Sleep disorders are abnormalities in a person's sleep pattern . This condition can cause a decrease in the quality of sleep which has an impact on the health and safety of sufferers.
Sleep disturbances can be characterized by daytime drowsiness, difficulty falling asleep at night, or irregular sleep and wake cycles. Sleep disorders that are not handled properly can increase the risk of various other diseases, such as hypertension and heart disease.
Types and Causes of Sleep Disorders
Based on the form of the disorder or its symptoms, sleep disorders are divided into several types. Below are some types of sleep disorders that often occur:
Insomnia is a condition when a person has difficulty falling asleep or it takes a very long time to fall asleep. Insomnia can be caused by bad bedtime habits, mental disorders, or certain diseases (one of which is a pineal gland disorder ).
Hypersomnia is a condition when the sufferer sleeps very long so that the sufferer is always sleepy during the day. There are various things that have the potential to cause hypersomnia or excessive sleep , one of which is depression.
3. Sleep walking
Sleepwalking disease ( sleepwalking ) in medical terms is called somnabulism. Sufferers of this condition often wake up, walk, or do various activities while sleeping, but they are not aware of what they are doing. This condition can be experienced by adults as well as children .
4. Nightmare (nightmare)
Nightmares occur when the brain causes a person to dream disturbing things. It is not yet known why this condition occurs. However, nightmares in children are thought to be triggered by anxiety or fear when they are away from their parents.
5. Sleep terrors (sleep terrors)
Sleep terrors are more common in children, especially those aged 4–8 years. Sufferers of sleep terrors can appear scared to the point of screaming while sleeping. In children, this condition can be triggered by fatigue or fever.
Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
There are various symptoms experienced by someone who suffers from sleep disorders, including:
- Waking up and sleeping at irregular times
- It's hard to sleep at night
- Unintentional leg movements when trying to fall asleep
- Abnormal breathing rhythm during sleep
- Fear, nightmares, screaming, or walking while sleeping
- The habit of snoring , choking, gritting your teeth, or stopping breathing for a moment, while sleeping
- Often wakes up when you are asleep and finds it difficult to go back to sleep
- Can't move the body when you wake up
- Often sleepy during the day so that you can suddenly fall asleep at unnatural times, for example while driving
- Tingling or sensation that radiates in the hands and feet
- Weak muscles, weak body , or often feel tired
When does h go to the doctor
Check with your doctor if you experience sleep disturbances, especially if it interferes with your daily activities. Here are things to watch out for and consult a doctor:
- Fall asleep while driving
- Difficulty staying awake while watching television or reading a book
- Difficulty concentrating at school, work, or at home
- Decreased performance at work or school
- It's hard to remember things
- Slow in responding to something
Diagnosis of Sleep Disorders
The doctor will ask the patient's sleep pattern, including how long he sleeps, whether he often wakes up while sleeping, or whether he often falls asleep when he is active during the day. The doctor may also ask about the patient's sleeping habits to roommates or the patient's family.
The doctor will also ask if the patient has emotional problems, has or is suffering from certain diseases, or is taking drugs that can reduce sleep quality.
After that, the doctor will perform a physical examination, including examining the patient's respiratory tract, such as the nose, mouth, or throat.
Furthermore, the doctor can carry out a series of supporting examinations, such as:
- Polysomnography or sleep study , to analyze oxygen levels, body movements, and brain waves while sleeping
- Electroencephalogram (EEG), to measure electrical activity in the brain
- Blood tests, to diagnose certain diseases that can cause sleep disturbances.
- CT scan , to detect abnormalities in the brain that cause sleep disturbances
Sleep Disorder Treatment
How to treat sleep disorders depends on the cause. Below are some types of treatment that can be done to treat sleep disorders:
1. Lifestyle changes
Basically, implementing a healthy lifestyle can improve the quality of one's sleep. Some forms of a healthy lifestyle that can be done are:
- Eat more fibrous foods , such as vegetables and fruits
- Limit sugar intake by reducing consumption of sweet snacks
- Exercise regularly
- Manage stress well
- Make a daily sleep schedule and stick to it with discipline
- Reduce caffeine consumption, especially in the afternoon and evening
- Reducing consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Stop using cellphones at least 30 minutes before going to bed to avoid the negative impact of cellphones on sleep quality
- Do not smoke
- Stay away from the habit of sleeping all day on holidays, because it can change sleep patterns on weekdays
One example of psychotherapy that can be done is cognitive behavioral therapy . This therapy aims to change the mindset of people with sleep disorders.
3. Use of special tools when sleeping
In hypersomnia sufferers, the doctor may recommend using a special device while sleeping. The device consists of an oxygen mask connected to a device called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). CPAP therapy is useful for keeping the airways open.
Medications commonly given by psychiatrists to treat sleep disorders include:
- Antidepressant medication
Complications of Sleep Disorders
There are several complications that can occur when a person suffers from sleep disorders, including:
- Decreased libido
- The appearance of wrinkles and eye bags
- Often forget
- Weight gain
- Decreased concentration, reasoning and problem solving skills, making it difficult to make decisions
- Decreased achievement in school or performance at work
- Mental disorders , such as depression and generalized anxiety disorder
- Accidents while working or driving due to decreased alertness
- Increased risk of developing diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, stroke , and heart disease
Sleep Disorder Prevention
Sleep disorders can be prevented in the following ways:
- Creates a good environment for sleeping
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes
- Doesn't work late at night
- Sleep on schedule
- Exercising regularly