We all need sleep. It’s a mechanism that our bodies need to recover to be ready to face a new day. Many adult sleep problems can be self made by poor sleeping habits, created by staying up late and getting up too early. This type of problem can be remedied by developing a proper sleep pattern. There are a number of common reasons for sleep problems in adults and we will review these in this article. Also see our article tips to sleep well for more helpful advice.
Insomnia is the inability to sleep or to sleep well at night. There are many things that cause insomnia. Insomnia is categorized as either situational, which means it lasts from a few days to possibly a month, and chronic which lasts over a month. It is estimated that in many parts of the world around 10 per cent of the population is suffering with insomnia. Lack of sleep can be very debilitating and even dangerous for machine operators, drivers and such like.
Poor sleep can result in a lack of concentration and even the possibility of falling asleep when we shouldn’t, as well as potential medical problems. Insomnia may be a symptom of breathing problems like sleep apnea, illnesses such as heart problems, anxiety, depression or side effects from medicines. It is certainly wise to consult a doctor if you are suffering from insomnia and find a treatment to cure it as quickly as you can.
Restless Legs Syndrome
This sleep problem is characterized by a terrible itching sensation in the lower legs and causes the sufferer to keep moving their legs. It is often relieved by walking around which of course causes sleep deprivation. The sensation quickly returns once the sufferer goes back to bed. Leg stretching and some exercises might be all that is needed to treat this in mild cases. If a sufferer is iron deficient then iron replacement therapy will be used by their doctor. Most cases will be treated using drugs that are used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Other drugs are available, but as always seek professional medical advice and treatment.
Sleep walking is often associated with children, but any age group can suffer with this sleep problem. The sufferer will be able to move around with their eyes open and can even engage in a complex task. It is safe to wake a sufferer but of course they may be confused when you do. Sleep walking is often associated with stress so a remedy may well include counseling for stress related problems. If a person suffers from sleep walking in your family make sure that you protect them from harm by keeping windows and doors closed, particularly if they could fall from a height and remove trip hazards. As with all sleep problems it is advised that you seek medical help when symptoms persist.
Sleep apnea is where a person stops breathing during sleep caused by the airway being closed. The brain then wakes up the sleeper so they gasp for air. This can happen hundreds of times a night and because the brain is being constantly woken it leaves the sufferer feeling very tired. Sleep apnea can be very dangerous and is relatively easy to diagnose and treatable. If someone is suffering from this it is vital to seek medical attention.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that can commonly begin in adolescence. The symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness with sudden sleeping attacks which can be very dangerous in many situations. The treatment of narcolepsy usually requires a combination of behavioral and drug therapy. Medical advice should be sought to treat this sleep problem in adults.