Everyone looks forward to sleeping at night – it is the one time of the day where you can finally relax. However certain people cannot really relax at night, because they suffer from sleep disorders. There are close to a hundred different sleep disorders identified today, but mainly, four types of disorders tend to afflict people across the world:
• Insomnia – This is a very well-known sleep disorder that affects a large number of people – in fact, it is estimated that everyone suffers from the symptoms of sleeplessness at some point in their life. It is characterized by an inability to sleep – be it a difficulty to sleep at night, a tendency to wake up in the middle of night or a tendency to wake up earlier than planned. An inability of sleep naturally comes with a wide range of undesirable effects, the most common being tiredness and a general lack of concentration and attentiveness. Sleeplessness is also linked to depression and emotional imbalance, as individuals who cannot sleep properly also suffer from negative emotions more than individuals who sleep well.
• Sleep apnoea – this is a lesser known but nonetheless common sleep disorder. The reason why it is not very well known is because it is often misunderstood as a simple case of snoring: in fact, the main distinguishing symptom of sleep apnoea is snoring. Individuals who suffer from sleep apnoea stop breathing every once in a while in their sleep, because their airways either get blocked or collapse. If the airways get only partially blocked, then the individual will get away some loud snoring, but in case the airway gets fully blocked, a sufferer of sleep apnoea will often choke in their sleep. The cure for sleep apnoea is to use CPAP masks.
• Restless leg syndrome – this syndrome, as its name suggests, is characterized by a need to move one’s legs during sleep. Sufferers tend to feel an itching or burning sensation in their legs when sleeping, which causes them to either move or even violently thrash their legs about. Other than making victims of this syndrome unable to sleep with other individuals, the most common side effect of restless leg syndrome is an inability of sleep, as the individual tends to wake up due to the movement. The only cure for the syndrome as of now is to simply massage the legs or move them gently during or before sleeping.
• Narcolepsy – unlike the above three sleep disorders where the sufferers cannot sleep properly, narcolepsy is a sleep disorder where the sufferers end up sleeping too much. Narcolepsy causes an excessive need for sleep during daytime – even when the individual has had plenty of sleep the night before.