Saturday, February 7, 2015
Insomnia: Perils of Staying Awake All Night Long
There are more than 70 different sleep disorders that are generally classified into one of three categories:
Â· lack of sleep-- insomnia
Â· disturbed sleep-- obstructive sleep
Â· excessive sleep-- narcolepsy
Sleep disorders, when properly diagnosed, can be easily managed. The most common sleep disorder is insomnia which occurs more often in women and in the elderly. People with sleep disorders can take over-the-counter sleep aid drugs, which are most effective for an occasional sleepless night.
Age is a significant factor in determining the amount of sleep that a person needs to function normally. Infants, for instance, sleep most of the day for about 16 hours while teenagers usually need about 9 hours a day. Adults need an average of 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day. However, the elderly usually have shorter periods of sleep and spend less time in deep stages of sleep. About 50 % of adults over the age of 65 have some type of sleep disorder, although it is not clear whether this is a normal part of aging or a result of medications that older people commonly use.
Examples of these are caffeine which can cause insomnia, and antidepressants which can cause a loss of REM or Rapid Eye Movement in sleep. Both REM and deep sleep are essential parts of the normal sleep cycle.
Avoid mixing alcohol and sleep aid drugs. Alcohol can increase the sedative effects of the pills even in small amount, causing dizziness, fainting, or confusion. Alcohol in itself can already cause insomnia.
There are five stages of sleep cycle that repeats over and over during a single night's rest: stages 1, 2, 3, 4 and REM (rapid eye movement). Stages 1 through 4 are also known as non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM). About 50 % of sleep time is spent in stage 2 and about 20 % is spent in REM which is normally more than 2 hours a night in adults. A complete sleep cycle, from the beginning of stage 1 to the end of REM, usually takes about a half and an hour.
This is called light sleep. Deep sleep comes in stages 3 and 4, during which all eye and muscle movement ceases. During deep sleep, it can be hard to wake a person.
Sleep-walking and bed-wetting among children are experienced during deep sleep. On the other hand, dreams occur during REM sleep when the muscles of the body stiffen, the eyes move, the heart rate increases, breathing becomes more irregular and rapid, and the blood pressure rises.
Sleep inadequacy can have severe detrimental effects on health. Studies have shown that sleep is essential for normal immune system function and for healthy cell growth. Sleep also is essential for normal nervous system function and the ability to function both physically and mentally. In addition, sleep is also necessary to promote a relax attitude. A person who always gets enough and complete sleep is generally more focused and ready to learn.
When you are having a hard time getting a good night's sleep, prescription or over-the-counter sleep aid drugs may be an option. Be sure to use them safely and with advice from your physician. If your doctor suspects a sleep problem, he or she will look at your overall health and sleep habits.
People with sleep disorders can take over-the-counter sleep aid drugs, which are most effective for an occasional sleepless night.
The elderly usually have shorter periods of sleep and spend less time in deep stages of sleep. Both REM and deep sleep are essential parts of the normal sleep cycle.
When you are having a hard time getting a good night's sleep, prescription or over-the-counter sleep aid drugs may be an option. If your doctor suspects a sleep problem, he or she will look at your overall health and sleep habits.
To find out more go to: http://www.adiosinsomnia.com