Have you ever wondered why there are some people who seem to have less energy than others? Some people seem slower and are constantly making mistakes or having accidents. They are not able to finish their tasks each day and there seems to be no other explanation but simple “bad luck”. There are also some people who suspect that maybe there is something bothering that person or that he or she might not be feeling well. In fact, they are right! Very often, that person may be suffering from a lack of good sleep and this is exactly the reason why he or she is less productive than the other people around them! This lack of sleep can increase due to many other problems which all contribute to an eventual diagnosis of “sleep disorder”. This is no laughing matter! This situation is actually much more common than most people realize and it is what typically constitutes a need for hospitalization in many individuals. A sleep disorder involves more than just the well known cases of insomnia. There are many other cases such as sleep apnea and sleep deprivation which are also hard to diagnose but which are extremely prevalent. They can lead to loss of job, loss of marriage or very serious car accidents. Understanding just what a sleep disorder is can be the first step to preventing this very serious problem.
Sleep is a natural state of rest which involves less body movements and no awareness of the actual surroundings. Sleep can also be distinguished from other sleeplike states such as hibernation and coma because it involves certain conditions like rapid eye movement or REM. Almost all creatures sleep, including of course animals. Of course varying positions and manners of doing this exist in every person. A sleep disorder, however, is characterized by a lack of appropriate regeneration of a person’s basic bodily requirements. Less sleep means a lesser productive you! When a person lacks sleep it is very difficult for him or her to go through the day with ease. As this problem progresses, it can be considered a sleep disorder.
Often we are not aware of the complex processes which go on while we are sleeping. There are two kinds of sleep known as Rapid Eye Movement REM and Non Rapid Eye Movement or NREM. The human cycle between REM sleep and NREM is vital to every individual. Adults aged 20-60 require REM sleep to occur roughly every 90 minutes. Most adults have 20% of their total sleep time in REM sleep. Research on sleep shows that certain brain regions play a vital role in our sleep and when we aren’t sleeping correctly, the process breaks down. The correct amount of sleep usually differs with age and between individuals but there is still a required amount of REM and NREM for every person. Newborns sleep the most and require about 17-18 hours of full uninterrupted sleep. Nearly half of this time is spent in REM sleep. An average adult needs at least 8 hours of continuous sleep per night to function optimally during waking hours. Some, however, spend less time sleeping and actually have a real difficult time acquiring the complete amount of sleep. These problems are what lead to different sleeping disorders like insomnia, narcolepsy, bedwetting, sleep talking, sleep walking or nightmares.
Lack of sleep will most certainly cause us more trouble down the road and it is advisable that a person who has difficulty sleeping should compensate for this problem by resorting to certain treatments. It is also best that we stay aware of the potential problems so that when we encounter certain symptoms of a sleep disorder, we can do something about it as early as possible.
We sure don’t want a life that is less productive and less happy! Rather than compromising our own satisfaction and the satisfaction of others, we should keep an eye out for the possible symptoms of a sleep disorder and learn to ask our doctor about this potential threat to our well-being. By staying aware, we learn to stay healthy. This will all start by maintaining a solid and worthwhile sleep and by making our lives happy and peaceful from now on!
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