What is a sleep disorder?
A sleep disorder disrupts and disturbs your overall quality of life. It can affect a child, teen, adult, parent or senior citizen.
How do I know if I have a sleep disorder?
You might have a sleep disorder if:
- Your snoring disturbs your bed partner,
- You have trouble falling asleep at night more than three times a week,
- You wake up often during the night,
- You feel tired throughout the day,
- You find yourself falling asleep while driving, at work or in class,
- You have an itchy, crawly feeling in your legs,
- You wake up with a headache or a dry/sore throat.
What are the most common sleep disorders?
Sleep apnea, in which breathing stops or gets very shallow during sleep. Each pause typically lasts 10-20 seconds or more, and can occur 20 to 30 times an hour.
Insomnia, which includes difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, waking up too early and/or poor quality of sleep.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), characterized by a strong, often uncontrollable urge to move your legs immediately before sleep, or other odd feelings like burning, prickling, itching or tingling.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), in which patients have repetitive, uncontrollable and often imperceptive muscle spasms during non-REM sleep.
Narcolepsy, sometimes called “sleep attacks,” means falling asleep at unusual times and in awkward places.
Parasomnias, a category of undesirable physical or verbal behaviors during sleep, such as sleepwalking, bed-wetting, teeth grinding, frequent nightmares, night terrors, nocturnal seizures or sleep paralysis.
How common are sleep disorders?
Going by the statistics, 20% of people in the Philippines are sleep deprived, simply because of reasons that range from lifestyle changes like odd-working hours, to personal obligations and relationship worries. Besides that, the anxiety, tension and nervousness which develops due to work pressure, household issues or personal relationships also affect sleep, leading to sleep disorders.
Are some people more likely than others to develop a sleep disorder?
Yes – some of the common risk factors for sleep disorders include:
Anatomy: Some people have structural abnormalities in the sinuses, mouth, throat or elsewhere in the upper airway.
Drug or alcohol use: Medications, alcohol or illegal drugs can interfere with normal sleep patterns or the ability to awaken from sleep.
Other medical problems: People who suffer from high blood pressure or depression are also at higher risk.
Is there anything I can do to sleep better on my own?
Sure – doctors call it “sleep hygiene.” Just like dental hygiene, developing the right habits can have a big impact on your health. Nighttime rituals might seem like a too-easy solution, but the following guidelines have been proven to be critical in establishing healthy sleep patterns:
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
- Always sleep in a bed in a dark, quiet room – avoid the temptation to sleep in a recliner or on the couch.
- Give yourself time to unwind from daily activities to help clear your mind.
- Follow the same “getting ready for bed” routine every night.
- Get regular daily exercise.
- Don’t eat within four hours of going to bed.
- Avoid all caffeine six hours before bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco two hours before bedtime
Are you ready to put your sleep problems to rest? If you think you may have a sleep disorder, contact us now.
We can help you.