The treatments for sleep disorders today can be generally grouped into three categories: behavioral or psychotherapeutic treatments, sleep medications or drugs and treatments that don’t fit into the other two categories. The excessive sleep disorder narcolepsy will cause most patients to have unexpected periods of sleep throughout the day for as little as a few minutes to as long as half an hour at times.
There are generally three types of sleep disorders: lack of enough sleep, sleep disturbance, and too much or excessive sleep. The person suffering from a sleep disorder may have difficulty getting to sleep at night or staying asleep as well as having difficulty staying awake through the day; they may also experience different types of behaviors that prevent them from staying asleep during their normal sleeping hours. One type of sleep disorder, lack of sleep, is also commonly known as insomnia and is what people usually have rather than a more complex sleeping disorder.
Sleep apnea can be life threatening; this problem is usually accompanied by heavy and loud snoring and causes the person to wake up sometimes hundred of times during the night without remembering ever being awake. In the excessive sleep disorder type the most well-known is called narcolepsy. Finding that you need coffee, colas or other caffeine drinks throughout the day to stay alert or awake can also be a hint that sleep disorder treatments need to be investigated.
There are number of sleep disorders that appear in different people and even those with similar sleep disorders often display different symptoms. Many people say they survive nicely on four or five hours of sleep; others say they need nine or even ten hours. The sleep disorder narcolepsy can have complications such as cataplexy and hypnagogic hallucinations; cataplexy is the weakness or complete paralysis of the muscles, and hypnagogic hallucinations are vivid dreams that happen during the stage of sleep between being awake and being asleep.
Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome is a sleep disorder of circadian rhythm, characterized by the inability to wake up and fall asleep at the desired times, but not by the inability to stay asleep. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) is the involuntary movement of arms and/or legs during sleep. Narcolepsy is the sleep disorder of falling asleep spontaneously and unwillingly.
Don’t get into the habit of drinking a glass of wine, hard liquor, or any other alcoholic beverage at bedtime; alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and it will interfere with your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and cause other problems you might not be aware of. Some health experts suggest that contracting then relaxing all your muscles starting with your toes and proceeding upwards as you lie in bed can help you relax. In bed do try to focus on anything pleasant, long enough to distract you from any worries that are keeping you awake.
Some people say that sleeping with your head facing north helps you fall asleep because your body is better aligned with the earth. Concentrating on some of the insomnia tips you’ve heard in the past may put your mind at rest long enough to allow you to go to sleep. Your pillow may make you feel as though you’re lying uphill or downhill and if it is too hard may press into your head uncomfortably, reducing the chance of your falling asleep.
In some sleep tests they used a flashlight to shine light on the back of the knee and tested the reaction of the brain on the sleeping centers and the light was detected; your body knows when there is a light shining on the back side of your body. Make sure that you don’t have any light on in the bedroom, including the red light on digital clocks, night lights or any other light, even a small flicker; any light at all can stop the production of melatonin which is produced when it starts getting dark enough in your bedroom but may shut down if even the smallest light is glowing. You need to produce melatonin for a good nights sleep.
If you lie in bed struggling with the day’s stresses and worries, try some of the insomnia tips you’ve heard over the years such as counting sheep or visualizing a blank screen. Some doctors may offer sleeping medications as a short-term solution along with some insomnia tips, but will seek to find the underlying cause of the sleeplessness and treat the cause instead of the symptom. Among the many insomnia tips provided by doctors and other health professionals, the most important tip is the ability to get physically relaxed enough to fall asleep.
Finding the solution to your sleeping problems or sleep disorder will be worth the investment in time. Your doctor or sleep specialist may be able to recommend support groups to you. Consider going to a sleep disorder center because they provide the newest research for the many issues that involve any sleep disorder.