Natural Pedia Com

Sleep disorders – causes, side effects and treatments at

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 by

Sleep disorders refer to any condition that affects, disrupts, or involves sleep. Having a sleep disorder can adversely affect a person’s quality of life, including overall health and safety.

There are telltale signs that indicate a person suffering from a sleep disorder: Aside from having difficulty in falling asleep or maintaining sleep, other signs include excessive sleepiness during the day and increased movement, as well as irregular breathing, during sleep.

Sleep disorders are usually grouped by behavior during sleep, problems with natural sleep-wake cycles, difficulties in falling asleep, and daytime effects of the disorder.

Known risk factors and symptoms of sleep disorders

Most reported sleep disorders are comprised of these four conditions, each with its unique symptoms. While sleep disorders are not predisposed to a gender or age group, there are certain risk factors that make a person more likely to develop the condition than others.

Insomnia is a condition where people have difficulty falling – or even staying – asleep. Those who are at risk of this condition include:

  • Females, especially those who are pregnant or menopausal
  • Older adults
  • Individuals who are subjected to extreme stress
  • People who suffer from depression and other mental disorders
  • Workers who have frequent shift changes
  • People who travel long distances or areas with time changes
  • Individuals with a family history of insomnia

People with insomnia typically find it hard to fall asleep or if they are woken up during sleep, find it difficult to go back to sleep. This results in non-restorative sleep, which causes daytime problems such as fatigue, mood swings, difficulty in concentration, and potential accidents during work or when driving. Most people report having short episodes of insomnia, called acute or adjustment insomnia; however, other have recurring or persistent cases of insomnia, which are classified as chronic insomnia.

Sleep apnea is a severe condition that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. This can lead to conditions that are felt by the person during the day. There are two forms of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea, where the soft tissue in the throat collapses during sleep, and central sleep apnea, where the brain fails to command the body to breathe.

People who snore loudly are at risk of sleep apnea, as well as those who have a thick neck circumference (more than 17 inches in men and 16 inches in women). Certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking and heavy drinking, can also increase the risk of sleep apnea.

Those with sleep apnea usually wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition common to pregnant and older women. People with RLS experience an intense urge to move their legs at night, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep.

Narcolepsy is a disorder characterized by uncontrollable bouts of sleep during the day. Individuals who have a family history of narcolepsy or those with an autoimmune disorder are also at risk of the condition. In some people, narcolepsy causes muscle weakness when laughing.

Body systems affected by sleep disorders

Sleep disorders affect the individual, both mentally and physically. However, a person is also at risk of certain diseases because of sleep disorders.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent sleep disorders

Getting the body prepared for a restful sleep is one of the ways to manage – or even prevent – sleep disorders. Certain food items, as well as dietary behavior, can certainly help with the condition.

  • Drinking warm milk might relax the body and prepare it for sleep.
  • Eat a light bedtime snack before sleeping – or a carbohydrate-filled dinner hours before.
  • Brew a tea from chamomile, lemon balm, hops, and passion flower before going to bed – if you have no bladder problems.
  • Try taking valerian root to improve sleep.
  • Take a glass of wine to help you fall asleep.
  • Consume caffeine only in the morning.

Treatment and management options for sleep disorders

Some natural ways to get restful sleep include:

  • Practicing daily breathing exercises before going to bed
  • Taking a warm bath before bedtime
  • Getting at least 45 minutes of exercise every day.

Where to learn more


Sleep disorders are conditions that affect, disrupt, or involve sleep.

Sleep disorders are usually grouped by behavior during sleep, problems with natural sleep-wake cycles, difficulties in falling asleep, and daytime effects of the disorder.

Common sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy.

Sources include: 1 2 3 4


comments powered by Disqus