Adequate sleep is vital for optimal health and can have significant effects on your mood, hormone levels, and weight. However, many people are not getting the quality sleep they need to function properly during the day and support overall health and wellbeing. In fact, according to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, at least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep issues and another 20 to 30 million experience occasional sleep problems.
While people experience a wide range of different sleep problems for various reasons, there are a few sleep disorders that are most prevalent. Learn about the most common sleep problems in adults and how to find relief.
Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders in adults. In fact, according to sleep expert Dr. Eric Cohen, over 50% of Americans won’t be able to fall asleep at least once this week. Most cases of insomnia are caused by stress. It can be hard to separate yourself from thoughts about the previous day or day ahead.
Insomnia can also be caused by jet lag, medications, and health conditions such as depression or anxiety, among others.
Changing your lifestyle habits is the quickest and easiest way to prevent or limit those sleepless nights. Make sure that you are getting plenty of exercise during the day and are partaking in calming activities, such as reading, writing, or meditating, at night. It may also help to keep a sleep diary that you can use to record any stressful or nagging thoughts before bed.
According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and the National Sleep Foundation occasional snoring is not serious but more of a nuisance to your sleep partner. However, for habitual snorers, medical assistance is usually needed to get a restful night’s sleep.
Snoring is usually caused when the airflow between the mouth and nose is physically obstructed. Some of these obstructions can be caused by sinus infections, deformities such as a deviated septum, poor muscle tone in the throat or tongue, bulky throat tissue in overweight people, or the dangling tissue in the back of the throat, as described by Mark A Rasmus, MD on WebMD.com. Consult a sleep specialist to find ways to prevent or control snoring issues.
#3. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder that affects 20 million Americans, making it the second leading cause of sleep disorders. Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. Because this condition causes major strain on the heart muscle, it can be a precursor to various heart conditions. If you experience sleep apnea, it is recommended that you seek help from a medical professional immediately in order to prevent any further complications.
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that is characterized by poor control of sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy have a tendency to fall asleep whenever they are in a relaxing environment. According to the National Sleep Foundation narcolepsy usually begins between the ages of 15 and 25, but can occur at any age. Narcolepsy can be treated with medication, lifestyle adjustments, or therapy. If you think you may have narcolepsy, contact a medical professional today.
#5. Restless Leg Syndrome
As described on the National Sleep Foundation website, approximately one in ten adult Americans suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease. This sleep-related movement disorder is best known for its overwhelming and often unpleasant urges to move the legs while at rest. The symptoms usually occur during inactivity and are most severe during evening and nighttime hours. This can disrupt a person’s life tremendously. Seek help from your doctor and see if any medications can help you.
#6. Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
Circadian rhythm disorders occur when there are disruptions in a person's circadian rhythm -- a name given to the "internal body clock" that regulates the (approximately) 24-hour cycle of biological processes. The normal 24-hour clock is set by the light-dark cycle during any 24-hour period.
There are a variety of factors that can disrupt an individual’s circadian rhythm, including shift work, pregnancy, time zone changes, medications, mental health, or medical problems. Therapy for this disorder usually combines proper sleep hygiene techniques and external stimulus therapy, such as bright light therapy or chronotherapy.
#7. Shift Work Sleep Disorder
This sleep problem occurs when your work schedule and your biological clock are out of sync. This occurs most commonly in people who work the night shift, early morning shifts, or rotating schedules. While some people can handle the varying shift changes, others may never get a full night’s sleep and wake up exhausted.
Not only does this lack of sleep affect productivity, but it also puts individuals at risk for injuries. Of course, many people don’t have complete control over their work schedules. So, how do you prevent shift work sleep disorder from occurring?
Try regulating your sleep cycle by using bright lights when working and darkened rooms when sleeping. Also, try to avoid computer and TV screens before sleeping so your body will adjust to the new sleep cycle.
If you suffer from one of the conditions on this list of sleep disorders, find the relief you need with a BedJet. Using biorhythm sleep technology, the BedJet helps you sleep more soundly by creating a custom sleep temperature profile designed just for you. Try BedJet today!