4) SLEEP DISORDERS, SYMPTOMS, KNOWN CAUSES AND TREATMENTS.
Sleep is something that every person needs. Without sleep a normal days task seem never ending. Your body suffers and you suffer even people who come in contact with you suffer too. Without sleep you can function normally. Your moods change changing your personality, changing how you perceive the world.
The average adult needs eight hours of sound sleep each night. However most adults get between five and six hours, ” (Encarta 1998).This one or two hours that is lost each night can have an affect on our health and our lives. “The single element that ties sleep disorders together is that they disrupt in one or more parts of out sleep cycle.”(Zimbardo pg.98) The three types of sleep disorders are: insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea. These disorders make a night’s sleep sometimes hard and mostly uncomfortable.
” Insomnia is a disorder that involves insufficient sleep.” (Zimbardo pg. 98) Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Insomnia occurs on a regular basis.” Its symptoms are chronic inability to fall asleep quickly, frequent arousals during sleep or early morning awakenings.”(Zimbardo pg.98) Insomnia can be caused by stress or constant worrying, medical problems or mental disorders. The lack of sleep can cause depression and heart disease.
In most cases adults suffer from insomnia. A change of lifestyle can help cure insomnia. Taking time out during the day just to relax and unwind can help get better nights sleep. A doctor can sometimes prescribe over the counter medicine or prescription sleeping aids. Some popular sleep aids are drugs like” Klonopin or Valium. They are benzodiazepines with slow the nervous system” (Encarta 1998)
Sleep apena is ” a respiratory disorder,” (Zimbardo pg. 98) in which the person stops breathing while sleeping. “It results from a collapse of the airway, when muscle tone relaxes during sleep. Breathing stops, the blood’s oxygen level drops causing the sleeper to awaken and begin breathing.”(Zimbardo PG 99). Symptoms include loud snoring, pauses in breathing during the night, irritability or choking, gasping snorts during sleep. (Sleep Apnea, Chris Hassel pg. 20) Most people experience a few sleep apneas during sleeping but someone suffering from this disorder can have hundreds of episodes in one night. It can turn into ” unusual daytime behaviors as laziness or neglect.” (Zimbardo pg. 99) It can cause headaches and daytime sleepiness.
Sleep apnea can also cause serious health problems such as “increased blood pressure which can put dangerous levels of stress on the blood vessels and heart.”(Zimbardo pg. 99)Doctors can treat sleep apnea with a “device that pumps extra air into the lungs and jeeps the airway open during sleep.” ( Zimbardo PG.99)
Narcolepsy is a symptom where you suddenly fall asleep without warning. It happens so suddenly that people fall asleep while eating, driving and talking.” Oddly anything exciting causes a narcoleptic attack “(Zimbardo Pg.99) It is described as a “disorder of REM sleep involving sudden REM sleep attacks accomplished by cataplexy”(Zimbardo pg.99) Cataplexy is a second symptom of narcolepsy. It is described as “a sudden loss of muscle control.” (Zimbardo pg.99) These episodes occur right before the narcoleptic attack. The person feels like they are awake but unable to move.
Narcolepsy is a disorder of REM sleep.” The victim of narcolepsy has an abnormal sleep -onset REM period. Instead of the usual time it takes REM to occur (ninety minutes) narcoleptics REM period starts as sleep begins.” ( Zimbardo Pg.99)
Narcolepsy has no cure but there are a lot of medicines ” that blemish the frequency of both the sleep attacks and cataplexy”. (Zimbardo Pg.99)
These sleep disorders can have consequences that affect everyone. Insuffient sleep affects everything that we do whether it is consciously or subconsciously.