Sleep Disorders & Snoring
Sleep disorders are common conditions that involve difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up. By not getting sufficient sleep at night, many people are affected during the day and may have difficulty completing their everyday activities. Certain actions can be taken to help get a good night’s sleep, such as setting a routine, exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, avoiding lying in bed while awake and relaxing before bedtime.
Some of the most common sleep disorders include:
- Insomnia – Not getting enough sleep at night as a result of trouble falling asleep or waking up frequently.
- Narcolepsy – Narcolepsy is a brain disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and may be prone to suddenly falling asleep for several seconds to more than 30 minutes.
- Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – This condition causes tingling sensations in the feet and legs, prompting people to move them and seek relief. This movement can disrupt sleep and may lead to constant leg movement while awake.
- Snoring and Sleep Apnea – These conditions involve breathing irregularities while sleeping, which can result in loud noises, blocked airways and interrupting sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
The sounds of snoring occur the same way that sounds are made when a person speaks. During sleep, the throat muscles relax and vibrate when air tries to pass through but is blocked, creating the sounds recognized as snoring. Snoring is very common and occurs at least occasionally in almost half of all adults. Men are more likely to snore than women. Snoring can be brought on by nasal congestion, alcohol consumption, sleep apnea or simply the anatomy of the mouth. If the tonsils are enlarged, the airway can be narrower and vibrate more when air tries to flow through. Being overweight can also contribute to a narrowed airway.