Sleep - the peaceful, relaxing and restorative experience is a daily requirement and a must for all. As discussed in some of our previous blogs, sufficient hours of restorative sleep is essential for everyone to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Why? The body repairs itself as we sleep. Thus, the less you sleep the less time your body will get to fix itself.
Now, there are a lot of reasons which can stop you from sleeping for the required number of hours, including work-related stress, grief, other lifestyle-related issues and so on. But, there are times when the problem can be more complex… requiring more than basic tips and tricks. You could be suffering from one of the many sleep disorders. Talking about sleep disorders, they are always a problem but some of them can be downright scary. In this blog, we will be discussing 5 such sleep disorders and how you can put a stop to the symptoms.
Sleep paralysis, as the name suggests, is a state between stages of wakefulness and sleep when one is temporarily unable to move or speak. For some people, the experience often accompanies terrifying hallucinations and one might feel pressure or a sense of choking. Due to such terrifying hallucinations and experiences, most people explain it as an ‘out of body' experience, as if they could feel their soul coming out, etc. However, the problem is very common and mostly happens when you enter the phase of REM. During this transition, it is normal for the muscles to get paralysed, hence the short inability to speak or move. Although it is normal, if you start experiencing it daily, you should get checked for narcolepsy as sleep paralysis and REM atonia are often blamed for causing this sleep behaviour disorder.
Sleeping Beauty Syndrome:
Remember Princess Aurora and her curse that ended with a kiss from her Prince Charming? Well, Sleeping Beauty Syndrome is a lot like her curse but not that long-lasting and doesn’t end with a kiss. Why is it called the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ syndrome? Although the scientific term for the disorder is ‘Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS)’, the other name is a result of the symptoms, which includes excessive sleep, 'spacey' behaviour and confusion. And ironically, the disorder is more common among teenage boys. About 70% of those affected are teenage boys according to a report by the National Institutes of Health.
What causes this disorder? Though what causes this disorder is yet unknown to many scientists, some believe a malfunction in the hypothalamus, which helps to regulate sleep and body temperature, might be what triggers the disorder.
Sleep twitch or hypnic jerk refers to an involuntary twitch in one or more muscles, occurring mostly when the person is transitioning from the state of wakefulness to sleep state. It is quite common and can be a result of an unbalanced sleeping schedule.
Exploding head, a condition of parasomnia, refers to fear while falling asleep, followed by a headache along with loud and imaginary noises mimicking an explosion. In several cases, people suffering from the syndrome can experience unexplainable flashes of light.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleeping disorder, essentially because a person starts and stops breathing rapidly while asleep. This interrupted breathing reduces the supply of oxygen to the brain and the body, leading to serious problems. How do you know if you have sleep apnea? If you snore quite loudly and sleep for 7-8 hours daily yet you feel tired, you might want to visit your doctor.
Summing up, sleeping disorders are more common than what you may have guessed. And if you are suffering from one, it is recommended to get in touch with your doctor.