Written by Cristian Gonzalez
Sleeping disorders are common in our hectic lives; finding time to sleep may escape many people’s checklists. It turns out that 50-70 million adults in the United States have some form of sleeping disorder . Sleeping disorders may be characterized in many different forms, ranging from involuntarily sleeping or not being able to fall asleep.
Sleeping disorders that keep you from sleeping are called insomnia. The primary symptoms of insomnia include problems with sleeping and decreased concentration . Narcolepsy is another disorder that causes overwhelming sleepiness during the day. Symptoms of narcolepsy may include decreased muscle control and strength . Sleep apnea is described as loud snoring and gaps in breathing . Jet lag is actually also a sleeping disorder, usually experienced by those that have traveled long distances in a short time, usually by plane. Jet lag happens when your body’s circadian rhythm is out of sync in a new time zone, causing symptoms similar to both insomnia and narcolepsy [3, 4].
How can you find out that you have any of these disorders especially given how common they are? Your doctor can carry out a physical exam and relate it to your medical history. Possible tests include polysomnography, which monitors how much oxygen you consume and how often your body moves while sleeping, as well as analyzing your brainwaves . Another test is to check via electroencephalogram (ECG), which analyzes your brain’s electric functioning during sleep to assess potential issues associated with a sleeping problem . Blood tests are also a means of determining if any health issues may be caused by a sleeping disorder .
Natural treatment of sleeping disorders primarily include lifestyle changes. A simple change would be to avoid electronics and other bright screens prior to sleeping . Other long-term changes could be to maintain a healthy diet and have more exercise. For sleep apnea in particular, weight loss may help substantially. As for insomnia or narcolepsy, keeping a sleeping schedule may help . Other sorts of natural treatments include valerian root tea and chamomile tea, as they act as a mild sedative that could potentially calm you and help you sleep [7, 8]. If none of these changes help, your doctor could prescribe medication for your symptoms.
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