Various Types of Sleep Disorder That You Need to Know

You may not know it but your body has some sort of a clock that is internally responsible for regulating how you sleep. The clock permits you to sleep every night and helps you maintain alertness during the day. It works best especially when you are able maintain routines on a regular basis.

The clock works 24 hours, which is why it is commonly referred to as a circadian rhythm. Sometimes, the clock goes out of sync and gets disrupted. This could be as a result of your own doing such as changing shifts at work or something else beyond your control. That is how circadian rhythm sleep disorder comes about. Fortunately, it is disorder that can be easily treated.

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Shift Work

Like your doctor may have already told you, shift work sleep disorder is a form of circadian sleep disorder. Anyone suffering from the condition experiences recurrent patterns of sleep interruption because of shift work schedules. This results in difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep. It also makes it difficult for one to remain awake. Other symptoms of the disorder include low energy and headaches.

Nontraditional shifts like rotating shifts often leave people with no choice but adjust their sleep windows. Most of these windows or rather routines are not congruent with their underlying circadian clocks. That explains why shift work is common sleep disorder today. Rotating shifts simply wean signals that one is supposed to receive from the internal clock. This leads to complications when one is trying to fall asleep.

Insomnia. Problems in Bed


It is inherently difficult to treat shift work sleep disorders. Research indicates that some shift schedules are better than others. Unfortunately, most shift workers never have a choice. The best solution involves studying a worker’s circadian clock. Your doctor has to know how it works and find pragmatic solutions that can keep you as alert as possible under unnatural working hours and conditions. Unlike other sleep disorders you do not devices such as the sleep apnea mouth guard.

Sleep Apnea

The name alone sounds irritating. This is a disorder that is in fact worse than shift work. It is divided into two categories.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Central Sleep Apnea

Both types involve difficulties in breathing. The first one, obstructive sleep disorder, happens to be the most common type of sleep apnea. It happens when your airway repeatedly becomes blocked when you’re asleep because the breathing tissues at the back of your throat relax. You simply get subjected to bouts of breathing cessation, so you wake up for a second or two to breathe then you fall asleep again.

Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, happens when your brain fails to send signals to your breathing tissues that you need to breathe. Fortunately, both OSA and CSA easily go unnoticed because many people consider them as mere annoyance.

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Your doctor will first examine your condition before deciding how he or she will treat you. You will have to go through a sleep test first, which will help your doctor understand if your sleep disorder can be treated. The test will reveal if you suffer from any of the following:

  • Mild sleep apnea
  • Moderate sleep apnea
  • Severe sleep apnea

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Treatment will therefore depend on how far your sleep apnea has progressed. You may have to go for surgery if your sleep apnea has reached severe levels. For mild and moderate sleep apnea, therapies and breathing devices are enough to put the condition under control.

Observing your sleep pattern

Try the best you can to sleep for at least 8 hours a day. Then seek medical assistance anytime you notice common sleep disorder symptoms or anything unusual with your sleep patterns. This is mainly because most sleep disorders are curable if noticed during their toddler stages.

A Closer Look to Sleep Therapy

Sleep disorders have everything to do with sleep patterns. Different sleep therapy patterns can come to your rescue, but not entirely as sleep disorders are inherently difficult to treat. They may interfere with your normal mental, emotional and physical functioning and ultimately expose you to life threatening conditions such as stroke. Like your doctor may have already told you, most sleep disorders can be caused by external factors like:

  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Life transition
  • Depression

Nearly all sleep disorder symptoms are easy to detect. They typically involve difficulties related to sleeping such as finding hard to stay awake or to fall asleep. That said, be extremely cautious anytime you notice strange sleeping patterns in your partner. Seek medical attention as a good number of sleep orders can be easily treated while still at developmental stages.

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Types of sleep disorders

They are divided into four types:

  1. Primary sleep disorders

a) Parasomniasis

b) Dyssomniasis

  1. Substance induced sleep disorders
  2. Sleep disorders caused by general medical conditions
  3. Sleep disorders related to mental health conditions

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Because there are more than one hundred specific sleep disorder conditions, experiencing one at some stage in your life is not uncommon. You may have even experienced one already, just that you overgrow it. One good example is sleep apnea in children, which can easily go unnoticed till a newborn overgrows it.

Therapy for Sleep Disorders

Psychotherapy has for a long time been considered as the best sleep therapy. It works well for sleep order conditions such as sleep apnea and insomnia. The reason is simple, and has everything to do with relaxing one’s mind and avoiding stress. Psychotherapy allows one to relax.

It therefore becomes easy for a patient to keep off stress and anxiety, which contribute greatly to sleep disorders. Then there is the fact that most therapies used to treat sleep disorders are objective. Your therapist may choose to strictly use sleep therapy music or deep sleep therapy, depending on how severe or mild your condition is.

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Therapy and Other Treatment Methods

It is possible to combine sleep therapy and other sleep disorder treatment options such as using a sleep apnea mouth guard. Problem begins when a patient completely abandons one treatment option in favor of the other. That is exactly why it is crucial to first consult your doctor before considering any sleep therapy program. Don’t just rush for that sleep therapy mattress in the name of seeking a long lasting solution.

Diet and Therapy

Just how much do you eat? What do you eat? When do you eat? Ask yourself these questions because there is a likelihood that your sleep disorder is caused by what you eat. With that in mind, always eat in small proportions; choose whole grain cereals over enriched grain cereals and avoid junk food.

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Sleep therapies may be irrelevant if all you do is attend the therapies and go back to unhealthy eating habits. Speaking of habits, smoking, use of sedatives and excess alcohol consumption happen to be chief contributors of sleep apnea which needless to say, is a prevalent sleep disorder affecting more than 18 million Americans. Quit these habits as soon as you can and see how easy it is to fall asleep.

In a nutshell

Sleep therapies work. It should however be noted that they only work under supervision of an expert sleep therapist as well as your doctor. This means that you have to brief your doctor how well you are faring with your therapies and other treatment options. Remember that the doctor is under no obligation to check on you. It is the other way around. You have to take the initiative and keep in touch with him or her regularly.

Understanding the Most Common Sleep Problems

There are so many sleep problems today. Others are life threatening, others are not. Either way, they all trace their roots to one thing; modern lifestyle changes. Take sleep apnea for instance. It is one of those problems that just won’t go away. That roach that refuses to die. Sadly, it is not alone in the pool of sleep disorders and problems. There are others like:

  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Sleepwalking
  • Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder
  • Restless Legs Syndrome

The Causes

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Causes range from things you can control to those you can’t. In case of the latter, you will have to go through such things as sleep tests and keep up with treatment options like use of a sleep apnea mouth guard. For the causes which you can control, the solution is always simple and involves quitting habits that trigger sleeplessness such as excess alcohol consumption.

How to identify a sleep problem

Finding out if you have sleep problems go beyond watching out how often you have problems falling asleep. This mainly applies to conditions such as the circadian rhythm sleep disorder where such things as your sleep patterns have to be examined. Far from it, there are simple signs that can easily let you know if you are a victim of a common sleep problem.

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  • Snoring

Loud, irritating snoring is at best a common social issue that may cause a drift in relationships. However, for many children, men and even women, loud, habitual or regular snoring may indicate a potentially life threading sleep problemObstructive Sleep Disorder. With that in mind, seek immediate medical assistance if people complain about how you snore or if your partner has the same problem.

  • Sleep Disruption

A recurrent or persistent pattern of sleep disruptions that lead to insomnia or excessive sleepiness is a sure sign that you have a sleep disorder. This symptom is always associated with circadian rhythm sleep disorder and is often as a result of a mismatch in a person’s circadian sleep-wake patterns and his or her sleep wake schedule. The symptom causes medically significant impairment or distress in occupational, social and other crucial aspects of day to day functioning. Note that sleep disruption does not occur solely during the course of other sleep problems.

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  • Decrease in daytime performance

It is quite obvious that lack of adequate sleep easily manifest during the day. You could have problems concentrating on your work or staying awake. It is a common symptom and a serious one too, because you may end up causing accidents if you are driving or you operate heavy duty machinery. The symptom is not a preserve for adults only.

Most sleep problems in children actually manifest through a decrease in their performance at school, so be sure to check how your kid performs at school and how well he or she sleeps at night. It is quite different with toddler sleep problems and newborn sleep problems whose main symptoms include breathing pauses and difficulties falling asleep. Either way, always seek medical assistance anytime you notice something unusual in your kids sleeping habits.

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There is always a solution out there, so don’t fret thinking all is lost. You may have to do with dental mouth guards and breathing masks but like your doctor will tell you, such devices are easy to get used to as long as one uses them appropriately. You will also need to watch your diet because there may be some habits that are not a good thing for a healthy sleep pattern.

What to do

Watch out for common sleep problems and symptoms. Then seek immediate medal assistance. This way, it will be easy to get a solution on time before your sleep disorders escalate to severe levels.

What Food to Avoid When Suffering From Sleeping Disorders

An estimated 18 million Americans live with sleep apnea. From that figure alone, this is clearly a national disaster. It may appear as just one of those sleeping disorders that one can put up with, but make no mistake about it. Its consequences are fatal and life threatening. In addition to reducing and interrupting your sleep, it makes you susceptible to:

  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Sudden death syndrome
  • Diabetes

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Unlike other sleeping disorders, sleep apnea has a number of treatment options. This may include use of dental appliances, breathing machines, lifestyle changes and medications. Sounds surprising but watching what you eat and completely quitting some habits like smoking, use of sedatives and excess alcohol consumption can get rid of sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders for good. So which are these foods that you need to avoid?

  • Bananas

Though it is a valuable source of nutrients and fiber, bananas increase mucus production. This exacerbates breathing problems often associated with sleep apnea. For this reason, avoid bananas and other mucus producing for at least two weeks so as to determine whether the fruit directly contributes to your symptoms. Should the symptoms improve, eliminate bananas from your diet for as long as you can. This could be the only thing you need to do to avoid using your sleep apnea mouth guard.


  • High Fat Dairy Products

Heavy fat dairy products like whole milk, high fat cheeses and heavy cream are more or less like bananas. They trigger and even worsen mucus production. Note that these products are also rich sources of saturated fat responsible for more complicated sleeping disorders and heart diseases. Consume more calorie controlled diets, limited in saturated fat sources and dairy fats.

Like your health provider will tell you, there is a positive correlation between keeping off these foods, improved sleeping patterns and a generally improved lifestyle. For potentially similar benefits, avoid or limit your consumption of high fat dairy products and foods. Avoid too beverages prepared with high fat dairy products like:

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  • Pasta
  • Cheesecake
  • Nachos
  • Ice cream
  • Cheese topped pizza
  • High Fat Meat

High fat meat also supplies rich amounts of saturated fat. This means that it also increases one’s chances of getting cardiovascular diseases and some inflammatory complications. With that in mind, replace your saturated fat sources with healthier alternatives.

Salmon for example, can improve your heart health and reduce inflammation. Keep off high fat meat meals like pork chops, bacon, top sirloin steak, sausage, fried chicken and bacon. Introduce the healthy alternatives to your children at an early stage. That way, sleeping disorders in children will only be a thing you hear about from others.

  • Refined Carbohydrates

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These are foods that are high in added sugars like honey, corn syrup, enriched flour or cane sugar. Unlike complex and sophisticated varieties like starchy vegetables and whole grains, refined carbohydrates offer just a handful of dietary benefits and healthy calories. You can simply do without them. They are highly glycemic, which means that they provide little satiation. They also disrupt blood sugar and energy levels, which are factors that contribute to weight gain and sleep apnea.

For best results, limit or just avoid candies, processed snaked foods, cupcakes, pie and pastries. Notice that these are foods that toddlers can consume in small amounts. This goes a long way to explain why sleeping disorders in toddlers are so rampant these days. Remember to check on the food packaging when buying cereals, bread, rice dishes or pasta. Ensure that what you are buying is not rich in enriched grains but whole grains.

Treating sleep apnea

It is easy to treat sleep apnea just by watching what you eat. Just be on the lookout for sleeping disorders symptoms. Then take your time to examine your diet. That could be after all, where the problem lies.