Common Sleep Problems

There are many treatable reasons why sleep may be a problem. Some of the most frequent include:

  • Insomnia or Up all Night – Regardless of its cause or the form it takes—difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or waking too early in the morning—insomnia is the most common of all sleep disorders and is highly treatable.
  • Snoring – No joke, habitual snoring can indicate a potentially life-threatening condition known as sleep apnea. A person with sleep apnea may stop breathing anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute—dozens of times each night. The interruptions in breathing cause dangerous heartbeat changes, increases in blood pressure and heart enlargement. Unaware of the problem, most apnea sufferers wake up fatigued and drained despite having spent eight or nine hours in bed.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – Uncomfortable leg sensations that make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep may be RLS. RLS affects an estimated 4 million Americans, yet most are unaware of the cause of their insomnia and constant fatigue.
  • Falling Asleep During the Day: Narcolepsy – Uncontrollably falling asleep while having dinner, talking, driving or working is typical of a chronic neurological disorder. Narcolepsy is often inherited and can be successfully treated.
  • Coping with Shift Work – From manufacturers to pilots, sleepiness or fatigue caused by disrupted sleep patterns can lead to more frequent workplace errors and injuries. Shift workers also face greater health risks, such as gastrointestinal and cardiovascular disease, as well as increases in alcohol and tranquilizer use.
  • Children are affected too – Children display sleep deprivation very differently than adults: poor concentration, inattentiveness, moodiness, hyperactivity, and low academic performance are common symptoms. Remarkably, chronically fatigued children are often less willing to go to bed than their well-rested counterparts and are twice as likely to have trouble falling asleep. Early intervention is important because children typically do not “grow out of” sleep problems.

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