Sleep is crucial to human beings. Making sure you get enough sleep and high-quality sleep at that is vital to your wellbeing. It can improve your mental and physical health, quality of life, and your productivity at work.
There are some sleeping disorders which many people view as a normal sleeping-related problem. Unsurprisingly, the most common is snoring which affects around 90 million American adults and can lead to low-quality sleep for their families.
While snoring is certainly bothersome, there are some sleeping disorders out there that are downright strange! Read on to find out what they are and how best to combat them.
5 Examples of Strange Sleeping Disorders
1. Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome or RLS is a condition that leads to an unbelievable urge to move your legs. This is usually due to an uncomfortable sensation in the muscles, which is only relieved by movement.
Medical professionals are in disagreement about exactly what causes this condition, but those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, anemia and nerve damage are more likely to suffer from it.
For the vast majority of sufferers, RLS occurs in the evening or during the night when they are trying to sleep. People who struggle with this condition can kick around or move hundreds of times in one night. This can cause them to suffer from low-quality sleep not to mention they may frequently disturb their partners.
Even though there is no single known cause for this condition, there are a few ways you can help combat it. First of all, make sure you get regular exercise. Caffeine and alcohol intake should also be limited to reduce the level of stimulants in the bloodstream. In severe cases, you may be able to get medication prescribed by your doctor to help you get some rest. This condition can be especially annoying if you have a partner, as you will disturb them, in this case having a firm and thick mattress can help. Otherwise you may end up sleeping on the sofa, or if you’re lucky a sofa bed in order to move around and not disturb your partner.
This is a frightening condition that can have dangerous consequences. People who suffer from narcolepsy cannot differentiate between sleeping and waking states.
This causes extreme sleepiness and people who have narcolepsy are incapable of preventing themselves from falling asleep. They can have dream-like hallucinations while they are awake and in addition to this, also experience paralysis as they are falling asleep or waking up.
Narcolepsy is often caused by a deficiency of a brain chemical called “hypocretin”. Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for narcolepsy. However, there are some medications that can help sufferers to manage these troublesome symptoms.
Sleepwalking is literally the state of walking while sleeping. This odd condition usually occurs during the deepest phase of sleep. It’s most common amongst children but can be an adult disorder too.
Sleepwalking can have comical results, as people report many adventures while their mind is asleep. Some people will run baths, raid the fridge, or even get dressed! Of course, it’s not all fun and games. In serious cases, people can injure themselves on their night time travels.
The exact cause of sleepwalking is unknown, but it seems to run in families. The best way to combat it is to reduce stress, drink less alcohol, avoid recreational drugs or sedatives and stick to a regular sleep schedule.
4. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Teeth grinding is yet another strange disorder that affects the sleep of millions of people. Most sleep experts believe stress and anxiety are the culprits. Aside from causing damage to the teeth over time, sufferers often wake up with headaches and a sore jaw.
One of the ways to combat this is to not chew gum or anything that is not food since it creates a habit of grinding and chewing. Dentists can also provide a mouth guard to protect the teeth. However, the most important solution is to reduce stress and anxiety.
5. Sleep Apnea
This is when the throat becomes partially blocked while sleeping. Most people who suffer from this don’t always know until someone points it out to them. Usually, their sleeping partners will attest to very loud snoring and interrupted breathing throughout the night.
Sleep apnea can be dangerous. If left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke.
The common treatment method for this is a CPAP machine. This keeps the sleeping person’s throat open with a steady stream of air. Less common treatments include gum shields to hold the airway open or surgery to improve breathing by removing the tonsils.
Sleep is important to our health and well-being by protecting us from a whole host of diseases and conditions. However, there are certain sleeping disorders that can prevent you from getting the vital, high-quality sleep that you need.
Teeth grinding, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome are just some of the strange sleeping disorders that can interfere with your ability to get some kip. By following our above tips and seeking professional treatment, you can ensure that you (and your loved ones) stand the best chance of getting a good nights’ rest.