Sleep disorders come in many different categories. All of them are a serious threat to our health. In order to better understand sleep disorders, it can simplify things to separate them into two different categories. Scientists have done this for the sake of better research and better treatment solutions. These two categories are referred to as “Dysomnias” and “Parasomnias”. Dysomnia’s tend to be the more serious of the two disorders. Parasomnias are less serious but can also progress into more serious disorders if they are not addressed.
Dysomnia is a category of sleep disorder which is commonly associated with insomnia. Its subcategories are intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic means the disease arises from within one’s body. Extrinsic means it is due to the conditions of the environment or brought about by pathological conditions beyond the control of the individual. It may also be brought on by disturbances in the circadian rhythm which is also beyond the control of the person. Disorders belonging to the Dysomnia category include insomnia, Narcolepsy and Sleep apnea. Insomnia is a kind of disorder where the person struggles to fall and stay asleep and can miss days in a row or even weeks of sleep. Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder where the patient has a weakening of their bones due to gradual muscle tone loss known as cataplexy. Patients experience sudden falling when they suffer from Narcolepsy and these events often take place at times when the person experiences sudden emotions like laughter. Sleep apnea is associated with the difficulty in breathing which is caused by the collapsing of the breathing passage. Certain individuals have airways which are rather narrow and this results in a loss of REM sleep and a breakdown of their energy during the day. In addition to these basic disorders categorized as Dysomnia, Restless Legs syndrome is also a disorder in which a patient experiences itchy, tingling sensations on his or her legs causing them to continuously move. Finally, hypersomnia is also categorized as a Dysomnia disorder and there are two types known as Recurrent hypersomnia and Posttraumatic hypersomnia. All of these disorders are extremely serious and must be treated by a physician.
Another category is the Parasomnia disorders. These include Sleep walking, Sleep talking, Sleep terrors/nightmares, toothgrinding, bedwetting and sleep sex! These all fall under the category of Parasomnia and are not considered to be as dangerous unless you are sleeping next to the person! Such disorders may be attributed to any number of mental disorders or may be due to Mood disorders, Anxiety, Panic, Depression or excessive alcohol intake.
Sleep disorder may occur in any person at any age. They can cause the person a lot of damage if they are not careful and require more caution for the family members during the night. Sleep apnea is a very serious matter, as some patients have actually died from a lack of oxygen and others suffer brain damage because they are not getting the proper amount of oxygen as they sleep. If you feel that you might be subject to a sleep related problem, you should definitely see a doctor immediately. Don’t be afraid to consult a professional and ask for help!
Prevention is actually the best cure a person could ever pursue and knowing the importance of a good night sleep is a big part of that prevention. Sleep must not be viewed as an obligation but a privilege and a necessity for our body. Be aware of the consequences of not maintaining a healthy lifestyle and stay abreast of the many new discoveries concerning sleep related ailments today. This will enlighten you about how to prevent and cure a sleep disorder according to its type and category.
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