genetics: Narcolepsy has been studied extensively and the research shows that it can be inherited causing disruption to sleep cycle.
  • Night shift: Working during the sleep hours works against the natural biological clock. This can cause long term effects and potential chronic conditions.
  • Medications: Antidepressants, cold and allergy decongestants. Few blood pressure medication by indirectly producing cough
  • Physiological aging: The normal aging process has been noted to be associated with decreased sleep quality. 

What strategies can help improve sleep quality and combat sleep disorders?

It is best to avoid day time naps if you are prone to have trouble sleeping at night. 

  • There have been studies done which proof that getting some amount of natural light in the morning positively influences night time sleep. 
  • Exercise is important for good sleep quality.
  • Practice relaxation techniques to manage stress like meditation and deep breathing exercises.
  • Adjust your sleeping area to have little to no light and no noise.
  • Have an established routine to sleep and stick to it. 
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before getting to bed.

Are there any natural remedies or alternative therapies that can aid in better sleep?

When considering alternative options for sleep disorders or any disease as a matter of fact, it is important to understand that the results would not be consistent for everyone are they are not standardized therapies. 

However, Chamomile tea, Ashwagandha and Melatonin supplements can be taken to aid good sleep.

When should someone seek medical help for their sleep disorder?

If you are experiencing lack of quality sleep for over four weeks, it is best to get a consultation and seek medical help from a professional. If you experience difficulty breathing while falling asleep, you should seek help immediately.

Conclusion:

We as humans spend one thirds of our lives sleeping. Maintaining normal sleep hygiene is important to have optimal quality of life. Sleep disorders are often ignored which can lead to chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes and obesity. They can also worsen ailments that are already present like depression and anxiety. There are several treatment options that can improve quality and quantity of sleep following an accurate diagnosis.

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