Common Sleep Disorders in Adults & Tips for Treatment
Did you know that the average person spends one third of their life asleep? That is, if you can get to sleep in the first place.
It’s also true that 1 in 4 individuals suffer from some type of sleeping disorder, thus making the time their head hits the pillow an apprehensive struggle rather than a peaceful time of rest and relaxation.
While these statistics are widely known, what many people don’t realize is that many common sleep disorders are completely preventable and treatable if they’re caught and treated. The following are several of the most common sleep disorders and ways to treat and prevent them in the future.
Insomnia is difficult to explain in and of itself because it can be considered both a disorder and a symptom. For example, if you drink too much caffeine before going to bed, you may experience insomnia as a side effect.
Insomnia can be categorized into three categories depending on seriousness and length. The categories are Chronic, Acute, and Transient. Regardless what kind of insomnia one has, it is usually caused by stress and/or depression.
Control Your Sleep Environment
One way to treat insomnia is to control the environment in which you sleep. For example, you should avoid eating, studying, working, etc. on your bed. The bed was made to sleep on and associating it with other activities may cause insomnia.
Set The Alarm
Wake up at the same time regardless of if you have somewhere to be. Setting and sticking to a schedule will develop a sleep habit that allows the body to recognize when to fall asleep.
2. Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
Those that have a hard time falling asleep within the normal hours of the night are considered to have delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS). Those with DSPS fall asleep in the early morning hours and wake up in the early afternoon. Essentially, their sleep schedule is just moved back a few hours.
If someone with DSPS is able to stick to their sleep schedule, there really aren’t any other symptoms. However, most of us have work, school, or other activities that we have to be to before noon which makes DSPS difficult to deal with.
Stay Away From Stimulants
Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol are all substances that can affect sleep. While avoiding stimulants altogether may not seem possible or even 100% effective, it would only help to stay away from energy drinks, caffeinated beverages, cigarettes, and alcohol especially within 5 hours of hitting the sack.
Control your sleeping environment by changing the light. When it is early evening and the sun is just setting or the moon is bright, cover the windows and don’t let any light in. In the morning, have a bright light on a timer turn on to alert your mind that it’s morning.
3. Jet Lag
Whether you travel a lot or not, you have probably experienced some form of jet lag. Jet lag is typically encountered when traveling across multiple time zones. For example, a flight from Paris to New York lasts around 7 hours. Take into effect the time change (6 hours) and you really only lose one hour. So if you leave at 9AM, you will arrive at your destination at 10AM but 7 hours will have passed. You are ultimately adding hours to the day. Heading in the other direction is the same concept, but you are taking hours away from the day. This alters your sleep pattern and causes jet lag.
You can begin changing your sleep habits before you even get on the plane. Alter your sleep by a half hour each day. Just be sure you’re not affecting your work or school schedule.
Drink Water While in Flight
Dehydration can affect your sleeping habits. Make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Stay away from alcohol and carbonated beverages as they only contribute to dehydration.
Putting It All to Rest
When it comes to your body, sleep can be one of the most important aspects to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When you are deprived of sleep, you are more likely to get sick, gain weight, gain stress or even become depressed.
Take sleep seriously by following these few guidelines that are there to help you avoid harmful and potentially dangerous sleep disorders. Sweet dreams!