More than half of Americans experience sleep problems, from sleep apnea to snoring to narcolepsy. Drugs and devices are stepping in to relieve symptoms.
The insomnia definition experts use is consistent difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or a combination of both. People with insomnia toss and turn in bed, and never feel as though they’ve gotten a satisfying night’s sleep.
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder in which people repeatedly stop breathing throughout the night. Each time their brain restarts breathing, they briefly wake up. Because pauses in breathing can occur many times an hour, people with sleep apnea have constantly disrupted sleep.
People who are overweight are at greatest risk for sleep apnea, because excess tissue tends to fall over their airways and block breathing. Sleep apnea is often undiagnosed, but it’s important to get it identified and treated, because having this condition over time can increase the risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. One telltale sign you have sleep apnea is snoring. Other sleep apnea symptoms include sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, depression, and headaches.
Sleep apnea treatments include a CPAP machine, which gently blows air into your throat through a mask during the night. This constant flow of air keeps your airway open and prevents you from snoring while you sleep. A mouthpiece called an oral appliance can also keep the airways open. Losing weight and quitting smoking are lifestyle measures that can help relieve apnea symptoms. Sometimes surgery is done to remove excess tissue and widen breathing passages.
People with narcolepsy fall asleep at unexpected times during the day. Problems with their sleep-wake cycle make them sleep poorly at night, and feel unusually tired during the day as a result. Antidepressants and other medicines can help control narcolepsy symptoms.
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Do you ever have wild visions or dreams that are extremely vivid and seem like real life just as you’re falling asleep? You may be experiencing hypnagogic hallucinations, a condition often associated with narcolepsy. In fact, hypnagogic hallucinations are among the four most common narcolepsy symptoms, along with sleep paralysis, … Read More
Untreated or poorly treated sleep apnea leaves you tired all the time and suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness and other sleep apnea symptoms. Use of the continuous positive airway pressure device or CPAP mask has been the gold standard of cures for sleep apnea over the past 25 years. But … Read More
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Insomnia is now at epidemic levels. Up to half of Americans are wondering how to beat insomnia and suffer from at least one of the four cardinal insomnia symptoms:
Difficulty falling asleep
Inability to stay asleep
Waking up in the early morning
Experiencing nonrestorative sleep
Almost a quarter of the U.S. … Read More