Sleep Disorders

What are sleep disorders?

Sleep disorders are problems related to sleep. They are the set of alterations that occur in the phases of sleep, preventing the enjoyment of a correct, continuous and restful rest.

There are more than 100 different types of sleep disorders. These can be grouped into four main categories:

  • Problems falling asleep and staying asleep.
  • Problems staying awake
  • Problems maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • Unusual behavior during sleep

What are the symptoms?

Some of the general symptoms that sleep disorders produce are:

  • Physical exhaustion
  • Poor performance
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty in fulfilling professional, family or social obligations.

On the other hand, there are specific symptoms that occur depending on the type of sleep disorder. Some of them are:

  • Restless legs
  • Sleepwalking, which is a state in which the person wakes up and acts semiconsciously during sleep, without realizing or remembering what he or she is doing.
  • Night terrors, episodes of fearful agitation that may be accompanied by sleepwalking.
  • Nightmares, which are unpleasant and frightening dreams that cause a rude awakening, both in children and adults.
  • Insomnia, which is the inability to fall asleep or maintain sleep adequately according to the physical needs of each person.
  • Hypersomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Snoring and sleep apnea

Causes of sleep disorders or why it occurs

This type of disorder may be due to various causes, such as physical or psychological illnesses, for example hyperthyroidism or anxiety. In addition, it can even lead to other pathologies or problems in daily life such as exhaustion, poor performance or daytime sleepiness.

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What does the treatment consist of?

Treatment for sleep disorders depends on the type of disorder the patient suffers from. In general, specialists recommend avoiding taking medications that may cause insomnia or avoiding caffeine and tobacco consumption. In addition, it is advisable to shorten the time spent in bed to only when going to sleep. That is, it is important not to watch TV, read, or eat while in bed.