Do you often feel sleep-deprived? Has it ever occurred to you that there could be a reason behind you rolling on the bed from side to side finding it hard to relax and eventually fall asleep? Sleep disorder is a condition that affects sleep quality, time, and duration, making it tougher for you to function properly while you are awake. When one is sleep-deprived, one often experiences mental and physical fatigue that collectively contributes to other medical problems. But like any other health condition sleep deprivation is also curable. In fact, there is an entire science to it.
Broadly speaking, Sleep Science is your body’s sleep control. Sleep is regulated through Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Drive. Circadian Rhythm is controlled by your brain’s biological clock. As you start your day, the desire to sleep kicks in, and as you proceed with your activities during the day, the same desire deepens until it reaches a point where you feel sleepy and eventually call it a day. But when the same biological clock gets disturbed due to reasons that we shall be discussing later, the sleep gets delayed, and if this delay cultivates into a habit, you may experience sleep disorder.
Before understanding how you can overcome the same, let’s focus on the types of sleep disorder and how you can find if you have one.
Types of sleep disorder
The types of sleep disorders that you will be reading further, have been defined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s International Classification of Sleep Disorders - Third Edition.
Despite getting sufficient opportunity to fall asleep normally, if you find it difficult to sleep and if you experience daytime impairment due to lack of sufficient sleep, it may be a sign of Insomnia. Depending on the seriousness of the condition, it can be either chronic or short-termed. If you experience a similar irregular sleeping pattern, it is advisable to consult a doctor for the same.
Sleep Apnea is a condition marked by abnormal breathing during sleep. If you take long pauses during sleep, the oxygen flow in the body gets disrupted, leading to a light, uncomfortable sleep. If remaining unchecked, it can lead to potential health consequences.
Often misunderstood, Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by severe persistent daytime sleepiness. It severely affects your regular work-life balance and also increases the risks for accidents and injuries. Although rare, it affects thousands of Americans yearly, including children and adults.
Often referred to as unusual behavior, Parasomnia is experienced by people, as the brain transitions in and out of sleep. It can be before falling asleep, or between sleep and wakefulness. It is mostly observed in children, but this behavior has been recorded across different age groups.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
While you remain asleep, the body transitions into a paralytic stage, wherein the brain remains active while the body isn’t, and therefore, your dreams don't affect your muscular movements. In REM sleep disorder, the body doesn’t transition in the paralytic stage during sleep, and therefore, when you dream, your body and voice enact the same.
Other sleep disorders in this list include, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder, Excessive Sleepiness, Shift Work Disorder, and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. You can read about these disorders in detail, here.
After understanding the different types of disorders and how to find if you have one, let’s focus on ways in which you can overcome the same.
Overcoming Sleep Disorders
Limiting the consumption of alcohol and caffeine
Caffeine acts as a powerful catalyst that boosts instant wakefulness in the body. A caffeine shot before going to bed must be avoided, as it can seriously delay your sleep by keeping you awake. Even while sleeping, it can wake you up multiple times, thus disturbing your sleep cycle. Alcohol, on the other hand, may have a sedative effect for a few hours post-consumption but can lead to frequent arousals and restlessness during sleep.
Limiting activities in bed
While going to bed, you may often engage in activities like scrolling through social feeds or binge-watching your favorite series, or even talking or texting your loved ones but these activities delay your sleep, thus making you feel sleep-deprived. Exercising a timely digital detox is vital for a healthier sleep cycle and overall health. Listening to calm, relaxing music also helps in falling asleep as it calms your senses and breathing, lowers the heart rate, and reduces blood pressure, thus transitioning you to your dream world.
Cultivating a healthier lifestyle through regular exercise helps in improving sleep cycles as it improves the energy consumption in the body throughout the day, thus regulating the biological clock. However, exercising right before going to bed isn’t advisable as it stimulates the body and keeps it active for a certain duration. You should always exercise at least three hours before you think of retiring to bed.
Using a good quality mattress
Mattress plays a vital role in helping you doze off to sleep comfortably. But there is so much more to it than meet the eye. Just like one shoe doesn't fit all, mattress types vary from person to person. A memory foam mattress, for eg., is perfect for people who prefer sleeping on the side and have sharper pressure points. It also works well for back and stomach sleepers. A gel mattress, on the other hand, is perfect for someone looking for comfort and spinal support. If you are someone who experiences a rise in body temperature at night leading to sweat, a gel mattress is a perfect match for you. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult a Sleep Expert before buying a mattress that suits your needs.
At Mancini’s Sleepworld, we help you find the best mattress that suits your body type and sleep requirements, from our wide range of mattresses from leading brands at incredible prices. Consult us today and we can book you an in-store private appointment with our dedicated sleep expert who will help you choose the mattress that best suits your needs.