What are sleeping disorders?
In this competitive world, people often get their health deteriorated because they are not able to rest as much they would want. Their bodies are going to their limits with the work load increasing day by day. Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings. As sleep eludes an individual, it starts taking a toll on the mental as well as physical health of an individual. Gradually these irregularities in sleeping become ailments or sleeping disorders.
Sleeping disorders are changes in sleeping patterns that affect a person’s health negatively. Also known as Somnipathy, sleeping disorders are medical disorders of sleep patterns of a person. Sleeping disorders are enough to interfere with our normal physical, mental, social and emotional functioning. Polysomnography and actigraphy are two main tests to detect sleep disorder. Sleep is characterized by theta waves and the above mentioned tests detect irregularities in these waves and thereby know if a person has sleeping disorder or not.
You sleep badly at night which leaves you feeling dead-tired in the morning and whatever energy you have quickly drains away throughout the day. But then, no matter how exhausted you feel at night, you still have trouble sleeping. And so the cycle begins again, taking a serious toll on your mood, energy, efficiency, and ability to handle stress. Ignoring sleep problems and disorders can damage your physical health and lead to weight gain, accidents, impaired job performance, memory problems, and put a strain on your relationships.
Here we are going to talk about Sleep Apnea and Narcolepsy. Let us see about each of them in detail.
What is Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a long term neurological disorder that involves a decreased ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy often feel very sleepy during the day and may involuntarily fall asleep while carrying out daily tasks.
People with narcolepsy feel very sleepy during the day and may involuntarily fall asleep during normal activities. In narcolepsy, the normal boundary between awake and asleep is blurred, so characteristics of sleeping can occur while a person is awake. For example, cataplexy is the muscle paralysis of REM sleep occurring during waking hours. It causes sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to a slack jaw, or weakness of the arms, legs, or trunk. People with narcolepsy can also experience dream-like hallucinations and paralysis as they are falling asleep or waking up, as well as disrupted nighttime sleep and vivid nightmares.
The cause of narcolepsy is not known; however, scientists have made progress toward identifying genes strongly associated with the disorder. These genes control the production of chemicals in the brain that may signal sleep and wake cycles. Some experts think narcolepsy may be due to a deficiency in the production of a chemical called hypocretin by the brain. In addition, researchers have discovered abnormalities in various parts of the brain involved in regulating REM sleep. These abnormalities apparently contribute to symptom development. According to experts, it is likely narcolepsy involves multiple factors that interact to cause neurological dysfunction and REM sleep disturbances.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain -- and the rest of the body -- may not get enough oxygen.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, due to instability in the respiratory control center.
Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Hence it is advisable to consult a doctor and perform suitable tests that will determine whether or not a person has sleep apnea. Snoring is the loudest when one is one his/her back; it is advised to sleep by the sides comfortably.
Smart drugs and how do they help?
Smart drugs are the light showing towards a smarter tomorrow. Modafinil or Armodafinil smart drugs work by inhibiting the re-uptake of Dopamine in the nerves. This accumulated Dopamine wakes up the person and keeps him/her active all day. Other hormones like Histamine, Serotonin and Norepinephrine are also increased thus giving a sense of ‘high’ and making a person more focused and alert. However, smart drugs should be taken under proper medical guidance and proper supervision, lest they should harm the person rather than benefit him.
Sleep disorders are essentially harming a person’s way of life and making him/her more fatigued day by day. People with sleeping disorders are more likely to have a stroke or a heart attack as the amount of oxygen reduces and this sometimes initiates clotting of the blood in body. Sleep disorders may make a person disoriented and may cause injuries at work or at home. This is a problem that should be taken with proper seriousness and a doctor should be consulted at the early stages of the problem. With proper care and guidance these disorders are easily treatable with proper diagnosis and medication.
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