Last Updated on December 14, 2023 by Boko Digital
How do you know if you are suffering from a sleep disorder, and what can you do about it?
Sleep is a critical component of our lives, and is essential for overall health and well-being. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Nearly half (48%) of all Australian adults report at least 2 sleep-related problems, which if left unaddressed, can significantly impact your day-to-day life and contribute to long-term health problems.
What are the main sleep related issues suffered by Australians?
Insomnia is the most well-known sleep disorder. People suffering from insomnia often have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing non-refreshing sleep despite having opportunity for many hours rest. Major factors contributing to insomnia can include stress, anxiety, poor sleep habits, some medications or medical conditions.
Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy are generally always tired and may fall asleep without warning at certain periods throughout the day. Other symptoms can include sudden muscle weakness, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
People suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome have an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations such as tingling or crawling. RLS symptoms tend to worsen at night and can lead to sleep disruption.
Parasomnias are abnormal behaviors or movements that occur during sleep. Examples include sleepwalking, night terrors, and teeth grinding (bruxism). These can be triggered by various factors, including stress, medications, or underlying medical conditions.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders result from disruptions in the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Shift work disorder, jet lag, and delayed sleep phase disorder are some examples.
How can sleep disorders be treated?
Sleep disorders are diverse and can have a profound impact on your quality of life. It’s crucial to recognise the signs and symptoms of a chronic sleep disorder, and seek professional help from an experienced practitioner when necessary, to explore appropriate treatment options.
Good sleep hygiene practices, stress management, and lifestyle adjustments such as nutrition, exercise and adopting mindful habits such as meditation and breathwork can also play a significant role in improving sleep quality. Prioritising your sleep is an essential step towards a happier, healthier, and more productive life.
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