Causes of sleep disorders and ways to cope with them

What is dangerous about bruxism? Who are somnambulists? How is narcolepsy expressed? Find answers to these interesting questions from our article, which describes sleep disorders, as well as the causes, symptoms and ways of treating them.

The science of sleep strongly recommends that everyone maintain a sufficient level of nightly rest during life in order to enjoy the allotted time in full and not leave in a different world before the prescribed one. Unfortunately, sometimes one desire to sleep is not enough. Sometimes a person simply can not fall asleep or achieve a satisfactory quality of sleep because of his disorders, which we want to tell you about.

1. Insomnia

Insomnia, she insomnia – an extremely illegible and widespread disorder of sleep, found in people of all ages. Characterized by insufficient duration and / or poor quality of sleep, occurs on a regular basis for a long time (from three times a week for a month or two).

Causes. Stress, side effect of medications, anxiety or depression, alcohol abuse, taking drugs, disturbing circadian rhythms due to shift work schedule, somatic and neurological diseases, constant fatigue, poor sleep hygiene and its unfavorable conditions (stale air, external noise, excessive illumination).

Symptoms. Difficulties with falling asleep and maintaining sleep, concern about lack of sleep and its consequences, deterioration of mental and physical efficiency, and a decline in social functioning.

Treatment. Diagnosis of the cause of sleep disorder is the first step to getting rid of insomnia. To identify the problem, you may need a comprehensive examination, ranging from medical examination and to carrying out polysomnography (registration of sleeping person indicators with special computer programs).

Although it is worth starting with the foundations that have long been tested by time and by a lot of people: refusal of daytime sleep, control over overeating in the evening, follow the exact schedule of daily going to bed, airing and curtaining the room, small physical loads before bed, avoiding mental excitement from games, TV, books, reception of a cool shower before going to bed.

If the measures taken are unsuccessful, a psychologist may need help, treatment of a basic somatic or neurologic disease according to the doctor’s prescription.

2. Restless legs syndrome

RLS is a neurological disease characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and manifests itself in a calm state, usually in the evening and at night. It occurs in all age groups, but mostly among people of the middle and older generation, and 1.5 times more often in women.

Causes. There are primary (idiopathic) and secondary (symptomatic) RLS. The first occurs in the absence of any neurological or somatic disease and is associated with heredity, and the second can be caused by a deficiency of iron, magnesium, folic acid, thiamine or B vitamins in the body, thyroid disorders, as well as with uremia, diabetes, chronic diseases of the lungs, alcoholism and many other diseases.

Symptoms. Unpleasant sensations in the lower extremities of the itching, scraping, pricking, bursting or pressing character, as well as the illusion of “crawling crawling.” To get rid of heavy feelings, a person is forced to shake or stand up, rub and massage them.

Treatment. First of all, the treatment is aimed at correction of the primary disease or replenishment of the deficiency of elements useful for the body. Non-drug therapy implies the rejection of drugs that can enhance RLS (eg, antipsychotics, metoclopramide, antidepressants and others), combined with moderate physical activity during the day, rinsing in warm water or vibro-massage of the legs. Drug therapy can be limited to taking sedatives (soothing) drugs or to develop into a course of drugs of the group of benzodiazepines, dopaminergic drugs, anticonvulsants, opioids.

3. Behavioral fast-sleep phase disorder

It represents a malfunction in the functioning of the central nervous system and is expressed in the physical activity of the sleeper during the fast sleep phase. FBG (REM phase, rapid eye movement phase) is characterized by increased brain activity, dreaming and paralysis of the human body except for the muscles responsible for palpitation and respiration. In the behavioral disorder of FBG, the human body acquires an abnormal “freedom” of movement. In 90% of cases, the disease affects men, mainly after 50 years, although there were also cases with nine-year-old patients. A rare disease that occurs in 0.5% of the world’s population.

Causes. Exactly not known, however, there is a connection with various degenerative neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, multisystem atrophy, dementia or Shay-Drageer syndrome. In some cases, the disorder is caused by drinking alcohol or taking antidepressants.

Symptoms. Conversations or cries in a dream, active movements of limbs, their twisting, jumping off the bed. Sometimes “attacks” turn into traumas, which are obtained by sleeping people or the patient himself because of violent blows inflicted on furniture.

Treatment. Antiepileptic drug “Clonazepam” helps 90% of patients. In most cases, it is not addictive. If the drug does not work, melatonin is prescribed, a hormone regulator of circadian rhythms.

4. Apnea in a dream

Nothing more than a stop of respiratory movements with a short-term cessation of ventilation of the lungs. Sleep disorder itself does not endanger life, but it can cause other serious illnesses such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, pulmonary hypertension, obesity.

Causes. Apnea in a dream can be caused by narrowing and collapse of the upper respiratory tract with characteristic snoring (obstructive sleep apnea) or by the absence of “respiratory” impulses from the brain to the muscles (central sleep apnea). The syndrome of obstructive sleep apnea occurs much more often.

Symptoms. Snoring, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, headaches.

Treatment. One of the most effective methods of treating obstructive sleep apnea is CIPAP-the continuous maintenance of positive airway pressure with the help of a compressor unit.

However, regular or periodic use of ACV devices is not suitable for all people, and therefore they agree to surgically remove certain tissues of the pharynx to increase the airway clearance. Laser softness of the soft palate is also popular. Of course, these methods of treatment should be appointed exclusively after a detailed examination of human health.

As an alternative to surgery, it is proposed to use special intraoral devices to maintain a clearance in the airways – kapy and nipples. But, as a rule, they do not have any positive effect.

As for the central sleep apnea, here is also effective CIPAP-therapy. In addition to it, the medication is validated.

We should not forget about prevention, which must be puzzled as early as possible. For example, it is recommended to stop smoking and drinking alcohol, play sports and lose weight, sleep on your side, raise the head of the bed, practice special breathing exercises that will help strengthen the muscles of the palate and pharynx.

5. Narcolepsy

Disease of the nervous system, related to hypersomnia, which is characterized by recurring episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness. Narcolepsy is very rare, mostly affects young men.

Causes. There is little reliable information, but scientific research refers to the lack of orexin, the hormone responsible for maintaining the state of wakefulness.

Presumably, the disease is hereditary in combination with an external provoking factor, such as viral diseases.

Symptoms. Narcolepsy can manifest itself with one or more symptoms simultaneously:

  • Daytime bouts of insuperable drowsiness and attacks of sudden falling asleep.
  • Cataplexy – a kind of state of a person, in which he loses muscle tone due to strong emotional shocks of a positive or negative nature. Usually cataplexy develops rapidly, which leads to the fall of a relaxed body.
  • Hallucinations when falling asleep and waking up, like waking dreams, when a person is still awake, but already senses visual and sound visions.
  • Sleep paralysis in the first seconds, and sometimes even minutes after awakening. At the same time, a person is in clear consciousness, but is able to move only with his eyes and centuries.

Treatment. Modern therapy is not able to cope with the disease, but it can alleviate its symptoms. Drug treatment involves the reception of psychostimulants that reduce drowsiness and weaken the symptoms of cataplexy or sleep paralysis.

6. Somnambulism

The disease, better known as sleepwalking or sleeping, is characterized by the physical activity of a person while he is in a state of sleep. From the side, sleeping can seem quite harmless, because a sleeper can do the most usual household chores: cleaning, watching TV, listening to music, drawing, brushing his teeth. However, in some cases, a sleepwalker may harm his health or commit violence against a person who has been accidentally met. The eyes of somnambulists are usually open, it is able to navigate in space, answer simple questions, but its actions are still unconscious. When the lunatic wakes up, he does not remember his nightly adventures.

Causes. Lack or poor quality of sleep, painful or feverish condition, taking certain medicines, alcohol and drug addiction, stress, anxiety, epilepsy.

Symptoms. In addition to the usual movement and simple operations, there can be a dream in sitting position, muttering and involuntary urination. Often somnambulists wake up not where they went to bed, for example instead of a bed on a couch, an armchair or in the bathroom.

Treatment. Often people suffering from sleepwalking do not need medical treatment. They are recommended to reduce stress and sleep hygiene. With insufficient measures taken, antidepressants and tranquilizers are prescribed. It is also practiced with hypnosis.

7. Bruxism

It is expressed by grinding or tapping with teeth during sleep. The duration of an attack can be measured in minutes and repeated several times a night. Sometimes the sound is so strong that it starts to cause discomfort to the surrounding people. But much more damage to bruxism does to the sleeper himself: his problems with dental enamel, gums and jaw joints are aggravated.

Causes. There is no reliable information. Theories of the development of bruxism as a result of the presence of worms in the body, the effects of environmental factors or the need for tooth-grinding have not received scientific confirmation. The most likely causes are stress, mental imbalance, mental fatigue and nervousness. Frequent cases of the appearance of bruxism in people with an incorrect bite.

Symptoms. Morning migraines and headaches, complaints of pain in the facial muscles, temples, jaws, ringing in the ears. With the long-term nature of the disorder, the hard tissue of the teeth is erased and caries develop.

Treatment. Self-management of stress or psychological counseling. Patients with bruxism individually make kapy, which protect teeth from friction.

8. Night terrors and nightmares

With all the unpleasant homogeneity of horrors and nightmares, they are expressed differently during sleep.
Night terrors come in a deep phase of sleep, during which there are almost no dreams, so a person wakes up from a sense of despair and a sense of catastrophe, but can not describe a detailed picture of events.
Nightmares do occur in the phase of fast sleep, during which dreams occur. A person awakens from heavy emotions, and at the same time he is able to describe the details of what happened.
Disturbing dreams are more common in younger age with a gradual decrease in frequency as they grow older.

Causes. There are several theories of the occurrence of night terrors and nightmares. For example, a heavy dream can be the result of a previously experienced psycho-traumatic event, it may indicate an impending disease. Often horrors and nightmares arise on a common depressive and disturbing background. It is believed that they also carry the function of caution, strengthening the phobia of a person in a dream, so that he remains as cautious as possible in life.

Some antidepressants and medications that regulate blood pressure can cause unpleasant dreams.

Passion horror movies, games and books can play a negative role in the occurrence of horrors and nightmares.

Symptoms. Cries and groans, increased pressure and sweating, rapid breathing and palpitations, a sharp awakening in fright.

Treatment. Getting rid of stress, acquiring new positive emotions, observing sleep hygiene are the first steps to getting rid of night terrors and nightmares. In some cases, you may need treatment from a therapist or taking medication.

Have you ever had to suffer from sleep disorders? What techniques helped you get rid of them?

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