There are many factors that affect the quality of your sleep such as your environment, diet and lifestyle, but there are also other reasons which are perhaps less obvious. These reasons can be labelled as ‘sleep disorders’ since they are a medical condition which can take some time to cure. While most of us suffer from some form of sleeping difficulty from time to time, there are actually over 100 different types of sleeping disorders that people can suffer with. Being aware of the symptoms is essential for your quality of sleep, so we’ve narrowed it down to the five most common sleep disorders you need to be aware of!

5. Night Terrors
Most commonly occurring in children aged 3-12 years, night terrors involve episodes of crying and fear whilst sleeping and can be caused by different reasons. They are not to be confused with nightmares which occur during REM sleep. Night terrors may disrupt the household and may result in symptoms such as sweating and an increased heart rate.

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Treatment
More often than not, children grow out of experiencing in night terrors and it is exceptionally rare in adults. Medical intervention may be possible, but only if really necessary for reasons such as it has been going on for long periods of time or the person becomes violent during episodes.

4. Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is a chronic condition that affects a person’s normal sleeping pattern. It may result in someone experiencing daytime drowsiness and episodes of falling asleep at random times during the day. These sleep attacks may occur at any time but most sufferers are aged between 15 and 25 years.

Treatment
Although the cause of narcolepsy is not certain, scientists are inclined to believe it may have some genetic link. There are no specific cures, but you can help to minimise the symptoms by taking naps during the day, avoiding caffeine and smoking and keeping a bedtime routine.

3. Restless Legs Syndrome
This syndrome makes you feel as if you need to move your legs in order to relax. Sometimes these feelings are described as tingling like ‘pins and needles’ and are more common in young adults.

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Treatment
The conditions are rarely bad enough to need treatment and usually the simple movement of controlling your legs will ease the problem. A way of stopping your legs from jerking is to ease your anxiety, irritability or stress.

2. Insomnia
Insomnia is a condition of poor quality sleep and can range from a temporary period to a long-term problem. This is a very common condition, especially if you are over 65, however the amount of sleep people need can vary a lot.

Treatment
Long-lasting sleep problems are best resolved with some medication from a doctor, but other factors may also affect your sleep such as your eating habits or your overall health.

1. Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnoea is a condition that interrupts your breathing while you are sleeping. For those who suffer from snoring, it can lead to poor concentration and excessive tiredness. This is a respiratory problem which is common, but often isn’t diagnosed.

 

Treatment
Obstructive sleep apnea can be treated by changes such as losing weight, stopping smoking and avoiding sedative medications. Alternatively, you can use a specialist sleep apnea pillow which can help to improve your breathing.

Recognising the symptoms and treatments of these common sleep disorders are essential for improving the quality of your sleep. Usually you can ease the symptoms by simple lifestyle changes but if you are still concerned, you should contact your doctor.


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