General Illness Information
Medical Term: Nothing specified
Common Name: Sleep disorders
Description: Sleep disorders are changes in sleeping patterns or habits that can negatively affect mental and physical health of a person.
- Insomnia is a disorder in the process of falling asleep, as well as the inability to go to sleep and fall asleep for a long time. Such violations are considered psychosomatic, that is, they arise due to a physical reaction of the body to emotional experiences and unrest. They can be situational and permanent;
- Hypersomnia is the development of the body’s need for prolonged sleep for 12 to 20 hours a day. But even if you can sleep for so long, a person still does not feel rested, constantly drowsy and distracted. A similar condition can develop in any person with chronic lack of sleep at night, or in severe stressful situations. In addition, there are special types of hypersomnia, such as narcolepsy, post-traumatic, idiopathic hypersomnia;
- Parasomnia is a disorder of sleep phases and periodic incomplete awakenings at night. These include: sleepwalking, nightmares, talk and convulsions in a dream, awakening with confused consciousness, sleepy paralysis, a painful erection in men.
- intensified emotional background, mild irritability, irritability, spontaneous anger or negative emotions – all these severely depletes the nervous system;
- severe psychotraumatic situations: sudden dismissal from work, disappointment in life values, divorce, illness or death of a loved one;
- mental disorders and diseases: light and protracted depression, neuroses, hysteria
- uncontrolled reception of psychostimulants, psychoactive substances: alcohol, nicotine, drugs, caffeine, dietary supplements, some hormonal, decongestants and antitussives;
- violation of the 24-hour sleep and wakefulness with the change of time zones, work in the night shifts;
- traumatic brain lesions;
- the absence of a properly organized day regimen;
- hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder;
- internal biological predisposition to late falling asleep, the so-called type of disconnection-awakening of the nervous system;
- deterioration of the nervous system;
- a side effect of taking medications;
- anxiety states;
- late eating, alcohol and coffee abuse;
- sleep apnea syndrome (a brief respiratory arrest in a dream).
Signs & Symptoms:
- Feeling of insufficient sleep;
- Presumptive disorders – the inability to fall asleep in the usual time, often accompanied by anxiety, fear and obsessive thoughts;
- Intrasomal disorders are superficial anxious sleep with frequent awakenings;
- Postmodern disorders – with a satisfactory sleep, the patient wakes up a few hours earlier than usual and then either can not fall asleep again or is plunged into a restless sleep that is not satisfying. Often observed in the elderly and people with depressive conditions;
- Lack of recovery after waking up;
- Drowsiness during the day;
- Anxious state before bedtime.
The most common method of studying sleep disorders is polysomnography. This examination is conducted by a somnologist in a special laboratory where the patient should spend the night. During his sleep, many sensors simultaneously record the bioelectric activity of the brain, cardiac activity, respiratory movements of the chest and anterior abdominal wall, inhaled and exhaled airflow, oxygen saturation of the blood, etc. A video recording of what is happening and constant monitoring are performed. Such a survey makes it possible to study the state of brain activity and the functioning of the main body systems during each of the five stages of sleep, to identify abnormalities and to find the cause of sleep disturbance.
Another method of diagnosing sleep disorders is to investigate the average sleep latency. It is used to identify the cause of drowsiness and plays an important role in the diagnosis of narcolepsy. The study consists of five attempts to fall asleep, which are carried out during waking hours. Each attempt lasts 20 minutes, the interval between attempts is 2 hours. The average latency of sleep is the time that the patient needed to sleep. If it is more than 10 minutes, this is normal, 10 to 5 minutes – borderline value, less than 5 minutes – pathological drowsiness.
- Elimination of the causal factors affecting sleep: pain, medication, causing sleep disorders, depression;
- It is recommended to wake up every day at the same time;
- It is necessary to limit the duration of daily stay in bed by the time customary for the patient before the onset of a sleep disorder;
- Do not use substances that affect the brain (caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, stimulants);
- Avoid drinking alcohol after 5 pm or less than 6 hours before bedtime;
- Do not sleep in the day;
- It is necessary to use a gradually complicated program of physical exercises in the morning to maintain good health;
- Replace the viewing of TV shows with easy reading or listening to radio programs;
- It is recommended to take a hot bath 20 minutes before going to bed to raise body temperature;
- It is necessary to eat regularly at a certain time, avoid heavy meals before bedtime;
- In the evenings use methods of relaxation or meditation;
- Creating comfortable conditions for sleep;
- Deteriorated attention;
- Deteriorated appearance;
- Increased risk of catching colds;
- You risk getting micro brain damage;
- You become more emotional;
- You may experience problems with memory and concentration;
- The risk of getting a stroke increases. There is a risk of obesity;
- The probability of some kinds of a cancer increases;
- The likelihood of diabetes is increasing;
- Increased risk of heart disease;
- The number of spermatozoa decreases;
- The risk of premature death increases.
Prevention and Prognosis:
As a rule, various sleep disorders can be cured. Therapy of sleep disorders caused by chronic physical illness or occurring in old age are more difficult.
Compliance with sleep and wakefulness, normal physical and mental stress, proper use of drugs that affect the central nervous system (alcohol, tranquilizers, sedatives, hypnotics) – all this serves to prevent sleep disorders. Prevention of hypersomnia consists in preventing craniocerebral trauma and neuroinfection, which can lead to excessive drowsiness.