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Apr 30, 2020
3 Common Sleep Disorders and Their Corresponding Home Remedies
The importance of good sleep is well researched and documented. Sleep is mandatory for good health and overall well-being. According to the nhlbi, you need to get adequate amounts of quality sleep at the "perfect" time to protect your physical health, mental health, safety, and overall quality of life. Failure to do this results in sleep disorders, among other problems.
Definition: Sleep disorders
Conditions that affect a person's ability to sleep well qualify as sleep disorders regardless of what causes them. According to ASA (American Sleep Association) statistics, 50 to 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder. The most common disorders are snoring, insomnia and sleep apnea affecting approximately 48%, 30%, and 8% of American adults, respectively. If you're wondering which disorder you have or are most susceptible to, here are the most common disorders, their causes, and what you can do about them at home.
How do you know you have a sleep disorder?
While different sleeping disorders have different symptoms, there are common symptoms to look out for. If you have problems falling asleep/staying asleep, you may have one of the common sleeping disorders. Other symptoms include daytime sleepiness, daytime fatigue, anxiety or irritability, depression, and poor concentration. These symptoms vary in severity based on the disorder in question and its progression.
Common sleep disorders and effective home remedies
Snoring has to be the most common disorder given it affects more than half the population in some demographics. 48% of adults in America snore. While the prevalence of snoring has made the disorder seem normal and harmless, it is known to cause more serious problems like obstructive sleep apnea.
Snoring can be defined as the sound a person makes during sleeping while they breathe. The sound originates from vibrating structures in the throat. The most common cause of snoring is a soft palate. Snoring can also occur when body muscles relax when sleeping, allowing some structures in the throat to vibrate as air enters and leaves.
Besides causing more serious conditions like sleep apnea, snoring is linked to health problems like high blood pressure. Snoring can also cause fatigue, sleepiness, and affect the quality of sleep other people get. Snoring can keep your partner or family members awake at night.
Home remedies for snoring depending on the cause
You can deal with snoring problems by investing in anti snore devices. There are good antisnoring devices available today that can get rid of the problem effectively. Since snoring can be induced by your body position while sleeping, investing in sleeping aids can solve the problem. Snoring caused by pregnancy can be solved by buying pillows for pregnant women. Causes of snoring like obesity can be solved easily through exercise. If your snoring persists even after using anti-snore devices, sleeping aids, pillows, among other remedies like exercise, see a doctor.
25% of Americans suffer from acute insomnia every year. The sleep disorder makes it hard to fall asleep and/or remain asleep. Causes of insomnia range from stress and anxiety to hormonal imbalances and digestive problems. Insomnia may also be caused by underlying health conditions.
Like snoring, insomnia can be detrimental to your health. It can cause health issues like depression, weight gain, concentration problems, and irritability affecting your ability to perform at work or school. While this disorder affects approximately 30% of adults in America today, more adults (50%+) will suffer from insomnia once or more times in their lives.
There are different types of insomnia classified based on time. Chronic insomnia is regular and lasts for over a month. Intermittent insomnia is irregular (occurs periodically), while transient insomnia occurs for a few nights only then disappears.
Causes of insomnia
The least severe types of insomnia are linked to environmental factors like a bad sleeping environment and disruptions in normal sleeping patterns such as staying up to late. Severe insomnia is linked to medication and medical conditions.
Home remedies for insomnia
Most people have trouble falling and staying asleep because they don't sleep in the "perfect" sleeping environment. You should sleep in a cool, dark, and quiet or soothing environment. If your insomnia is linked to environmental factors, you can invest in blackout curtains to make your bedroom dark.
You can also get climate control gadgets to ensure you sleep in the perfect temperature 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your mattress could also be to blame for your insomnia. You can invest in mattress toppers to improve the comfort of your mattress without having to buy a brand new mattress. Dealing with insomnia could also be as easy as having a strict sleep schedule that keeps you from staying overnight watching movies, among other things known to disrupt normal sleep patterns.
As discussed above, snoring can cause obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder where a person stops breathing momentarily while sleeping due to blocked airways. Obstructive sleep apnea affects 25 million individuals in the U.S. Other types of sleep apnea like central sleep apnea also have similar symptoms to obstructive sleep apnea but different causes. Central sleep apnea is caused by brain signaling problems i.e., the brain momentarily "forgetting" to signal the muscles to breathe. Positional sleep apnea is linked to a person's sleeping position.
If you have sleep apnea, you are bound to wake up several times at night, gasping for air. Untreated sleep apnea can cause many problems, from fatigue to serious health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke as per the ASA.
Home remedies to sleep apnea
Positional sleep apnea can be solved by avoiding the supine sleep position (sleeping while lying flat on your back) as this position alters the size and shape of your upper airway. Getting a comfortable mattress or mattress topper that makes it comfortable to assume other sleeping positions that are friendly to your upper airway can solve the problem. Some pillows can also solve positional sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea since more than 50% of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea suffer from positional sleep apnea as per the ASA.
Central sleep apnea may require a special test (polysomnography) or MRI scan conducted by a specialist.
While there are other sleep disorders like narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and others, the most common are discussed above. What's more, you can do something about snoring, insomnia, and sleep apnea at home. The most common sleep disorders can be solved by creating the perfect sleeping environment and investing in sleeping aids. You may need to track your sleeping patterns using sleep trackers to narrow down to specific disorders. You should also lead a healthy lifestyle given sleeping problems like snoring are linked to obesity.