When you wake up, the problem might be deeper than you think. A majority of people who suffer from sleep disorders don’t even realize that they have a problem. They chalk it down to stress, tension, work pressure and even bad diet, not realizing that such struggles with sleeping is not normal.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleeping Problems
How does one differentiate between normal sleep problems and a sleep disorder? If you answer yes to any of the following, you might have a problem –
- You feel irritable or very sleepy during the day
- You have problems staying awake when sitting still, or even doing chores
- You feel very tired while driving
- You find it difficult to concentrate
- People start noticing that you look tired
- Your reactions have become slow
- You have trouble controlling your emotions
- You need caffeinated beverages to keep yourself awake
Most Common Sleep Disorders
Insomnia is the inability to get the required amount of sleep you need to remain energized throughout the day, and it is the most common sleep disorder today. It is generally a symptom of another problem such as anxiety, depression, stress or an underlying health condition, or can be a result of lifestyle choices like the medications you’re taking, lack of exercise or even the amount of coffee you drink every day.
Sleepwalking is another common sleep disorder, which belongs to the parasomnia family. A sleepwalker wakes up in the middle of their sleep in a state of low consciousness and performs activities that are normally performed in a state of full consciousness. These activities range from being normal like sitting up in bed, walking in the corridor, cleaning, or more complicated like cooking, driving, grabbing at imagined objects etc.
Sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome (RLS), are other common sleep disorders.
Do sleeping pills help with sleep disorders?
Usually sleep medications and sleeping pills are most effective when used sparingly and that too for short-term situations, like when one is travelling across countries or recovering from a medical procedure. If the medication is used over a long period of time, the patient might slowly become dependent on them to get sleep, and may even end up being addicted to them. For sleepwalkers, low doses of drugs like benzodiazepines are advised.
A lot of experts suggest putting away dangerous items and locking up the doors and windows of people suffering from sleep disorders like sleepwalking to reduce risks of harmful activities during sleepwalking. Otherwise, a change in lifestyle, a better diet, less stress and at least 8 hours of sleep are suggested to get the body’s natural clock ticking correctly.
When to Call a Doctor
If you feel that home remedies and medications are of no use to you, that you still feel exhausted during the day or find it difficult to stay awake, schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist. You can also ask your family doctor to refer you to a sleep clinic.