Sleep Problems

Sleep is a condition that is needed by everybody in order to retain a proper sense of functionality and an overall level of homeostasis. Yet while sleeping should essentially be a rudimentary process, there are several ways in which the act of proper sleep can be disrupted. From temporary problems that can be linked to external demands to long-term issues that are tied to internal and personally physiological conditions, the various sleep issues that exist can cause more than a rough night's sleep. If left untreated, some of the problems could hold a host of long-term negative ramifications that could affect a person's mental capacity and physical well-being.

Insomnia

Perhaps the most famous sleep problem that exists is insomnia. In essence, insomnia is a sleep disorder that is categorized by an inability to fall asleep, as well as an inability to stay asleep for as long as the individual desires. It is typically split into two distinctive groups:

  • Primary insomnia - This is a sleep disorder that is not linked to any separate condition.
  • Secondary insomnia - Also known as comorbid insomnia, this is a sleep disorder that is brought about by the existence of another sleep, medical, or psychiatric disorder, such as rheumatoid arthritis, clinical depression, or significant hormonal shifts.

While insomnia can be categorized as being transient or acute in nature, it can also be a chronic condition. When it is designated as such, the condition could lend itself to a host of physiological issues, such as memory problems, depression, and an increased risk of heart disease.

Sleep Apnea

One well-known sleep problem that seems to be growing in prevalence is sleep apnea. This particular disorder is where the person experiences one or more pauses (or apneas) in breathing or shallow breaths as they sleep. Because a person that suffers from this disorder is rarely aware that the episode or its aftermath has occurred, the condition can go undetected for years or even decades before it is witnessed by another person. While the condition can happen to anybody, studies have determined that the condition is more common in overweight individuals.

Narcolepsy

At first glance, people may simply associate narcolepsy as a sleep problem where people will fall asleep randomly without warning. While physically irresistible daytime naps are a symptom of the condition, it does not adequately describe the actual condition.

In essence, narcolepsy is a chronic brain disorder that is defined by an individual's poor control over their own internal circadian cycles. This condition is considered to be a neurological sleep disorder and is not caused by any psychological problems or any mental illnesses. It should also be noted that the condition itself has a tendency to be under-diagnosed and under-recognized.

Snoring

Many people may look at snoring as nothing more than an annoying nighttime sleeping habit. Yet while it is not considered to be a serious condition, it has been shown that the habitual form of this condition which is marked by sounds resulting from the vibration of respiratory structures can potentially cause a disruption of sleep patterns.

What makes snoring unique is that it is the one sleep problem that does not merely affect the individual that is suffering from the condition. Habitual snoring could also cause a disruption of the sleep patterns of those who share sleep space with the snoring individual.

There are many reasons why a person may snore. For instance, snoring may occur because of poor tongue and muscle tone. It can also be caused by the presence of a long uvula or a long soft palate. Sometimes, the condition is caused by an obstruction of nasal passageways; something that could be a common occurrence amongst allergy sufferers.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome, or RLS, is a sleep problem that is caused by the onset of discomfort. In essence, RLS is a neurological disorder that is marked by the individual being met with an irresistible urge to move their body in order to stop odd or uncomfortable sensations. While the condition primarily affects the legs, it can also manifest itself in the arms, head, torso, and even phantom limbs. The sensation is temporarily relieved by the person moving the body part. The sensations themselves can range from ticking, itching, or crawling sensations to muscular aches and pains.

Jet Lag Sleep Problems

While sleep problems relating to jet lag are temporary in nature, they are still an issue because it is caused by the disruption of the person's circadian rhythm. The reason for the disruption is rooted in the individual's crossing into other time zones, which is why jet lag only happens when a person travels east to west as opposed to north or south. It should be noted that jet lag typically does not set in unless the individual has traversed three separate time zones.

Shift Work Sleeping Problems

Shift work is an element of our society that is essential in order to keep things running optimally. However, it is not without its problems, as people that conduct shift work have a tendency to suffer from sleep problems that tie to operating counter to what their circadian rhythm might be.

This condition is unique for two reasons: Firstly, the condition is one that is caused out of external necessity - in this case, matters of employment. Secondly, one of the issues that have been linked to the condition is impaired performance. As such, it is important that the person involved with shift work deploy tactics to lessen the impact of this latter symptom.

Delayed Phase Sleep Symptoms

One of the more commonly misdiagnosed sleep problems are those related to delayed phase sleep. In essence, this condition is marked by a person's sleep patterns being delayed by at least two hours in comparison to what is thought to be socially conventional. This particular condition is most prominent in adolescents.

These particular sleep conditions are all linked by one common bond. Specifically, each issue has their own form of treatment that, when deployed, can go a long way into lessening the negative effects that oftentimes impacts a person's social life, physical health, and mental capacity.