Who hasn’t experienced from time to time, the feeling of drowsiness behind the wheel or kicking someone in your sleep? Whilst these behaviours are normal on occasion, they could also be an indication of a more problematic sleeping disorder. If you’ve ever questioned your sleeping behaviour, now’s the time to read up on 5 common sleep disorders and what you can do about them.
On average, Australians wake up 2.3 times each night often owing to a bout of Insomnia. Known as the difficulty of falling or staying asleep, Insomnia affects 50 percent of adults. It can be short-term, long-term or occasional and may occur by itself or as a result of a medical or psychiatric condition (such as depression, anxiety, etc.) Symptoms of Insomnia range from waking up too early in the morning to having an unrefreshing sleep. The condition is often associated with daytime problems such as lack of concentration, accidents at work or general fatigue. What to do about it: It's normal to have trouble sleeping however if it goes on for a few weeks, you should speak to your doctor about treatment options. Some basic things that can help prevent insomnia include investing in a supportive mattress, going to bed at the same time each night, avoiding stimulants like alcohol and coffee before bed and banning work from the bedroom so you don't associate sleep with stress.
Restless Legs Syndrome
If you regularly feel an irresistible need to shake your legs or get up and walk around, you could be suffering from a sleep disorder known as Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). RLS is characterised by an intense urge to move the legs, often brought on by sitting or resting for long period of time (such as while driving, watching a movie, etc). It is often associated with other problems such as an inability to concentrate or daytime sleepiness, and can be caused by insomnia. What to do about it: One way to prevent RLS is through regular, adequate sleep. Sticking to a sleep routine, avoiding naps throughout the day and doing something relaxing before bed can all help contribute to a good night’s sleep. If you think you may suffer from RLS, visit Restless Leg Syndrome Australia where you will find support and advice on treatments.
About 1 in 2000 people suffer from narcolepsy, which is the tendency to fall asleep in relaxing surroundings or to experience excessive daytime sleepiness, such as when driving or at the theatre. People with narcolepsy often have what is known as a “sleep attack” which is an uncontrollable urge to fall asleep during the day. They may also experience sudden feelings of muscle weakness or the inability to move for a moment. What to do about it: Your doctor is best to advise you on the best treatments for narcolepsy, however effective lifestyle changes such as avoiding heavy meals, alcohol and caffeine before bed and scheduling short daytime naps can have been proven to reduce symptoms.
Rapid eye movement (rem) sleep behaviour disorder
REM is more than just a great band from the the ‘80s (‘Losing My Religion’, ‘Everybody Hurts’) it’s also a common sleep disorder where people act out what’s happening a dream, such as punching and kicking. REM is often accompanied by some vocal sounds and often violent arm and leg movements. It has also been linked to snoring and other breathing problems in sleep. Although many of the causes of REM are unknown, studies have shown that people who go to sleep after being sleep deprived enter REM faster than those who weren’t. What to do about it: Because REM can cause injury to yourself or your sleeping partner, it’s advised that you speak to your doctor if you think you may be suffering from it. In the meantime, reducing your risk of sleep deprivation by establishing an effective bedtime routine can help.
If you’ve ever given your partner or family member a hard time for their loud snoring, maybe it’s time to cut them a break. Snoring is a legitimate sleeping disorder that affects 60% of men and 40% of women to some extent. You may know it best as a loud noise that keeps you up at night, but snoring is actually the result of the inability for air to flow smoothly through air passages. Left untreated, snoring can cause long term health problems such as an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. What to do about it: To prevent snoring, it's best to avoid known causes of the issue which include drinking alcohol, breathing through the mouth, sleeping on your back, smoking and excess weight gain. If your snoring becomes a concern, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
Whether you suffer from a sleeping disorder or like the rest of us, are just chasing a good night’s sleep, check out our Sommuto Mattress and how it can help you get the Zzz’s you deserve.
Ah, you've done it again. You were meant to hit the sack hours ago but you couldn't stop binge-watching Netflix, checking your emails and/or catching up on housework. Or maybe you just couldn't say no to that evening caffeine fix and now you're tossing and turning, with your precious sleep window slowly closing.
You may not realise it when you wake up in the morning, but over time our favourite positions are causing everything from back and neck pain to stomach problems and even wrinkles. So is it time to kick your bad sleep position?