If you have difficulty falling and staying asleep, find yourself waking up gasping for air, or catch yourself struggling to stay away during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. Examples of conditions in this category include narcolepsy, insomnia, sleep apnea, and circadian rhythm disorders, all of which occur for different reasons.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing while sleeping at night. You may wake up gasping for air. The effect is exhaustion during the day because of the previous night’s lack of sleep.
Two types of sleep apnea exist: obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea stems from your throat muscles relaxing, particularly the ones at the back of your throat. As the muscles relax, they reduce the size of your airways. Then, every time your airways close or limit your airway space too much, your brain wakes you up.
Your risk for this type increases if you’re overweight, suffer from certain medical conditions, or have nasal congestion.
Central sleep apnea, on the other hand, stems from your brain neglecting to signal your breathing muscles. Your risk for this sleep disorder heightens when you have heart failure or had a stroke, or you use narcotics.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that interferes with your ability to normally fall asleep. You might have trouble staying asleep. With insomnia, you might wake up earlier than you want and not be able to fall back to sleep again.
While occasional insomnia is normal, chronic insomnia is a true medical condition that causes you to feel tired during the day, lead to you making errors, cause you to have trouble focusing, and even contribute to depression or anxiety.
Stress over work, school, finances, or a traumatic event can lead to bouts of insomnia. Your sleep habits could also contribute, such as overusing a computer, video games, or another device that emits blue light.
Napping during the day or eating too much before bed can also cause insomnia. Chronic health issues like a mental health disorder, diabetes, restless leg syndrome, or Parkinson’s can also cause insomnia.
Your risk of insomnia is also higher if you’re a woman, lead a hectic life, or are over 60.
Narcolepsy causes you to have a high level of daytime sleepiness. You may suddenly and unconsciously fall asleep in the daytime. You might have trouble staying awake for prolonged periods, no matter what task you’re engaged in.
Researchers aren’t sure what causes narcolepsy. However, researchers found a connection between low levels of hypocretin and type I narcolepsy. In some cases, genetics plays a role in the onset of narcolepsy.
Circadian Rhythm Disorders
A circadian rhythm disorder is a problem with your sleep-wake cycle. Your cycle is not aligned with your environment. This means that you might feel tired during the day and not be able to sleep at night. An example is a non–24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder.
Sometimes, a circadian rhythm disorder occurs due to an error in your melatonin release cycle, the hormone that helps you sleep. Sometimes, your body may not produce enough of this hormone. Genetics could also play a role.
Why You Should Contact a Denton or Frisco, TX Internal Medicine Physician
No matter which sleep disorder you have and what caused it, our internal medicine practitioner can help. Our practitioner realizes the importance of sleep in your life and is ready to get you sleeping normally. He/she will help identify your sleep disorder and determine a course of action tailored to your needs to help you rest easy every night.
Schedule an appointment with Star Medical Associates, serving Denton, Frisco, and the nearby TX region, today to get a better night’s sleep and feel energized during the day. Use our contact request form or call Denton – 940-382-6900 and Frisco – 469-301-2300.