One of the indispensable features of a healthy life is undoubtedly quality and adequate sleep. In order to spend the daily life efficiently, it is necessary to acquire a sleep habit of sufficient length, quality, depth and comfort. However, today, along with the decrease in the quality of sleep due to various health problems, various sleep disorder problems such as difficulty falling asleep or insomnia are more common. In this context, it is very important to eliminate sleep disorders for a healthy and successful life.
What is Sleep Disorder?
During sleep; During the day, the harmful effects of the reactions occurring in our body are repaired and the toxic substances are removed, and the tissues are prepared for the new day. Moreover; Processes such as regulation of brain functions, resting of brain cells and processing and memorizing the information learned during the day take place.
Sleep basically consists of two phases. These are the non-REM period, which is the resting phase, and the REM period, which is the active phase. For a quality sleep, these two phases should follow each other in certain lengths and order and sleep for a sufficient amount of time. When these conditions are not met, sleep disorders are mentioned.
In parallel with the increase in the frequency of various psychological problems such as stress and anxiety in daily life, the frequency of sleep disorders is also increasing. Especially recent studies draw attention to the fact that one out of every 3 adults sleeps less than 7 hours a day.
What are Sleep Disorders?
Various sleep disorders have been defined depending on the affected parameter of sleep. These can be listed as follows:
Insomnia: Insomnia, which can also be defined as difficulty in staying asleep or falling asleep, can be caused by a variety of reasons. jet-lag,
Parasomnia: Abnormal behaviors and movements during sleep are considered as parasomnia. These include;
- sleep talking,
- teeth grinding.
Sleep apnea: It is defined as the complete cessation or reduction of breathing during sleep. Although it is considered normal to be seen for a short time with snoring in healthy individuals; As the frequency and length of sleep occur, it causes serious health problems.
Individuals are at risk, especially in terms of heart and lung problems. The person wakes up frequently due to lack of oxygen in his sleep and causes complaints such as fatigue, irritability, need for sleep and difficulty concentrating during the day due to insufficient sleep.
It may be accompanied by numbness or tingling sensation in the legs. In severe cases, complaints may develop during the day. Although it can accompany health problems such as hyperactivity disorder, some vitamin deficiencies, and Parkinson's disease, the cause is often unknown.
Narcolepsy: It is known with "sleeping attacks" that develop during the day while awake. The person falls asleep suddenly feeling tired during the day.
Sometimes this complaint may be accompanied by temporary sleep paralysis after awakening from sleep.
Although it can be alone, narcolepsy is often accompanied by various neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
What are the Causes of Sleep Disorder?
Although sleep fluidity differs from person to person, some occurs depending on personal and biological characteristics. Various health problems arising from these features can lead to sleep disorders. In this context, the causes of sleep disorders can be summarized as follows:
- Stress: Intense stress in daily life adversely affects brain functions and causes stress during sleep. It results in having trouble waking up or falling into a deep sleep.
- Allergy: Especially in the presence of substances in the bedroom to which the body is allergic, the body develops an allergic response and has difficulty falling asleep. Has breathing problems during sleep or cannot have a quality sleep.
- Respiratory problems: Various respiratory problems such as colds, sinusitis or COPD affect sleep quality badly because they make breathing difficult.
- Frequent urination. Going: The nighttime urination (nocturia) behavior often interrupts sleep by interrupting the restful phases of sleep. For this reason, various problems arise when a person cannot get a relaxing sleep.
- Chronic pain: When various health problems (joint problems, gastrointestinal problems, fibromyalgia, etc.) cause pain, it becomes difficult for the person to fall asleep or maintain quality sleep.
What Symptoms Occur in Sleep Disorder?
Various complaints may accompany sleep problems in people with sleep disorders. Among these, the following are frequently observed:
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep,
- Daytime fatigue and desire to sleep,
- Abnormal breathing behavior,
- Desire to act abnormally while falling asleep,
- Abnormal behavior during sleep,
- Anxiety or anxiety behavior,
- Decreased school or work performance ,
- Difficulty in concentration,
- Weight gain.
What to Do in the Treatment of Sleep Disorder ?
Effective solution to sleep problem; primarily depends on the correct determination of the problem and appropriate treatment planning. For this reason, people with sleep disorders should first consult a specialist physician.
After taking the patient's detailed disease history and performing a detailed physical examination, additional laboratory and imaging tests are performed if necessary. The polysomnography test, which is used especially in sleep disorders, is important in determining the type of sleep disorder. According to the results obtained, the problem is determined and appropriate treatment is planned. ır.
Medical treatments include; There are drug treatments that make it easier to fall asleep, melatonin supplementation, the use of apparatus that makes breathing easier, surgical operations to prevent sleep apnea, and dentistry applications.
In addition to these, it is possible for people to eliminate or prevent sleep disorders with various measures they can take in their daily lives. Among these are the following:
- Adequate and balanced nutrition habits should be gained. In particular, the consumption of foods such as vegetables and fish with high vitamin and mineral content should be emphasized.
- Foods with high carbohydrate content such as simple sugars should be consumed less.
- It is very important to be at an ideal weight. Overweight people should enter an appropriate nutrition program, if necessary, accompanied by a dietitian.
- Regular exercise should be done. Exercising in accordance with the age and body structure of the person on certain days of the week is very beneficial in terms of sleep habits.
- Consumption of foods containing caffeine such as tea, coffee, apples should be reduced.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption should be stopped. .
- Any food intake should be avoided within 1.5 - 2 hours before going to bed.
- The amount of fluid taken before sleep should be limited.
- Pre-sleep phone, computer, electronic devices such as tablets should not be handled and exposure should be avoided. Devices should be kept as far away from the bed as possible.
- The bedroom should be kept dark and quiet; bed comfort should be enough for the person to fall asleep.
- You should try to sleep at similar times of the day. Acquiring the habit of sleeping at a certain time makes it easier to fall asleep.
- Short-term naps during the day should be stopped. It is recommended not to take a nap during the day, as it seriously affects the duration of night sleep.