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Sleep Disorders and their Effects

Sleep disorders are medical disorders where in fact the sleep patterns of one is disrupted. A French scientist, Henri Pieron wrote a book entitled "Le problem physiologique du sommeil" which first examined sleep from a physiological perspective. Then, Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman also called 'Father of American sleep research' questioned the regulation of sleep and wake and of circadian rhythms. His work delved into studies of sleep deprivation. Immediately after, Kleitman and his student, Dr. Eugene Aserinsky discovered rapid eye movement (REM) while asleep. Dr. Kleitman's research was further extended by another one of his students, Dr. Willaim C. Dement who found out the bond between REM sleep and dreaming.

Sleep disorders effect a person's sleep cycle that can be life disrupting where it disturbs a person's social and psychological state. These disorders change from more prevalent disorders such as snoring alive threatening disorders such as narcolepsy. You can find three broad classifications of sleep disorders; dyssomnias, parasomnias and medical-psychiatric sleep disorders. Dyssomnias are disorders which involve excessive sleepiness and are associated with disturbed sleep. Disorders such as primary insomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are disorders categorized under dyssomnias. Parasomnias are disorders which involve undesirable physical phenomena which occur while asleep and generally are disorders or arousal, partial arousal, and sleep stage transitions. Disorders such as sleepwalking, night terrors and rhythmic movement disorders are types of parasomnias. Medical-psychiatric sleep problems are relations between psychiatric and sleep problems. People who suffer from depression have a tendency to wake up early and cannot fall back asleep. This makes their depression worse as the quantity of sleep effects one's illness. Likewise, treatment and medication used in psychiatric disorders can cause sleep disorders such as insomnia.

There are many types of sleep problems which vary between the three broad classifications of sleep problems. Here are a few brief descriptions on some more commonly known sleep problems. Insomnia is the problem where one finds it difficult to drift off whether it can be in the very beginning of the night, after getting up in the middle of the night time or waking up much earlier in the morning. This may cause lack of sleep which will create complaints of non-restorative sleep, sleepiness throughout the day or fatigue. Sleep apnea is where you have difficulty breathing and sometimes stops breathing more than a period of time while sleeping. This problem can range between 10 pauses per hour to 30 pauses each hour. Loud snoring, daytime sleepiness and tiredness are normal effects of sleep apnea and most people complain of hypersomnulence and loud snoring to the extent where it could be heard from outside of the house. Narcolepsy is another disorder of excessive sleepiness and hypersomnulence which is associated with cataplexy and other REM phenomena. A person experiencing narcolepsy may just drift off instantly without their own awareness. Such a disorder can be quite life threatening as drifting off to sleep using conditions like when driving can prove to be fatal. Night terrors are severe and frightening partial arousal from sleep. Most people scream and cry while showing fear and anxiety.

When experiencing sleep disorders, it is essential to seek treatment to cure this condition. Most doctors recommend sleep clinics for diagnosis of the sleep problem. The physician will study one's history, lifestyle and habits before diagnosing one's condition. Generally, sleep disorders can be treated by self-care regimes such as the "Good sleep hygiene" regime. This habit advices that one should stick to a regular bedtime schedule, avoid napping during the day, avoid substances which contain caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and also sleeping in a surrounding where it is dark, comfortable and relaxing.

Dead man walking - Somnambulism

Ever heard of horror stories where someone wakes up in the middle of the night, walks up to someone else or something else and acts out or mumbles? More often than not, these cases are recognised incorrectly as some supernatural happening. The greater skeptical group of men and women believes that was caused because that someone was possessed. The punch line for this whole situation is that there is a correctly reasonable scientific explanation where this whole phenomenon is truly a sleep disorder; Somnambulism. Somnambulism is defined as a series of complex behaviors which arise during slow wave sleep (REM) and lead to walking while asleep. This problem is also referred to as sleepwalking.

Somnambulism or a far more common term, sleepwalking, occurs mostly in children but there are cases which can last to adulthood. When the brain has trouble with the transition from non-REM to REM sleep, sleepwalking occurs. The hypothalamus in the mind controls the sleep-wake cycle of your body. When one sleeps, the hypothalamus blocks an integral part of the brain so that it does not perform any action and blocks off certain nerves that brings impulses to the brain while sleeping. During REM, the body has a mechanism which keeps us still so we do not act out our dreams. When this feature is missing, people experience REM sleep behavior disorders which include sleepwalking.

There a wide range of elements which can lead to sleepwalking. Most of these factors are categorized into three main factors; genetics, medical ailments and environmental factors. Genetics plays a essential role in one's sleepwalking condition. Whenever a person is diagnosed with sleepwalking, it is just a possibility that they have inherited that specific gene. If there is a family member start abnormality, it is ten times the probability of see your face inheriting the sleepwalking disorder. Identical twins also have an increased chance in becoming sleepwalkers. There's also many medical ailments which lead to sleep walking. Conditions such as fevers which directly impact the nervous system, nighttime asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, nighttime seizures and psychiatric disorders have a great impact towards sleepwalking. Adults with psychiatric disorders often consume drugs like anti-seizure medicines and stimulants which cause sleepwalking. A person's environmental surroundings can also induce sleepwalking. When someone experience hormonal changes induced by pregnancy, menstruation or puberty it can result in sleepwalking. Also, sleep deprivation, alcohol intoxication and unusual sleep schedules produce the said disorder.

So, what actually happens when one sleepwalks? In some cases, the sleepwalker sits up using their company laid position. Some cases possess the sleepwalkers run from their beds. The sleepwalkers' actions vary depending on type of dream. If someone is dreaming about being chased by a hungry wild animal, that someone is more likely to perform as fast as they can. You can only imagine the results when a sleepwalker is dreaming about using the toilet. While sleepwalking, the sleepwalkers' eyes can most probably or closed and appear glassy. Even though their eyes are open, their vision is not permitted as they are still in a state of sleep. Most people stereotype sleepwalkers to own their hands propelled out as though these were zombies and their eyes rolled back. In actual fact, these sleepwalkers perform daily life tasks. Some may cook meals plus some have ended up behind the car wheel. Lucky to them, they couldn't find the car keys. It isn't advised to awaken a sleepwalker as it's possible to allow them to go into circumstances of shock. In the end, they are not controlling their actions currently in time. As soon as the sleepwalker wakes up using their dream, they experience amnesia where they cannot recall what they did previously when sleepwalking. The threat of sleepwalking will not only affect the sleepwalker but also people around them. There were over 20 cases where folks have performed murders while sleepwalking. Also, many sexual assault and rape cases have been related to sleep walking. It is hard to justify these cases as almost all of it is conducted when the individual is not aware of their actions.

Sleepwalking is a significant sleep disorder and needs to be resolved when it's diagnosed. Needless to say the best solution is prevention. To be able to prevent sleepwalking, one should get sufficient sleep. Never allow you to ultimately experience sleep debt. You need to also cultivate a stress-less lifestyle. Meditation and relaxation exercises help provide a tranquil and serene sense of thought. However, if one has already succumbed to the sleepwalking disorder, there are numerous answers to resolve this problem. Medication is one common treatment for sleepwalking. Medications are essential if sleepwalker is at threat of injury, causes disruption to the family household, and other treatment option are not effective. Other treatment plans are non-drug based and are preferred treatment for a long term. Anticipatory awakenings are when the individual is woken up approximately 15-20 minutes prior to the anticipated attack and it is kept awake through enough time of the attack. Relaxation and mental imagery will be more natural techniques and can be quite effective if it's completed by an experienced behavioral therapist or hypnotist. Hypnosis also helps reduce sleepwalking. In order to protect the sleepwalker from the risk of injury, a protected climate should be preserved where it is clear of harmful objects. Also, the windows and doors should be locked and an alarm bell should be installed at the entranceway of the sleepwalkers' bedroom. That is to alarm the family when the sleepwalker is on the move.


Sleep disorders are a medical condition where in fact the sleep pattern is disrupted. Most disorders occur when there's a dysfunction with the REM sleep. Sleep problems are categorized into three broad classifications which can be dyssomnias, parasomnias and medical-psychiatric sleep problems. Dyssomnias disorders involve excessive sleep, parasomnias involve undesirable physical phenomena and medical-psychiatric sleep is correlated where in fact the psychiatric conditions of any person effects the sleep conditions and vice versa. Most sleep problems make a difference one's lifestyle whether it may be the person exceptional sleep disorder or the person around them. Sleep problems vary from mild conditions such as bruxism to dangerous, life-threatening conditions such as sleep apnea. It really is vital for people who have problems with sleep disorders to seek medical help in order to contain this problem from getting worse whether it might be from medication or maybe adapting a healthy lifestyle. Somnambulism (sleepwalking) is when a person gets up and walks about through the deep sleep stages. A person experiencing sleepwalking is acting out a dream or a vision in their heads. The sleepwalker will not realize they are sleepwalking and after every episode they experience a mild case of amnesia. The sleepwalking syndrome is usually caused by three main factors which can be genetics, medical conditions and environmental surroundings. A sleepwalker experience episodes where they awaken in the most unlikely places and sometimes conclude in embarrassing situations. When sleepwalking, one will not realize their actions and are in no control of it. Some sleepwalking cases can be very dangerous as they attempt things which are fatal when the conscious mind is not at play. To be able to end accidents by sleepwalking, this disorder needs to be treated. Methods such as medication, anticipation awakenings, relaxation and mental imagery work when treating sleepwalking.

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