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Four Common Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorder is alternatively referred to as Somnipathy. Though there are more than 200 types of sleep disorders here we are going to see the most common four types.

After a full day’s work you go to bed to have a good sleep but unfortunately something affects you and you don’t get proper or enough sleep. You would mostly suffer from any of the following sleep disorders. See what’s causing this disorder and how you can get rid of it.

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Restless leg syndrome(RLS)

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also referred to as Wittmaack-Ekbom’s syndrome, is a neurological disorder that is characterized by unpleasant sensation and little pain in legs that causes an irresistible urge to move the body to relieve this uncomfortable sensations.

Symptoms

  • Uncomfortable twinges within the legs, creating the urge to move them.
  • Involuntary leg movement.
  • RLS can occur before you fall asleep.
  • Symptoms gets worse on relaxation such as reading books, watching TV etc.
  • Symptoms gets worse during evening and early night.

Causes

  • Stimulants before going to bed.
  • Iron deficiency is closely linked with RLS as it accounts for 20% of RLS cases.
  • Excessive Smoking.
  • Hypoglycemia also worsens RLS symptoms.
  • Very sedentary lifestyle.

Self Remedies

  • Stretch or massage your leg muscles.
  • Take a warm (but not too hot) bath.
  • Do regular, leg-related exercise like walking, running or cycling.

Sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is a frightening paralysis associated with sleep. Sleep paralysis is a period during which there is inability to perform voluntary actions, which may be either at sleep onset or upon awakening. If it is during sleep onset then it is called as hypnogogic or predormital form. If it is upon awakening then it is called as hypnopompic or postdormtal form. About fifty percent of all adults have been affected by it at some point.

Symptoms

  • Inability to move – experienced upon waking up or as you fall asleep; attacks usually last less than a minute.
  • Experiencing hallucinations. Feeling something heavy on your chest or feeling that someone is lying over you. Strange images or sounds appear during sleep.

Causes

  • Sleeping in face upward position that can lead to a momentary disconnect between the brain and the body.
  • High Stress.
  • Irregular daily sleep routine.
  • Excessive alcohol and smoking.
  • Life style changes.

Self Remedies
Although it can be frightening, sleep paralysis is harmless, but it cannot be prevented as it occurs randomly; nothing can be done about it other than to keep calm.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological sleep disorder of the central nervous system. It is mainly characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness(EDS) and extreme fatigue. Narcolepsy that affects about 1 in 2,000 people is considered as a genetic disorder and a lifelong condition.

Symptoms

  • Drowsiness or even falling asleep during the day.
  • Disrupted and non-restful night-time sleep.
  • Hypnagogic hallucinations.
  • Cataplexy – Loss of muscle control.
  • Sleep paralysis.

Causes

  • Science is unsure of what causes narcolepsy, but the most popular theory involves a chromosome disorder leading to a deficiency in sleep-controlling hormones. Lacking Hypocretin(orexin) a chemical present in the brain that activates regulates sleep.
  • Genetic predisposition. The general theory is that genetics, accompanied with environmental factors leads to the deficiency and cause Narcolepsy.
  • Hereditary is also considered as an important cause factor.

Self Remedies
Sufferers should seek professional help, and will most likely be prescribed a stimulant to keep them awake during the day, and thus promote deeper sleep at night

Periodic limbmovement

Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) also called as nocturnal myoclonus, is a sleep disorder characterized by rhythmic involuntary movements of the limbs during sleep.

Causes

  • Cramping or rapid, involuntary movement of the limbs. (Not the same as restless leg syndrome, as PLM occurs only when the sufferer is asleep.)
  • Also studies have proved that people suffering from Parkinson’s disease and narcolepsy, experience frequent periodic limb movements in sleep.

Symptoms

  • There is primary or secondary PLM – the former occurs randomly, the latter is liable to be the result of an underlying condition – commonly diabetes or anemia; it can also be a symptom of OSA or narcolepsy.
  • Sufferers have trouble falling or staying asleep (insomnia).
  • Leg movements with the extension of the big toe along with partial flexing of the ankle, knee, or hip.

Self Remedies
Most primary PLM sufferers require no treatment as it is widespread and harmless; if it is a symptom of another problem, that should be treated

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