Sleep is essential to every living being because it isn’t a just time out to rest but rather a way to recover and heal our body and mind. Sleep deficiency could render us physically weak apart from causing stress, anxiety and causing numerous mental ailments. It is widely believed that sleeping disorders are primary causes of cardiovascular illnesses, premature aging and road accidents. However, nowadays our busy lives wrecks havoc on our sleep bringing forth sleeping problems to the fore leaving many people to function in a permanent sleep deprived condition (http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/p/sleep_disorders.htm).
This is why sleeping disorders have to be addressed properly for they not only have short term impacts on our body but also leave a long lasting residue of their affliction. Although our busy lives contribute a lot to our sleep problems, stress and strain also affect our sleeping patterns quite a bit. Physical illness and lifestyle could also play a big role in the amount and quality of sleep we get and as we all know, excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol have a big detrimental impact to our sleeping conditions.
Apart from that, one of the main causes of sleeping disorders is the environmental impact especially in cities like NYC. Even though we are asleep, our body and mind is always attuned to the surroundings around us and thus disruptions in our environment will greatly affect our sleep. This includes temperature, noise and most importantly light.
Light is one of the main causes of sleep disruptions with it having a great effect on not only our sleep cycle but also the quality of sleep. Even though our eyes are closed, rapid eye moments take place while in deep sleep and this would be highly impacted with the onset of bright light which would hinder them, in turn affecting our sleep.
This is why it is highly recommended by most experts that the environment you sleep under has as little light as possible so as to not let it affect you. It is highly advised to switch off all electrical lights nearby as well as prevent natural light from entering with the use of blackout shades NYC or curtains. A blackout environment is widely accepted as the perfect setting to get a good night’s sleep that also allows your mind to relax.
So what exactly are sleeping disorders?
Sleep disorders are problems associated with sleeping, such as difficulty falling or remaining asleep, sleeping at an inappropriate time, excessive sleep, or abnormal habits while sleeping.
Although there’re over 100 varied sleeping disorders, they can classified into 4 broad groups
• Difficulty falling or staying asleep (such as insomnia)
• Difficulty remaining awake (such as narcolepsy)
• Difficulties adhering to day-to-day sleep cycles (such as sleep rhythm complications)
• Abnormal behavior during sleep (such as sleep disruptive habits)
Normally, most sleep disorders tend to be transient and you might come across self help measures which could help you get back your natural sleeping routine. However at times, sleeping disorders could also be a manifestation of other ailments, like a thyroidal illness or depressive disorder, so it’s advisable to consult a doctor if they persist.
Common Sleeping Disorders
Sleep Deprivation or insomnia
Insomnia is among the most widespread sleeping disorder, which affects approximately 20% of people and is most prevalent in big cities like London, NYC, Paris, etc.
• Difficulty falling asleep
• Difficulty continuing to be asleep (waking up numerous times during a sleep cycle)
• Awakening too early
• Drowsiness, stress and anxiety, diminished concentration, memory and frustration
Short term insomnia which normally lasts from a few nights to a few weeks is brought on by stress, environmental changes, temperature changes, disruptions in sleep cycles or medicinal side effects.
Chronic insomnia that lasts more than a month, is usually a result of a number of factors such as inherent physical or psychological health ailments, behavioral factors like excess caffeine or alcohol, continuous sleep cycle disruption.
Narcolepsy is a brain disorder which disrupts your sleep patterns. A main symptom of narcolepsy is extreme sleepiness or drowsiness.
Patients start sleeping during work, while in a discussion or driving a car.These types of ‘sleep attacks’ could persist from 30 seconds to over 30 mins irrespective of the amount of sleep they are getting in a day.
Sleep apnea is a respiratory ailment that occurs during sleep, usually accompanied by noisy snoring. The patient will cease to breathe momentarily at stretches all through the night, which in turn wakes them up, thus disturbing their sleep. Although Sleep apnea patients wake up numerous times to breathe rapidly making them tired through the day, they’re rarely ever conscious of it.
Other Sleeping disorders
Apart from these three main disorders, there are also numerous other disorders which can affect you and disturb you from sleeping peacefully. These include disruptions to your body clock such as deep sleep phase syndrome, Depressive disorders like bipolar disorder, physical ailments which make it difficult to sleep properly among other conditions.
This is why it is vital that you visit a medical practitioner and get your problems properly analyzed so as to thoroughly understand it and then come up with a way to treat it.
If your sleep troubles cannot be cured by lifestyle or behavior adjustments, then you might need to consult your doctor. Usually an underlying health or mental ailment might be uncovered which could be addressed by environmental, behavior or specific lifestyle changes following a proper sleep schedule, making use of blackout shades NYC, cutting down noise, etc..
At times medications may be prescribed as a short term measure, especially in case for insomnia. However it must be noted that they are only temporary cures which become ineffective after prolonged use and at times could even be the cause for your sleep deprivation.
Although narcolepsy does not have a cure, the symptoms could be managed with the help of medications and lifestyle improvements like altering your sleep regimen, working on your diet and exercising more.
As for sleep apnea, getting rid of excess weight, exercising regularly and sleeping on your side would help in most cases of mild sleep apnea. Your doctor might also prescribe a device to place in your mouth which would help in keeping your airways open while asleep.
Patients with serious sleep apnea might need a special device which blows air into the nose so as to keep the breathing passages open.
Apart from these, patients suffering from other sleep disorders would usually be treated based on the nature and condition of their ailment.
Tips for getting better sleep
Drugs and medical treatments are not the only options you have when it comes to counter your sleep disorders. You can also make a lot of lifestyle changes that would help you get better sleep such as
- Exercising routinely, however no less than 3 hours prior to bedtime.
- Abstaining from caffeinated drinks and alcohol
- Adhering to a regular sleep cycle daily.
- Using your bed for sleep alone rather than for work or any other activities.
- Sleeping in a comfortable environment with controlled noise levels and light regulation by making use of blackout shades and window treatments which makes it easier to fall asleep and more importantly hinders any outside disturbances from interrupting your sleep.
- If you’re unable to fall asleep, just do some relaxing activities like reading or listening to music till you feel sleepy
Take a look at Alluring window’s range of room darkening window treatments such as blackout shades and see how they can help you in getting a good night’s sleep.