Nowadays always everyone suffers under sleep disturbances from time to time. It’s irrelevant whether we are talking about fall-asleep- or sleep-through-disturbances – the result is always the same: decreasing performance capability, state of exhaustion and pronounced daytime sleepiness are just the beginning. Chronical sleep disturbances may be the cause for far more severe diseases. Here, we are not only talking about physical consequences like high blood-pressure or gastrointestinal disorder, for example, but about mental stress like depressions as well. Although sleep medicine already knows more than 80 different expressions of sleep disorders, they may be roughly divided into four groups.
The most common reasons for fall-asleep- and sleep-through-disturbances are excessive stress or mental diseases. The symptoms persons affected might suffer under may also originate from handling sleep wrong. At any case, the cause of the so-called insomnia should be clarified with a doctor to exclude severe physical causes and to fight sleep disturbances at their source.
Many people suffer under daytime sleepiness and feeling drained although they think that they are having a good and sufficient sleep. Momentary nodding off is not only an unpleasant but also a dangerous side effect. Most of the time, hypersomnia or simple excessive daytime sleepiness has physical causes. They may be very different (snoring, short breathing stops, restless-legs-syndrome etc.) but most of the time they are leading to the fact that people affected shortly wake up several times during night and that their sleep frequently is disturbed. The sleeping person doesn’t realize these short phases of waking up, he only notices the consequences on the following day. Even neurological causes may be a reason.
Narcolepsy is a disturbance of the sleep-wake-cycle in the brain which may be the consequence of the wrong bed or an unfavorable bedroom-climate. Especially when the affected persons work in an office or when sitting a long time in a car the so-called stand-sit-dynamics is recommendable. Here, periodical phases of standing and walking interrupt the permanent sitting and the accompanying tiredness. When suffering under disturbances of the sleep-wake-cycle-rhythm the sleep is perfectly alright, it just arrives at the wrong time. A jetlag for example may cause such disturbances. As soon as the body is used to the new rhythm, this disturbance disappears. But, if your inner clock is permanently defect, it may be harmful for your health in the long run. And may be hazardous for yourself as well as for your environment.
Last but not least there are sleep disturbances that occur during sleeping or in the transition from sleeping to waking up. Here, the most common example is sleepwalking. Teeth grinding and night mares also belong to the so-called parasomnias. When treating affected people it turned out that even information about healthy sleep lead to great progress.
In general, longer lasting sleep disturbances always should be medically attained. But, there are some simple steps that improve the own sleep, steps everyone can do by himself. Structuration of the sleep-wake-cycle with regular go-to-bed-times or autogenous training for example are clearly preferable to medication.
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