Getting good sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind. Not getting a
good night’s sleep may cause symptoms of sleep deprivation, which can be
irritability, lack of concentration, falling asleep during the day and can lead
to even more serious problems- like depression [a mental state characterized by
a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity] .
What does a Good Night’s Sleep Do for Our Body?
• Good sleep repairs cells and helps our body replenish after a day’s
• During sleep, our body releases growth hormones [chemical substances
created by the body that control numerous body functions.] which help in the
growth of bones, tissues and new red blood cells
• Sleep also strengthens our immune and nervous systems
Some common sleep problems are discussed below. Find out how to get just the
right amount of healthy, restorative sleep.
Most of us have experienced insomnia at some
point during our lives when we are unable to get good quality sleep.
Causes: Stress, an altered sleep schedule, poor bed time habits are some
leading causes of insomnia.
Solution: The good news about insomnia is that it doesn’t
have to be a permanent problem. Self help techniques, relaxation, and good sleep
can help control insomnia and induce better sleep.
Sleep apnea should be taken seriously for
here, while sleeping, your breathing stops or gets very shallow, which can be
life threatening. During the pauses of apnea, the sleeper wakes up to breathe
again, thus disrupting sleep. Gasping or choking for air to breathe and loud
snoring are common signs of Sleep Apnea.
Causes: Excessive weight, large tonsils, nasal congestion or a uniquely
shaped head, neck or chin can lead to sleep apnea.
Solution: Self help like losing weight, elevating the
head-side of the bed, sleeping on your side can be effective remedies for sleep
apnea. A mechanical device, CPAP, can be worn while sleeping, which provides
continuous air pressure to keep the airway open.
Snoring is a very common sleep disorder and can
be a significant obstacle to quality sleep both for yourself and your partner.
Causes: Due to poor sleep posture, excess weight or physical abnormalities of
your throat, the passage of your airway narrows down and creates the snoring
Solution: Sleep on your side, elevate the head-side of your
bed or lose weight to stop the snoring.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep
Having a strong urge to move the legs or arms due to tingly
or creeping sensations in the legs is RLS. During PLMD, involuntary, rhythmic
limb movements occur while sleeping.
Causes: Anemia, kidney disease, pregnancy, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s or
alcoholism can cause these disorders.
Solution: RLS and PLMD sufferers can find solutions in
alternative therapies and lifestyle changes.
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder which
can cause extreme sleepiness and the sufferer can fall asleep suddenly without
warning. Excessive daytime sleepiness or uncontrollable episodes of falling
asleep during day are common.
Causes: Definite causes are not known. Lack of hypocretin, a brain chemical,
is believed to be the culprit. It may be genetic.
Solution: A combination of medication, behavioral
treatments, and counseling can help alleviate the problem.