Overcoming Sleep Disturbances
What are sleep disturbances?
There are nearly 100 different kinds of sleep disorders. One of the most common sleep disorders is insomnia: When an individual has insomnia, he or she has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. There are three types of insomnia: episodic, short-term and chronic.
When an individual has episodic insomnia, the condition lasts several days at a time, recurring on and off without warning. Short-term insomnia will last up to three weeks, again recurring without warning. Chronic insomnia refers to the condition lasting for more than three weeks, just as with episodic and short-term insomnia, chronic insomnia may come and go intermittently.
Some people who feel sluggish are experiencing some type of sleep disturbance; yet, others are just not allowing themselves enough time to sleep. In order to feel refreshed upon waking, an adult needs at least 7 hours of sleep per night; however, according to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult typically sleeps less than 7 hours a night.
Causes of sleep disturbances
A single issue or combination of issues can lead to Insomnia, these issues include:
- Mental problems (i.e., bipolar disorder)
- Depression, anxiety and mental stress
- Irregular sleeping habits
- Daytime naps
- Discomfort, physical pain or some other medical problem
- Working the night shift
- Too much noise/light (negatively affects sleep)
- Alcohol and/or drug use
- Not exercising enough
- Excessive consumption of caffeine
- Using the computer or watching television while lying in bed
- Some herbal supplements and food supplements can cause insomnia
- Medications (prescription and over-the-counter)
Although insomnia can affect any age group or ethnicity, adult women are at an increased risk of suffering from insomnia (when compared to their male counterparts). Additionally, as an individual ages, his or her chance of developing some type of sleep disorder increases.
Diagnosing sleep disturbances
Since insomnia symptoms are similar to those of a variety of conditions, Dr. Jorge Peláez takes the time to perform a thorough exam on each patient. He will ask questions about recent weight gain, snoring, sleeping habits, alcohol consumption, lifestyle habits, prescription and over-the-counter medication usage as well as discuss the sleep habits of the patient’s bed partner (if applicable).
Symptoms of sleep disturbances
The most apparent symptom of insomnia is difficulty falling asleep. However, there are numerous other symptoms that indicate an individual has insomnia (or some other type of sleeping disorder).
The most common symptoms of sleep disturbances include:
- The inability to concentrate
- Brain fog
- Not feeling refreshed upon waking
- Sluggishness throughout the day
- Continually waking during the night
- Feeling irritable
- Difficulty driving or operating mechanical devices
- Feeling sleepy during the day
Conventional treatments of sleep disturbances
The conventional treatment for sleep disturbances like insomnia is medication. However, if an individual has sleep apnea, he or she will receive a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine with an oral mask or a naso-oral mask. An individual who has sleep apnea unknowingly stops breathing on and off throughout the night. Each time the individual stops breathing, he or she wakes up (faintly) and begins breathing again. This continuous cycle of waking never allows the individual to get a good night's rest. The CPAP machine is designed to recognize when the individual stops breathing and provides a puff of air, which causes the individual to resume breathing, without the need to awaken.
At RevitaLife, we concentrate on providing our patients with the tools they need to attain optimal health and wellness. We accomplish this by creating each patient a personalized treatment program that is specifically designed to meet his or her needs. The treatment program for individuals who have a sleep disorder, like insomnia, may include relaxation techniques, yoga, meditation and herbal supplements.
Before practicing functional medicine, Dr. Peláez was a neurologist and sleep specialist for nearly 20 years. He decided to concentrate on functional medicine because he wanted to ‘fill the gap’ between conventional and functional medicines. He offers his patients the best of both disciplines – conventional medicine to diagnose a patient and functional medicine to treat the patient. If you have difficulty sleeping, constantly feel drained and long to have the energy you need to enjoy an active, and full life, click the button below to schedule your initial consultation.