Adults need seven or more hours of sleep each night for the sake of their health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, not every adult gets the sleep they need to start the day feeling well-rested and refreshed. More people struggle with a sleep disorder than you might realize. Sleep disorders affect millions of Americans every year.
Without adequate sleep, people can end up in accidents, sustaining injuries, or even die on the road. By learning more about sleep disorder treatments, you can get the help you need before getting into a serious accident
Here are seven of the most common sleep disorders treatments you need to know about.
Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder. About 30% of adults report short-term issues. Meanwhile, about 10% have chronic insomnia.
Insomnia refers to difficulty getting or staying asleep. However, two common sleep disorders fall under insomnia:
- Transient/short-term insomnia
- Chronic insomnia
Most people experience transient insomnia after experiencing a stressful life event or while struggling through relationship issues.
Other instances associated with transient insomnia include:
- Adjusting to different work shifts
- Jet lag
- Feeling unable to relax
- Sleep disruptions
In some cases, you might feel unable to pinpoint the reason you can’t sleep.
Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, relates to non-restorative sleep. In these cases, you have a difficult time either falling asleep or staying asleep for at least one month.
People with chronic intermittent insomnia have a sleeping pattern that includes a few good nights of sleep with bouts of insomnia.
The different reasons you might develop insomnia include:
- Hormonal changes
- Limb movements while you sleep
- A circadian rhythm disorder
- Poor sleep hygiene
- A sleep-related breathing disorder
- A medical condition
- Disrupted sleep
Let your doctor know if you’ve experienced any of these changes.
There’s a chance you have insomnia if you can’t sleep, even though you feel tired. You might also have insomnia if:
- You can’t feel refreshed in the morning
- Experience a restless sleep that leaves you exhausted
- You have difficulty concentrating
- Feel tired and irritable
Other common insomnia-related issues include headaches, gastrointestinal problems, and muscle tension.
Many sleep disorders treatments are tailored to the patient’s specific needs. For example, do you have anxiety, depression, or another underlying cause for your insomnia? If so, your doctor will likely prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.
In these cases, treating your medical condition is necessary for treating your insomnia.
Your doctor might also prescribe a medication to help you sleep. However, these are usually prescribed on an as-needed or short-term basis.
There are also non-medical treatments for these sleeping disorders. These include:
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Sleep restriction
- Relaxation techniques
- Stimulus control
Meanwhile, your doctor will likely suggest you make a few lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol and caffeine to improve your sleep.
2. Sleep Apnea
Approximately 70% of adults say they get insufficient sleep at least one night a month. Meanwhile, about 11% report getting insufficient sleep every night. In some cases, sleep apnea can cause sleep issues.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway becomes blocked, which makes it difficult for you to breathe. As a result, you might snore or make a choking noise. Either way, your body, and brain fail to receive the oxygen they need.
When your body is oxygen-deprived, you’ll wake up.
For some people, this happens once or twice a night. In other cases, it can happen hundreds of times each night. As a result, you’ll fail to get the sleep you need.
You might have sleep apnea if you:
- Wake up each night with a sore or dry throat
- Wake up gasping or choking
- Lack of energy
- Feel sleepy each day
- Feel tired and irritable
- Deal with headaches
Let your doctor know if you suffer from these symptoms.
There are a few common sleep disorders treatments for sleep apnea. However, the most common is CPAP therapy.
Also known as continuous positive airway pressure therapy, CPAP uses a machine to keep your airways open at night. A mask or prongs fitted around your nose will feed mild air pressure into your airways.
Some people don’t want to wear a mask to bed. These patients sometimes choose:
- A dental or oral appliance
- To undergo surgery
- To undergo a weight management program to eliminate symptoms
- Positional therapy
Positional therapy involves wearing a device that ensures you sleep on your side. This can help improve your breathing as you sleep.
You might want to find the right mattress for your body type since this can help improve REM sleep.
Do you fall asleep at any time, regardless of where you are? You might fall asleep during strange moments, such as when you’re eating. If these situations sound familiar, you might have narcolepsy.
Other common narcolepsy symptoms include:
- Falling asleep without warning
- Feeling drowsy
- Suffering from sleep paralysis
- Experiencing cataplexy
- Hallucinations as you fall asleep or wake up
Make sure to discuss these symptoms with your doctor.
Among these different types of sleep disorders, narcolepsy is one without many treatment options. The common treatments for narcolepsy include scheduled naps and medications. You can discuss developing a custom treatment plan with your doctor if you suffer from narcolepsy.
4. Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome involves having an uncontrollable need to move your legs while you’re resting.
You might have Restless Legs Syndrome if you:
- Experience an unpleasant burning, tingling, aching sensation in your calves
- Have a strong urge to move your legs
- Feel your symptoms get worse when you’re not moving
- Feel relief when you stretch or move
These symptoms often get worse at night.
Your doctor might suggest behavioral therapy paired with medication to treat your Restless Legs Syndrome.
There are also a few home remedies you can try including:
- Regular moderate exercise
- Stress reduction
- Relaxation techniques
- Eliminating caffeine and alcohol
- Massaging your legs
- Quitting smoking
In addition to medication, you might want to consider supplements as well such as:
- Iron supplements
- Vitamin D, C, and E
There are drug-free options as well. For example, you might use a foot wrap at night, which applies pressure to the bottom of your feet. Meanwhile, a pneumatic compression sleeve around your leg can provide pressure to your restless muscles.
Near-infrared spectroscopy, on the other hand, uses wavelength light beams to increase circulation, which might relieve your symptoms.
5. REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
Patients with REM sleep behavior disorder act out their dreams while they’re sleeping. In other words, you won’t experience the muscle paralysis that’s common with sleep.
You might have this sleep disorder if you:
- Move around while you’re sleeping
- Hit, talk, shout, punch, or scream while you’re asleep
REM sleep behavior disorder usually gets worse with time. These episodes can occur occasionally or even several times in a single night. You might also have a difficult time recalling the dream after you wake up.
As with many common sleep disorders, REM sleep behavior disorder is treated with medications. It’s also important to develop a strategy for injury prevention. Otherwise, you might hurt yourself or a loved one as a result of your condition.
Are you struggling with excessive sleepiness during the day? There’s a chance you have hypersomnia. Patients with hypersomnia often feel lethargic when they wake up regardless of how much they slept at night.
Hypersomnia is also referred to as idiopathic hypersomnia (IH), which means it arises without a known cause. It’s also called hypersomnolence.
Common symptoms include:
- Sleeping long hours (sometimes over 10 hours)
- Difficulties getting out of bed in the morning (sleep inertia)
- Brain fog or difficulty concentrating
- Fatigue or exhaustion during the day
- Trouble focusing
- An inability to sleep well
- Difficulty waking up (even when you set an alarm)
- Excessive sleep periods during the day
Some of these symptoms might sound like an everyday occurrence. As a result, many people ignore their symptoms. Left untreated, however, IH can lead to:
- Weight gain
- Poor performance
You might also have issues in your relationship.
Treatment for sleep disorders like IH often includes prescription drugs or a CPAP. You might also need to make lifestyle changes, including:
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake
- Quitting smoking
- Creating a sleep schedule
- Relaxation techniques
- Limiting blue light exposure each night
- Not eating or drinking before bed
Your doctor might also suggest a healthy diet with vitamins or minerals lacking in your current diet.
Changing your sleep environment can help as well. For example, you might want to look into memory foam or hybrid mattress if an old, uncomfortable mattress is making it difficult for you to fall asleep.
7. Night Terrors
Parasomnias are sleeping disorders that include disruptive behaviors during your sleep cycle. As a result, you might find it’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
One common type of parasomnia is night terrors. During a nightmare, you experience sleep paralysis and can’t move. During night terrors, however, you can kick, thrash, or even sit up in bed.
Common characteristics associated with night terrors include:
- Crying uncontrollably
- Sitting up in bed
- Shoving people away
- Accelerated heartbeat, heavy breathing, or a racing pulse
- Appearing terrified, confused, or glass eyed
These symptoms are common for both adults and children.
If you experience frequent episodes of sleep terrors, it’s important to take action. In some cases, the condition is caused by an underlying issue, such as obstructive sleep apnea or depression. In these instances, you’ll need to treat the underlying condition first.
You’ll also want to eliminate any potential triggers, including:
- A full bladder
- Noise or light
- Sleep deprivation
- Emotional stress or anxiety
Improving your sleep by establishing a calming bedtime routine can help, too. You can also use mindful techniques, exercise, and meditation to ease stress and anxiety.
Seeing a Doctor for Sleep Disorders Treatments
Don’t let a sleep disorder steal your sleep. Instead, explore these common sleep disorders treatments. Make sure to speak with your doctor to determine which treatment is right for you.
Also, the right mattress and pillow should support your body to provide you with the best sleep possible. If it’s time to ditch your old mattress, we can help.
Explore our mattresses today for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
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