Sleep Disorders – Removing the Risk Factors
Sleep is the natural recurring state of the body and mind, characterized by suppressed awareness, decreased sensory activity, decreased muscle activity and decreased interaction with surrounding environment during rapid eye movement sleep (REM) sleep. The lack of sleep or abnormal sleeping habits could affect daytime function, personality, performance, sleep and mood. The lack of sleep can be attributed to a number of physiological processes. One of the common dysfunctions in sleep is due to a reduced amount of natural light, which provides the brain with its necessary stimulus during sleep.
In spite of the fact that a number of physiological processes are involved in sleep and memory restoration, less than 10% of the total amount of sleep is required to compensate for each one of the physiological processes. The most prevalent of these processes is the process of REM sleep, which includes the re-entrainment of brainwaves from the stage of sleep to wakefulness. It has been observed that people suffering from chronic pain, insomnia, depression, sleep apnea and chronic pain are more prone to a chronic drop in their alertness. There are certain specific pathological conditions which may contribute to a disturbed state of sleeping. For instance, people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and the elderly, who are at greater risk of a decreased depth of sleep, are both more likely to be affected by sleep disorders than healthy individuals.
Narcolepsy is one of several sleep disorders and is also known as the primary sleeping disorder of humans. There are two types of narcolepsy, namely, catalepsy and hypnagogic. Individuals with catalepsy suffer from a temporary loss of voluntary muscular control over their body while those with hypnagogic disorder experience a sudden and unexpected surge of voluntary muscle action. A third type of narcolepsy, idiopathic narcolepsy, is caused by damage to the hypothalamus or the central nervous system.
The main risk factors for having sleep disorders are inadequate amounts of uninterrupted sleep (having less than seven hours), as well as problems related to the circadian rhythm such as shift work, irregular meal timings, jet lag, excessive caffeine consumption and alcohol. In addition, there are other less common factors that contribute to poor sleep, including age, heredity, depression and anxiety. People with narcolepsy have an irregular sleep pattern, falling asleep during odd hours or staying awake for hours. The condition is more prevalent in people aged above 60 years. Individuals with this health problem should seek medical advice before making a decision to take medication.
The third and final stage of non-REM sleep is stage 2, also known as nocturnal light sleep or NREM. Unlike the first two stages, nocturnal light sleep does not require the body to reorient and reach a rested state. Instead, it is experienced as a sense of being awake and content just like being in a dream. Some of the symptoms of stage two are waking up feeling rested and hungry, having a reduced pulse and heart rate, as well as a lower body temperature.
Although medical treatments can help with mild forms of insomnia, they are not recommended for people who suffer from severe forms of the condition. The reason why medical treatments are limited is because they only treat the symptoms, not the underlying cause of the condition. It is possible to use natural methods that can cure insomnia and prevent the onset of chronic forms of the disorder. If you are suffering from sleeping problems, you should visit your doctor and start using natural methods to treat your condition. You can improve your sleep quality and even get rid of your sleeping troubles for good!