Sleep is precious. It allows us to recharge for the next day ahead of us. If we don’t get enough sleep, we’re unable to function optimally. Athletes are well aware of the benefits of sleep. Many professional athletes take sleep very seriously. Rest and recovery are integral parts of their training routine. It’s strange then that the rest of us can’t seem to understand how important sleep really is. We pull all-nighters, we watch TV on our tablets before bed, and we shrug it off when we’re getting poor sleep. When our sleep seems to be lacking in quality, we know it’s probably something we should address but many of us never do. It seems that a lot of us have come to accept poor quality sleep as part of our lives. It shouldn’t be that way. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being more disciplined with your sleep schedule. You might need to quit the evening caffeine drinking. You might need to revamp your sleep routine and get better with sleep hygiene. But sometimes, there are underlying issues that are hurting your chances for quality beauty sleep. Here are 20 potential disorders that might be ruining your chances of getting a good night’s rest.
Snoring can have a negative effect on your sleep whether you’re the one who’s snoring or you’re the one forced to listen to your partner snore. Both situations can cause sleep disruptions. Snoring is likely to occur in men and it’s worsened by sleeping on your back. If you’ve got a cold, your snoring might even get worse. Loud snoring can not only wake your partner up but it can do the same to you as well. When snoring becomes very bad it might even be a sign of sleep apnea. If you’re super tired in the daytime, it might be time to address your loud snoring before your partner decides to murder you.
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. In fact, one in ten people in the United States has insomnia. People with insomnia have trouble falling and/or staying asleep. They don’t get quality sleep and this then hurts them in their daytime lives. Insomniacs, due to lack of sleep, will find themselves having trouble with concentration, they’ll feel sleepy, and just won’t be able to function as well as the rest of of us. Often insomnia is the result of stress. Treatments for the disorder include cognitive behavioral therapy to address the root cause of the insomnia, such as stress. Medicinal treatments are also sometimes used.
18. Sleep Leg Cramps
You’ve likely experienced this at least once in your life. A sleep leg cramp occurs suddenly and without warning. The cramping is often so painful and intense that it wakes a person up. When a muscle contracts and tightens suddenly, this unbearable pain is the result. People will often feel sore after the cramping has subsided. Those with certain medical conditions, like diabetes, are more likely to experience these painful night cramps. Some folks can also experience them after participating in intense exercise or if they’re dehydrated. They’re no fun at all. They’re extremely painful and definitely ruin your beauty rest. At least you’re sure to know what’s causing you to have a fitful night’s sleep!
17. Night Terrors
Night terrors are also known as sleep terrors. If you’ve ever dealt with someone who has night terrors, you’ll know that there’s little you can do to get them to snap out of it. People who experience these nighttime terrors will have sudden freak outs and they might even scream. They occur during the first phases of sleep and are more often seen in children. But, adults can experience them too. Because sleep terrors occur when a person is not yet fully conscious, some people don’t even remember the event the next morning. This is another sleep disorder that may be caused by higher than normal stress levels.
16. Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is a horrifying condition that’s categorized as a parasomnia. Those who experience the disorder will find themselves awake but unable to move. It can happen when falling asleep or when waking up. When you go to sleep, your brain attempts to ensure that you don’t move around all night flailing your arms and legs. You’re put into a relaxed state that essentially paralyzes you. When you experience sleep paralysis, your body does not wake up along with your mind. You can’t move and often people start to panic. There are many people who even experience a terrifying presence in the room with them.
15. Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
This is a circadian rhythm disorder. Someone who has this disorder will experience a sleep pattern that’s delayed, often by two or more hours. People with delayed sleep phase disorder will sleep normally but they often won’t be able to sleep at normal hours like the rest of us. People with delayed sleep phase will often be characterized as night owls. They’ll head to bed later and wake up much later than the rest of us. This can be a problem when you’ve got a job with a regular schedule. We think it’s important to work with your body’s natural rhythms. While there are some treatments for this disorder, we think your best bet is to find a job that allows a flexible sleep schedule.
14. Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome
This is another circadian rhythm disorder. Someone who has this disorder will also sleep and wake up at weird times. However, unlike people who suffer from delayed sleep phase syndrome, folks with this condition will often go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. We often refer to these crazies as ‘morning people.’ They just naturally seem to be able to go to bed between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and they are able to wake up between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. They sleep normally but problems can arise when they attempt to stay up later to accommodate social events or work duties. They’ll still find themselves waking up early, even without a good night’s sleep in such cases.
Have you ever dealt with someone who’s a sleepwalker? It’s creepy. Have you ever walked around the house in your sleep before? Very creepy. Sleepwalking is also known as somnambulism. People who sleepwalk will seem as if they’re awake but, really, they’re not. Often people who sleepwalk will participate in regular daytime activities. Kids are known to sleepwalk more often than adults, but it can occur at any age and it’s always unsettling. For the most part, it’s not something to be worried about. But some folks actually do some pretty weird stuff in their sleep. For instance, some people have even been known to drive while sleepwalking. If it comes to that, it’s best to get in touch with a medical professional to avoid potential future harm to oneself or others.
12. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is snoring’s evil cousin. Snoring might wake you (yes, you’re that loud!) or your partner up, but it’s not inherently dangerous. If your snoring progresses to sleep apnea, you might have a problem. This condition can actually cause you to stop breathing in your sleep. Naturally, this is not only not good for you, it jerks you awake and disrupts your sleep. People with sleep apnea will often wake up feeling like crap. It’s no surprise since their sleep is likely fitful. The condition can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. If you suspect that you or your partner suffer from the condition, seek out a medical professional to see what you can do about it.
11. REM Behaviour Disorder
This is a particularly interesting sleep disorder. REM Sleep Behavior disorder is a condition that’s classified as a parasomnia so it’s related to sleepwalking and sleep paralysis. So what happens when you’ve got this condition? You act out your dreams in your sleep. When you wake up someone who’s sleepwalking, they’re often confused and don’t know what’s happening. But when you wake someone who is vividly dreaming about punching dragons in their sleep, they’ll be lucid and be able to remember their dreams fairly well. The problem with this condition is people can potentially hurt themselves or their partners. People with this disorder can be treated with medications but ‘dream proofing’ the bedroom is also helpful.
10. Sleep Eating Disorder
We’d all like to pretend that we have this disorder. But we know, and you know, that you’ll probably fully awake when you’re raiding that fridge at night. We see you. We’ve done it, we know. But yeah, this is actually a real sleep disorder! Some people eat in their sleep! And it’s not just sipping on a bowl of chicken broth. People with this condition will often binge eat. It occurs when people are somewhat awake, so they’re not totally out of it. But many people won’t remember the events in the morning. It’s obviously a condition that disrupts sleep but it can also result in injury. Some people eat things they shouldn’t or prepare foods unsafely.
Nightmares are not the same as sleep terrors. Nightmares occurs later during the sleep cycle. They’re vivid dreams that cause people to be afraid. People often wake up from nightmares feeling uncomfortable and stressed out. You can probably relate to the feeling of waking up from an unsettling nightmare. You can’t seem to shake the negative feelings, even when you wake up. Stress and anxiety are possible causes of nightmares and there are also some medications that can produce unpleasant vivid dreams. Finding ways to relieve stress, like participating in yoga or meditation, may result in a reduction in nightmares.
8. Restless Legs Syndrome
This sleep disorder causes sufferers to want to move their legs. Those afflicted with the condition will find that they just can’t get comfortable. It causes people to have trouble getting to sleep and contributes to poor quality sleep for many. It’s often seen in older women and it’s also thought to be hereditary. Low iron is thought to be a cause of the neurological sleep disorder. Diabetes can also cause the condition. Sufferers will often describe their legs as feeling itchy or burning, but other descriptors have been used as well. Thankfully, it’s possible to control the disorder with medication.
7. Exploding Head Syndrome
No. This disorder does not cause your head to literally explode. This condition is classified as a parasomnia. Those that have experienced this condition describe hearing sudden loud noises just as they are about to drift off into sleep. The noise is often described as a loud bang. There is no pain involved with the sound but it’s definitely startling. The condition can cause stress and anxiety and disrupts a good night’s sleep. It often happens intermittently, so people will go months without having a so-called ‘attack.’ There’s no known cause for the syndrome but it’s thought to be brought about by periods of high stress.
Bruxism? What the heck is that? It’s just a fancy word for teeth grinding. It’s classified as a sleep movement disorder. Someone who has this condition will grind and/or clench their teeth while they sleep. This kind of repetitive movement can cause damage to your teeth. It can also disrupt your sleep if it’s bad enough. The loud noises produced by teeth grinding can cause you or your partner to wake up. The grinding can also cause headaches which may also cause you to awaken in the middle of the night or early morning. If bruxism is a regular problem for you, you may need to get a mouth guard to protect your teeth and help with jaw pain or headaches
5. Bed Wetting
Bed wetting is classified as a parasomnia. It’s also known as enuresis. With this disorder, people will find themselves urinating while sleeping without realizing it. It’s often seen in children but can occur in adults as well. When we fall asleep, vasopressin production is increased in the body. It’s a hormone that helps to reduce urine output. That way, we aren’t always heading to the bathroom in the dark of the night. In the case of adults, bed wetting can occur in combination with seizures, social stress, or increased liquid consumption. Sometimes, bed wetting can happen because of a bladder infection.
4. Shift Work Sleep Disorder
This is a disorder that can have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Unfortunately, a lot of people have to deal with shift work and thus have to deal with poorer quality sleep. Those with this disorder experience a conflict between their daily schedules and their body’s natural rhythms. Often, people who work shifts will find themselves sleeping less than normal people. But just because you work at an hour when most people are sleeping, doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be afflicted with this disorder. Adjusting to a new schedule takes time but if you find yourself constantly tired even when getting enough sleep after several weeks, you may have a problem.
3. Confusional Arousal
This disorder is classified as a parasomnia. People who have this disorder will often wake up feeling confused and disoriented. People with confusional arousal will feel groggy and unsure of what’s going on. It’s likely to occur when someone shakes you awake and happens most often in the first phase of your sleep cycle. People with the condition can sometimes appear as if they’re inebriated. It can be a chronic condition and cause disruptions in one’s waking life. People can sometimes be so confused and out of it that they get into car accidents. You’re more likely to experience the condition if you’re a shift worker or if you work at night.
2. Jet Lag
Are you someone that travels regularly for work? Jet lag might be ruining your beauty rest. You’re probably already familiar with the condition. It occurs when you travel across several time zones. Your body then has trouble adapting to a new schedule. Your natural rhythms won’t be in tune with a new set of daylight hours. Fortunately, it’s not a permanent affliction. Unless you’re a regular traveller, the condition won’t be a regular part of your life. How can you reduce the effects of jet lag, then? You can use bright light therapy, melatonin or even sleeping pills to help get adjusted to a new schedule. It’s also recommended that you avoid caffeine and alcohol.
This is a pretty serious sleep disorder and it’s a lifelong affliction. Often, it’s characterized by excessive sleepiness. In the most severe cases, people afflicted with the condition will fall asleep uncontrollably at inopportune times. The sleep attacks can happen at anytime and anywhere. Believe it or not, some people who have the disorder don’t even know it. It’s not always accompanied by sudden bouts of sleep, like we see in movies. While it sounds like people with the condition must sleep like babies, that’s not totally true. They often can’t even stay asleep during the night. Just because you’re overly tired during the day, though, doesn’t mean you’re narcoleptic. Your poor sleep may be the result of another condition on this list.
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