A full night of sleep is a sacred thing. Without getting enough sleep each night, there’s the potential for serious side effects and long-term health problems. Some people equate a full night of sleep to a better overall sense of well-being. Great sleeping habits give you more focus, better driving skills, an improved mood, fewer chances of overeating, and more. If you suffer from a common sleep problem, you may need to get help to get the rest your body needs. Here are 12 sleep problems that could be dangerous to your health.
Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems facing millions of people around the world. People suffering from insomnia may have trouble falling asleep or they may get up much earlier than they need to. They may also have trouble staying asleep throughout the night. Chronic insomniacs lose many hours of sleep each week, which could impact their memory, mood, and motivation.
2. Night Terrors
Another type of sleep disorder that makes people miserable is night terrors. Night terrors are most common in children from the ages of four to 12. Typically, the child will scream and flail their arms, all while still technically asleep. Night terrors can be frightening for parents when their child goes through an episode. In most cases, children grow out of night terrors, but in some cases, you or your child’s health may be put at risk. For chronic night terrors, the entire family may have interrupted sleep, which affects everyone’s ability to focus in school or work.
During the day, there is another problem that is associated with sleep, narcolepsy. Individuals suffering from narcolepsy experience extreme drowsiness during the day and may fall asleep at times. Some people diagnosed with narcolepsy have trouble holding down jobs or doing routine tasks in life because of their constant sleepiness. They may also experience hallucinations because of the neurological symptoms from the disorder.
A commonly misunderstood sleep disorder, sleepwalking, may be caused by problems with the central nervous system. Children tend to sleepwalk more than adults, but for most people diagnosed as sleepwalkers, it’s an occasional issue. Those who sleepwalk often may perform dangerous behaviors, such as binging, walking outside, or even driving.
More than 37 million people snore when they sleep, and it could cause more problems than just a lost night of sleep from your spouse. Some medical experts believe that snoring may be a symptom of other health problems. The issue with snoring is when it’s preventing a sleeper from getting enough air or causing frequent wake ups at night. For those cases, it’s best to consult a professional to help you breathe better at night.
6. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is associated with several other sleep problems, especially snoring. Sleep apnea happens when the body momentarily stops breathing during sleep. When it’s not treated, it can cause problems with the cardiovascular system. Those who snore are at risk, and drinking and snoring may increase the likelihood of complications. Many sleep apnea sufferers have found relief from products that help improve their breathing and give them the rest that they desperately need.
7. Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is a rare condition that can be terrifying. Typically, it occurs as the body is about to fall asleep or close to waking up. During sleep paralysis, a person may suddenly be unable to move. Additionally, they may see hallucinations or hear unusual sounds. Although there aren’t any physiological side effects to sleep paralysis, they can cause some psychological distress.
8. Difficulty Falling Asleep
Another problem with sleep happens just as someone tries to settle down for the night, difficulty falling asleep. This may be a regular occurrence for someone who always has a lot to think about or an increased amount of stress. Many people in this situation turn to sleep aids, either over the counter or prescription, to help them fall asleep. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you struggle with falling asleep each night.
9. REM Sleep Disorder
REM sleep disorder is another issue associated with the sleep cycle. This disorder occurs when people physically act out their dreams during sleep. In most cases, the REM stage of sleep is characterized by no movement from the body, but those who struggle with REM sleep disorder may experience significant and potentially dangerous movement each night. Some who have been diagnosed with this disorder injure themselves regularly during episodes.
10. Non-24-Hour Disorder
A condition that is most common among people who are blind is non-24-hour sleep disorder. This disease creates disruptions in the body’s natural circadian rhythm. With patients who are blind, the body struggles because of the lack of natural light received from the brain. Other individuals with sight may also be diagnosed with this condition. People with non-24 may not be able to sleep at night and struggle to stay awake each day.
11. Shift Work Sleep Problems
The body’s circadian rhythm may also be disrupted due to an unusual work shift. Individuals who work long overnight shifts consistently or work a combination of night and day shifts may start to notice sleep problems after time. The name for the condition associated with this fact is shift work sleep disorder. This may cause someone to experience insomnia and daytime sleepiness. The best way to avoid having sleep problems is to work consistent hours that align with the natural light whenever possible.
12. Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
The last troublesome medical condition related to sleep is called periodic limb movement disorder. This is a condition where patients involuntarily move their arms or legs at night. The movement sometimes causes waking episodes and can contribute to daytime exhaustion. In many cases, patients feel tired all of the time and don’t know why. One of the only ways to diagnose the condition is through a detailed sleep study.
If you have trouble sleeping at night, or if you have unexplained tiredness each day, it may be wise to investigate your sleeping habits. Whether you’re snoring, waking up in the middle of the night, or sleepwalking, you can find a way to fix your problem and get the sleep you need.