4 Types Of Sleep Disorders In Adults And How To Overcome It

You face irregular breathing or have excessive daytime sleepiness, or sometimes worse, your movements have been increased during sleep; something serious is happening, which you should not ignore.

In simple terms, if you face trouble sleeping, it means you will face some difficult health issues that could be harmful to your life.

The worrying fact is people tend to ignore sleep deprivation as if nothing happens, but often they fail to realize that the problem is dangerous and is equivalent to alcoholism that slowly destroys us.

Usually, there are 4 types of sleep disorders in adults we found, which we will be discussing below. But before that, let’s have a look at shocking data about sleeping problems. 

What Do You Call A Sleeping Disorder

As we grow older, lifestyle changes, and so our sleeping pattern that affects our whole body, and of course, it does not have any good impact on our health.

Half of the people over 65 face this problem due to various factors like physical, environmental, medical, psychiatric; though it may differ still, the outcome is the same that increases the fatigue and risk for falling.

People having depression, alcoholic in nature, asthma can face trouble in sleeping that affects their natural cycle that further creates additional health problems.

To understand the problem, we have gone through some research, where we found shocking data regarding sleep deprivation that proves we should not take this problem lightly.

The data shows the decrease in sleep time compared to 1942, where people used to spend 7.9 hours, but now it’s 6.8 hours, and in fact, 35% of adults are not getting 7 hours of sleep.

If this is not enough, according to this British Columbia Medical Journal report, on an average, 100 thousand deaths happen due to medical error, and the reason is sleep deprivation.

And hence proved that it is not just dangerous for you, but for someone else also, and if you are facing the same problem, consult a professional as soon as possible.

names of different sleep disorders

Primarily, there are four most common sleep disorders in adults we usually found

  1. Insomnia
  2. Sleep Apnea
  3. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
  4. Periodic limb movement disorder

Insomnia

When we are talking about insomnia, often movies like Fight Club and Taxi Driver come to our mind that explain about this disease in creative ways where you will get a practical idea.

The most common sleeping disorder that older adults face is of two types; Primary and Secondary.

Primary insomnia causes sleep problems; however, it is not associated directly with any other problems, but the secondary may be dangerous because it may happen due to other conditions like cancer, asthma, or depression.

Symptoms and Treatments of Insomnia

Symptoms

A person who has insomnia faces the following problems

  • Sleepiness during daytime
  • Tired during the whole day
  • Concentration problem
  • Irritability 

Cause of Insomnia

Whether you are going through a breakup or losing a job or the death of your most favorite person, once you feel stress from where you cannot overcome, chances of insomnia are high.

Today in the rat race era, every time we have to chase for something that makes our lives extremely stressful, that further causes other health issues where we are forced to go for medication.

Medication for asthma, allergy, high blood pressure may have serious side effects due to which a person may suffer from sleep deprivation.

Treatment for insomnia

Insomnia happens due to bad lifestyle changes, and unless we change it, there is no way to escape from it, and the best way for recovery is good sleep.

You don’t need to be a health expert for this, and all you need to do is follow a simple pattern that will give peaceful sleep. Here is how to do it

  • Make a routine where you will go to bed on time and wake up the next morning at a particular time. You should follow it regularly.
  • Do some exercise regularly, but ensure that your workout time is not close to bedtime because you may face trouble while sleeping.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and using mobile during bedtime, and also, you should not take heavy meals during the night.
  • Your night time should be peaceful where you will get a good sleep.

Sleep Apnea

You are sleeping but suddenly feel breathing problems during the night that will give you a deadly feeling as if your life is about to end.

Sleep Apnea is deadly that can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure, and in fact, you may fall asleep during your regular activities.

Though there are three types of sleep apnea; obstructive, central, and mixed. Still, these are not different as the patient faces breathing problems in these three cases.

Symptoms and Treatments of Sleep Apnea

Symptoms

In three cases, symptoms are equal as following

  • Tired during daytime
  • Waking up during the night
  • Problem in concentration
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Problem with sex

Cause of sleep apnea

There are multiple factors involved.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

During sleep, the muscle responsible for the airway open relaxes with the tongue due to which the airway becomes narrow that prevents the flow of air to the lungs.

For an average person, the relaxation doesn’t prevent airflow, but a person suffering from sleep apnea faces it.

Central Sleep Apnea

Here, the brain fails to transmit signals to the breathing muscles, and the person can’t breathe for sometimes that causes staying awake or problems in sleeping.

Treatment for sleep apnea

As we mentioned above in the insomnia section, lifestyle changes are the basic rules for any sleep deprivation treatment, and Sleep Apnea is no different either.

You may face problems during the initial stages, but this will help you in the long run if you continue a healthy lifestyle.

  • Avoid alcohol, and all types of drugs that you are taking for the relaxation as these are harmful to your health.
  • You may need to lose weight, and here, at least 10% of losing weight will make a difference, and trust me, gaining unnecessary weight has the worst side effect of your health.
  • As you are facing breathing problems, a nasal spray will act as a rescuer in this case
  • Sleeping on your back is helpful for this problem

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

When you are trying to sleep, your leg creates unpleasant situations with a powerful urge to move, and even if you want still, you have no control over it.

In medical terms, it’s a neurological problem where your brain has no control, and according to research, more than 10 million people are facing this problem.

If not treated well, it will cause other side effects, including depression.

Symptoms and Treatments of Restless Leg Syndrome 

Symptoms

  • When you sit or lay down for a long time, you feel sensation in the leg, and after some movements such as stretching, walking, or jiggling, it becomes relaxed.
  • It happens in the night most of the time and becomes worse
  • It’s also associated with one more common condition that causes legs to twitch the whole night while you are sleeping.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome

There is no exact cause for restless leg syndrome or better; we can say doctors are yet to find any reason; however, in most cases, it is believed that genes have some roles.

In many cases, people having RLS also have a family member with the same problem.

Restless leg syndrome treatment

For RLS treatment, the objective is to ease the symptoms that can be possible through lifestyle changes, regular exercise, and practicing regular sleep at a particular time.

  • Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol as this will affect your regular sleep pattern
  • Practice sleeping on a regular time
  • Use ice packs or heating pads for easing the symptoms
  • Hot baths will be helpful
  • Do leg massages

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

Formerly called sleep myoclonus or nocturnal myoclonus, in this disorder, jerking of legs or repetitive limb movements happen during sleep.

Here, the movements are repetitive and rhythmic and happen at a regular interval of 20-40 seconds.

In this limb movement, ankle flexion, significant toe extension, knee, hip, and lower extremities are involved.

Symptoms and Treatments of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

Symptoms

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Non-restorative sleep (When sleep has not been sufficiently refreshing)
  • Frequent awakening from sleep

People having PLMD may also suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), and in most cases, patients are unaware of this and know about it from their bed partners.

Cause of PLMD

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder is of two types, Primary and Secondary. The exact reason for the Primary Periodic Limb Movement Symptoms is unknown, and it is believed that due to the abnormalities of nerve regulation traveling from the brain to the limbs.

Secondary PLMD is due to other underlying medical problems like Spinal cord injury, Iron deficiency, sleep apnea, Diabetes Mellitus, Narcolepsy, Anemia, Uremia. These are also responsible for Restless Leg Syndrome.

Treatment of PLMD

Though treatment doesn’t cure PLMD, still, it gives relieves.

Keep in mind that Primary PLMD has no cure because the cause is yet to be discovered.

If it doesn’t affect your sleep or has no impact on your lifestyle, treatment is not required.

For secondary PLMD, the underlying medical condition should be treated, which is the root cause, and here, you should take doctor’s advice.

In PLMD, you should avoid caffeine as these are responsible for the symptoms and sleep disruption.

For example, Tea, Coffee, soda, chocolate contains caffeine.

Best Exercise for sleep

No doubt working out, doing yoga will help to get better sleep, but if you are looking for the best exercise for sleep, there is no perfect exercise.

It’s because every workout, yoga has some benefits, and you can do it according to your choice.

According to medical science, Yoga, strength training, and Aerobic exercise will be helpful.

Strength Training for sleep

Strength training plays a pivotal role not only in muscle building but also in the quality of sleep.

It will help you sleep faster, and also the frequency of waking up at night will be less.

If you have a lack of time, try to do it three times a week at least.

List of strength training for better sleep

  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Lunges
  • Pull-Ups
  • Bent over row
  • Lat Pulldown
  • Barbell Curl
  • Tricep Pushdown
  • Bench Press

Cardio or Aerobic exercise for better sleep

Aerobic or cardio exercise will increase the heart rate that ultimately helps you sleep better, and even if you do it for ten to fifteen minutes, this has a lot of benefits.

Swimming, running, cycling are some examples, and you can try High-Intensity Cardio (HIIT), but for HIIT, you should check your other medical conditions and take professional help.

List of cardio exercise

  • Skipping
  • Jump Lunges
  • Squat Jumps
  • Mountain Climber
  • Burpee

Yoga for better sleep

In today’s era, yoga becomes immensely popular, and if you do it regularly for eight weeks, you will get quality sleep.

By doing various types of stretching, breathing exercises will be helpful to overcome the sleeping problem.

Here is a list of yoga for the improvement of sleep

  • Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
  • Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
  • Corpse Pose (Savasana)
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing
  • Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Final Word

Sleep deprivation became a serious problem, and the primary reason is neglecting the daily sleep habit that later takes a toll on our health. According to this data, the Japanese spend the least amount of time sleeping; however, no country is spending eight hours sleeping. Some apps help improve your sleep, and if you are suffering from sleep deprivation, you can also try those apps.

For a healthy life, having enough sleep is essential, and we shouldn’t take it lightly.

Dr Khushru Ali Khan

Dr Khushru Ali Khan

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