Sleep Disorders

One of the aspects of daily living that doctors know the least about is sleep. It occurs for most of us every night yet there are still many misunderstood aspects of it that may take lifetimes to fully unravel. It is an altered state of consciousness, much like meditation in which the brain produces images and sounds in the form of dreams. In many people, this process is not as seamless as it should be and they live with disorders that make this process less comfortable than it should be. This essay looks into some of the more common sleep disorders.

  • Sleep Apnea
  • In some people the relaxation that occurs during sleep leads to a partial blockage of the airways. This may result in snoring or can even cause sufferers to wake up suddenly so that they can get more air into their lungs. In another rarer from of the condition, the deep relaxation associated with sleeping may lead the brain to stop signaling for the lungs to take in air. Although the risk of actual death is fairly low because the body will wake itself if oxygen levels reach critical levels other risks exist. Consistently disrupted sleep can lead to headaches in the morning and irritability or even depression.

  • Insomnia
  • This is a condition with many different possible causes. Sufferers may be experiencing the side effects of a medicine or merely be reacting to the stresses of day to day life. Night time insomnia can sometimes result in the sufferer falling asleep during the day time at odd moments but still not getting enough rest to fully function at tasks.

  • Somnambulism
  • This condition is more commonly known as sleepwalking although it encompasses many other actions from flailing to jerking. In cases where actual walking takes place, the sleeper may be in danger of bumping into walls or even walking into traffic if doors are opened.

  • Somniliquism
  • This condition is also known as sleep talking and is less dangerous and more embarrassing. Although some physicians believe that sufferers do not actually talk this represents only a portion of somniliquists. Some can converse, laugh and even sing while asleep although this is far more rare. The risk in this condition lies more in admitting things that should not be publicly known.

There are many other sleep disorders, some of which are common as well. They are fairly easy to diagnose but in some cases there causes remain a mystery.