15th March is World Sleep Day. This time, let us spread awareness about 5 of the most common sleep disorders.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Snoring may represent difficulty keeping the throat open while sleeping while sleep apnea is a serious condition where one literally stops breathing for 10 seconds or more. This cause oxygen levels in blood to drop. It can also cause many other conditions like heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and sudden death.
Insomnia is a term used when a person is not able to get sufficient amount of sleep. They have difficulty in both falling as well as staying asleep. The condition is diagnosed when for 3 months, the person takes more that 20- 30 minutes falling asleep at least thrice in 1 week.
Parasomnias are abnormal sleep behaviours that involves unconscious complex, semi-purposeful, and goal-directed behaviors that have meaning or importance to the individual and can include sleep terrors, sleepwalking, sleep eating, sleep sex, rapid eye movement (REM) behavior disorder, or any number of potential behaviors that occur while the person remains asleep.
Sleep paralysis is characterized by a temporary inability to move while transitioning from sleep to wakefulness, such as when falling asleep or waking up. One may seem to be awake, but unable to move. There are often associated hallucinations.
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by four classic symptoms: excessive daytime sleepiness, cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations.
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: It leads to falling asleep in inappropriate situations.
- Cataplexy is a loss of muscle tone in response to an emotional stimulus, such as surprise or laughter leading to knee buckling.
- Sleep paralysis is an inability to move one’s body while being awake, usually while falling asleep or awakening.
- Hypnagogic hallucinations are vivid dream-like auditory, visual, or tactile sensations that occur while falling asleep.