Author Topic: Sleep disorders  (Read 1517 times)

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poor me

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Sleep disorders
« on: August 27, 2006, 10:40:47 PM »

Insomnia is the feeling of not getting enough sleep. This can be related to not being able to get off to sleep easily, waking too early or broken, unrefreshing sleep.

There may be a number of factors that contribute to a person's insomnia.

Stress, anxiety and other emotions may play a part, as may environmental factors such as noise or an uncomfortable bed.

Jet lag, shift work, excess alcohol or too much caffeine can lead to poor sleep patterns.

Physical causes include tinnitus (ringing in the ears), asthma and indigestion, as well as some of the other sleep disorders described in more detail below.

If a cause can be found then the problem may be easy to remedy - buying a new, comfortable bed for example.

Developing a good sleep regime by going to bed at a regular time, avoiding late meals, too much caffeine and alcohol and relaxing before bedtime, by taking a warm bath or listening to soothing music for example, can help.

Some people may benefit from talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

Others find that medications to promote sleep help.

Various remedies are available to buy over the counter at pharmacies, but care must be taken that they do not cause drowsiness in the daytime and interfere with activities such as driving or working dangerous machinery.


The noise of snoring is caused by turbulent airflow when a person breathes. The turbulence is caused by a partial blockage anywhere between the nose and the vocal cords.

Although the restriction may be there all the time it usually gets worse at night during sleep because the muscles of the tongue, throat and soft palate relax and the airway tone is reduced.

Snoring tends to occur more often in older people, possibly as the muscles become weaker.

Alcohol and sleeping tablets can also relax the throat muscles and exacerbate the problem.

Being overweight can contribute, as can certain anatomical variations of the throat and nose, such as a low set palate or enlarged tonsils.

Sleeping on your back may make the snoring worse.

Snoring itself is not dangerous, but it may be associated with a condition called obstructive sleep apnoea, which can be (see below).

There are certain things an individual can do to minimise the chance that they will snore - cut down on their alcohol intake, sleep on their side and maintain their ideal weight.

There are various devices available designed to stop snoring, such as nasal strips to open the airways and devices to reposition the jaw.

Some people may also want to try homeopathic nasal drops or sprays.

In more severe cases, surgery to the nose or throat may be appropriate.

Obstructive sleep apnoea

This is a respiratory condition where the relaxed throat muscles block the airway briefly hundreds of times each night, which stops the breathing and deprives the body of oxygen.

In turn, this causes tiredness during the day, which can make the person irritable and prone to accidents when driving for example.

If obstructive sleep apnoea goes unchecked and untreated then it can eventually increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke.

The person with sleep apnoea may not realise that they have a problem and their only symptom may be daytime tiredness.

However, their partner may report that they snore and frequently stop breathing in their sleep.

Like snoring, the condition may be caused or made worse by excessive alcohol intake and being overweight.

Eliminating these factors may be enough to alleviate the problem.

An effective treatment is something called nasal continuous positive airway pressure.

With this therapy a mask worn over the nose delivers slightly pressurised air to help keep the airways open during sleep.


Narcolepsy occurs when there is a malfunction in the sleep/wake regulating system of the brain.

The type and severity of symptoms vary from person to person.

Typically, a person with narcolepsy will have sudden sleep attacks during the day - "nodding off" - and complain of feeling excessively sleepy.

Some individuals also experience a temporary paralysis and hallucinations on falling asleep or awakening.

Others may also have cataplexy - a sudden loss of muscle control, lasting for seconds or minutes, usually triggered by emotion, for example laughter.

Sometimes night-time sleep is disturbed by frequent waking episodes when the heart races, the person feels over-alert, flushed and agitated.

The cause is not known. Experts believe it may be genetic or occur when the body attacks itself after a trigger, such as an infection with measles or mumps.

Narcolepsy can be hard to diagnose and because it often occurs around the time of adolescence.

Some mistake it for laziness or a consequence of the behaviour of youth.

Narcolepsy can be treated. Brief and regular naps in the daytime can help ease the feeling of sleepiness.

Stimulant drugs can also help, as can antidepressants.

Night terrors

Nightmares are common and can occur at any age.

In comparison, night terrors tend to occur more often in children, typically beginning before the age of 10, and often run in families.

Night terrors usually occur only once per night during the first couple of hours of sleep, while nightmares can be experienced more than once a night and typically occur later in the sleep cycle.

Unlike a nightmare, where the person wakes in the middle of the bad dream and rapidly becomes alert and remembers the episode, a person experiencing a night terror tends to thrash around, appear very distressed, be inconsolable and cannot usually recall the episode.

It is rare for night terrors to persist.

They usually settle after a few months and do not need any treatment.

Night terrors can be extremely distressing for parents to witness in their child.

Waking the child up will not help, but staying with them until they settle back down to sleep can be reassuring.

Although the cause is not entirely understood, they appear to be linked with stress and overtiredness.

Setting a regular daytime nap and bedtime routine may also help.

Rarely, if the problem persists, a doctor may recommend medical treatment.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Those with Restless Leg Syndrome experience discomfort in the legs, which is worse during periods of inactivity, resting or whilst sitting or lying down.

The sufferer experiences irresistible urges to move their legs to relieve the discomfort.

Some may spend their nights pacing up and down to achieve some relief.

Restless Leg Syndrome, also known as Ekbom's syndrome, may develop in women when they are pregnant and tends to be more common among older people.

Although this neurological condition is not medically threatening itself, it can cause significant distress, discomfort and sleep disruption.

It is important to rule out any underlying medical cause such as diabetes or anaemia.

Restless Leg Syndrome can be made worse by stress and therefore relaxation training may help, as may cutting down on caffeine and alcohol consumption.

Drug treatments - anti-seizure medications and treatments used in Parkinson's disease - can be prescribed but often have unwanted side effects.


Bed-wetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is extremely common.

One in six five-year-olds, one in 11 nine-year-olds and between one in 50 and one in 100 people over the age of 15, including adults, wet the bed at night.

Usually there is no medical cause, but conditions such as a urinary tract infection, kidney or bladder problems should be ruled out.

The condition tends to run in families and is slightly more common in boys than girls.

Most children do grow out of it, but the problem may persist into or begin for the first time in adulthood.

Bed-wetting can be extremely distressing for the individual and the whole family.

In children, it is not a form of disobedience and they should not be punished.

The child should not be made to feel guilty or dirty. Adults with nocturnal enuresis may avoid forming relationships and suffer low self-esteem and depression.

There are interventions that can help. Avoiding too much fluid intake late in the day by drinking more earlier on can reduce the need to urinate during the night.

Waterproof mattress covers can be used to protect the bed.

Children should be reassured during episodes that it is not their fault and then praised for any dry nights that they have.

Enuresis alarms can be bought, which trigger a noise or vibration when the bed becomes wet.

These can help with training a child to get out of bed and go to the toilet when they need to. Urinate in the night.

A doctor may prescribe medication to reduce the amount of urine produced by the body during the night.

Sleep walking

Typically, the person gets out of bed and walks around during the night.

During an episode the sleep walker may perform even complex manoeuvres such as opening a locked door with a key but, generally, they will not communicate and will seldom remember the details of the episode once awakened.

Children usually grow out of sleep walking. In adults, however, the condition may last for many years.

Sometimes sleep walking may be triggered by a stressful life event, such as bereavement, and resolve once the stress is lessened.

Usually no specific treatment is needed. It might be advisable to ensure that the home is a safe and secure environment to prevent any injury occurring to the individual during a sleep walking episode.

Offline Sudeera

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Re: Sleep disorders
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2006, 10:02:13 PM »
Hmm I surely dont hv insomnia

thanx poor me ,
I think an average man should atleast sleep for 7- 8 hrs, but as students we can only sleep 5- 6 hrs :(
« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 03:50:11 PM by [[sigiri]] »
Best way to attract others is to keep your self Cool when others are hot at u !

poor me

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Re: Sleep disorders
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2006, 02:16:50 AM »
yes  dats true ,

 but  sleefing few hours more  very helpful...


but normally now i cant sleep more than 5 hours 4 d day... i think dat bcoz of insomnia.
 anyway i heard in sl its very common on tym.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2006, 03:28:39 PM by [[Sigiri]] »