Introduction to Sleep Disorder
Sleep disorders are now becoming a precious experience. Pfizer Australia Health Report released a report by that shows almost ten percent (10%) of Australians are turning to sleeping tablets to help them cope with the increasing rate of sleep debt. In addition, of the one in ten who uses sleeping tablets, a third admits to taking them every night. As a result, sleep disturbances aren’t just a problem for those taking sleeping tablets.
How many suffers from sleep disorders?
Australasian Sleep Association’s Associate Professor Harry Teichtahl is concerned at the high use of sleep medications in the community because he believes they often don’t address the cause of the sleeping problem. Furthermore, it says that:
- Twenty percent (20%) reported being disturbed between three and five times every night
- Close to two-thirds reported difficulty going to sleep
- Two-in-five say they do not wake up feeling refreshed
- And, close to two-thirds (2/3) feel sleepy during the day more often than once a week
Not surprisingly, more than 70 percent (70%) of those surveyed feel their ability to get to sleep is affected by the level of work/school or everyday stresses, and that they sleep better when relaxed.
Other key findings in this health report show that:
- Just under 25% of Australians have their sleep disrupted by others in the household who snore on a regular basis
- On average, Australians feel sleepy for approximately five months of the year
- Just over 25% of Australians have their sleep regularly interrupted because others in the household have different hours of sleep
According to Professor TeichtahI, Insomnia is combined with the long hours and stresses of our 24-hour society which is a recipe for leaving the majority of the population living in a constant state of fatigue certainly not a healthy or safe way to live. Besides that, he also said that sleep is important because it is a period of rest and recuperation for the body and brain. Using medications to aid insomnia only masks the problem and those people who are in the habit of having an afternoon nap and trying to sleep in on the weekend is only reinforcing the cycle of poor sleeping patterns.
Teenagers are affected with sleep deprivation and sleep restriction According to this research, they are unaware of the difference between feeling fatigued, lethargic, and feeling sleepy.
Common Sleep Disorders
The three most common sleep disorders are:
Sleep deprivation including shift work
Snoring and the sleep apnoea syndromes
How do we treat sleep disorders?
At the moment, there is no single way to treat sleep disorders. Depending on which type of sleep disorder, the treatment ranges from medication (e.g. Modafini, Melatonin) to behavioural and psychotherapy (e.g. relaxation therapy, hypnosis) or combination of many. However, by determining some of causes common sleep disorders such as snoring, we know where we can start identifying the problem.
See your family doctor first to discuss your sleeping difficulties. Unfortunately, most people do not go to see their doctor to discuss such difficulties and are more likely to mention sleep problems when they are having a consultation about something else. Your doctor can then undertake a proper assessment, initiate treatment or refer you to a sleep disorders clinic, to a psychologist for general advice about sleep habits or to a sleep disorders specialist.
What is sleep medicine?
These are relatively new medical specialty, devoted to the diagnosis and treatment for patients who suffer with sleep disorders. It begins around the early 1920s and becomes more formally researched from 1960s.
There are many types of sleep disorders, the most common sleep disorders are:
• Sleep apnoea (obstructive)
• Restless legs syndrome
In the past 20 years, there has been a huge amount of information discovered on how ‘poor sleep’ affects our bodies. Therefore, the conclusion is:
“Sleep disorders affect every part of our body and can slowly kill us!”
If you want to know more on snoring, sleep disorders and how to cure it, let’s chat.