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How to Recognize and Treat Sleep Disorders

by Soft2share.com

If you wake up feeling unrested and moody, or you have others telling you that you snore loudly and move a lot in your sleep, you may be one of the millions of people suffering from sleep disorders.


Sleep apnea is one the most common sleep disorders, and according to Cleveland Clinic, an estimated %90 of people with the condition do not even realize they have it. Insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep talking are also common sleep disorders that affect millions.


When sleep disorders go undiagnosed and untreated, the conditions can lead to short-term symptoms like emotional instability and fatigue and long-term issues like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Keep reading to learn how you can recognize and treat sleep disorders.


Symptoms of Sleep Disorders

Often, a person does not realize they have a sleep disorder because many of the symptoms occur while asleep. If you are concerned that you may have a sleep disorder, record the symptoms you experience while awake in addition to the symptoms loved ones witness while asleep. Your doctor will use this information to diagnose your condition if present.


Below are some symptoms that can be recognized on your own.


  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Depression
  • Strong urges to take a nap during the day
  • Impaired work or school performance
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nightmares
  • Bedwetting
  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
  • Urges to move while falling asleep


Here are some sleep disorder symptoms that you may not be aware of personally, but a loved one has witnessed while present during the night.


  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep talking
  • Unusual breathing patterns
  • Gasping for air
  • Waking up throughout the night (the moments awake may be too brief to remember)
  • Restless leg syndrome or frequent bodily movements throughout the night


If your doctor determines that a sleep disorder may be present based on your symptoms, they may decide that a sleep study should be performed to confirm their diagnosis.


Types of Sleep Disorders

There are many types of sleep disorders and they can range from mild to severe depending on the type, person, and cause.

Below is some information on the most common types of sleep disorders and how they affect the body.


Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it hard to fall or stay asleep. There are many causes for this condition, such as stress, anxiety, jet lag, hormonal imbalances, and digestive issues.


Another common cause of insomnia is the use of electronic devices before bed. Cell phones, tablets, and other devices emit a blue light that restricts the production of melatonin (a natural hormone necessary for sleep).


Nearly %50 of individuals will experience insomnia at some point in their life, and it’s typically not a concern unless it becomes a frequent problem.


Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a more serious sleep disorder and is characterized by pauses in breathing while asleep.


Sleep apnea can be dangerous because it causes the body to take in less oxygen, which is necessary to maintain proper brain and body health.


There are two types of sleep apnea; obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when airways are obstructed or too narrow to breathe efficiently (This is most common in individuals that are sick or have a deviated septum). Central sleep apnea occurs when there is miscommunication or connection problem between your brain and the muscles responsible for breathing.



Parasomnias are a class of sleep disorders that cause an individual to have irregular behaviors or movements while asleep. Examples include; sleepwalking, sleep talking, groaning, nightmares, teeth grinding, and bed wetting.


Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS, is characterized by an intense urge to move your legs while falling asleep, and for some, the movements still occur once they have dozed off.


The exact cause of RLS is not known but it is highly prevalent among individuals with health conditions like ADHD and Parkinsons.



Narcolepsy is different from other sleep disorders because it affects individuals while they are awake by causing them to suddenly fall asleep.


When a person has a narcolepsy “sleep attack”, they will feel overwhelming exhaustion and fall asleep without warning. These attacks can appear at random and typically last for a few seconds up to a few minutes (in severe cases).


Sleep paralysis is also often present with narcoleptic sleep attacks. Sleep paralysis makes an individual unable to move upon waking up even though they are cognitively aware of their surroundings.


How to Treat Sleep Disorders

Many sleep disorders can be quite serious conditions. Luckily, there are many successful treatment options available to those suffering.


Some examples of treatment options include:

  • Sleep medications or melatonin supplements
  • Breathing machines or surgery (typically for sleep apnea patients)
  • Dental guard (for teeth grinding)
  • Change in sleep schedule
  • Change in diet
  • Change in physical activity level
  • Cold medicine
  • Medical Marijuana


Medical marijuana has become one of the most widely used treatment options for insomnia because it is a natural and effective alternative to sleeping pills. If you would like to treat your insomnia with cannabis, you can visit MarijuanaDoctors.com to speak with a medical marijuana doctor.



There are many types of sleep disorders. Some are hard to notice, and some are hard to ignore, but all should be diagnosed and treated to prevent complications and maintain a good quality of life.


If you suspect that you have a sleep disorder, have a conversation with your doctor about your symptoms and treatment options.


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