Sleeping well is every single persons dream. This means sleeping well at the right time and for the right amount of time. This is however not true for most of the people. It is a cause for worry when interrupted sleeping happens occasionally. Since everyone has an episode of interrupted sleep once in a while, it is not a major cause of concern if it is not frequent. In normal circumstances if a person is unwell, has traveled a lot, has fatigue, has stress or has other interruptions sleeping is also affected. To know if you need a sleeping aid if you answer any of the signs of sleeping disorders questions below in the affirmative you need one of the sleeping aids:
- Do you easily feel tired, easily annoyed or drowsy when not asleep?
- Do you have problems with staying awake while performing the daily chores or even resting?
- Do you feel drowsy or lethargic while driving mostly to having a feeling like you need to sleep?
- Do you get feedback occasionally that you need to sleep or look exhausted?
- Do you often act steadily as compared to your past or to your colleagues?
- Do you need to doze off during the day regularly or at least have the feeling for a nap?
- Do you feel that you have no emotional control?
- Do you need to take a stimulant during the day to ensure you don’t sleep?
However, in the list of sleeping disorders below a person might experience sleep interruptions frequently because of internal problems or because of problems with the surroundings:
- Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea(OSA)
- Restless legs syndrome(RLS)
- Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
We will explore each of the sleeping disorders in-depth including the causes and treatment as follows.
- Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
According to Snoring definition, causes and management, Snoring is the production of sound while sleeping from the vibration of the breathing passages. It occurs in over 90 million Americans and is a major cause of sleeping disorders especially for partners. Snoring can be a symptom of Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). To manage snoring and OSA several treatment methods can be applied solely or in a combination. These include:
- ANTI-SNORING PILLOWS
How can anti-snoring pillows prevent snoring? The answer is very simple the pillows help to adjust the sleeping position and this helps to ensure that the base of the tongue and the soft palate don’t close the breathing airways causing the vibrations. This being one of the major causes of snoring relieves the snoring in most of the clients. Most of these pillows are made from hypoallergenic memory foam recommended for people with allergic snoring. It should be noted also that snoring can also be managed by changing pillows and cleaning them frequently.
There are several brands of the anti-snore pillows including neck pillows including: Rakula anti snore neck pillow, Viscofresh Memory Foam Snoring Pillow, Brookstone anti snore pillow. The Snore No More Pillow is the most recommended by users and the author having tried it himself.
The anti snore pillows are available in several stores including Amazon, e-bay and other online stores.
- ANTI-SNORING SPRAYS AND TABLETS
How do you control something that happens while you are half conscious? Snoring occurs when one is asleep. To open nasal passages is one of the major ways of managing snoring. To open the nasal cavities is however a major hurdle in people with frequent inflammation of the nasal cavity. The swelling during an inflammation and the subsequent production of excess mucus mostly blocks the nasal cavity thus leading to snoring. To relieve this we recommend use of anti-snoring sprays. These sprays come in nasal spray, oral spray or sprays that can be used in both cavities.
Anti-snoring sprays mostly contain flavored mucoadhesive foam called phosphatidylcholine which coats the throat muscles and thus they can’t vibrate.
The commonly sold brands include Asonor,Silence anti-snoring spray, Professnore, Rhynil stop snoring spray, Snorestop, Goodniter, Ysnore, Snoreeze and Nytol.
Doctors, products review experts and clients recommend snorestop spray and tablets. The product being natural without chemical or stimulants manages snoring well without any known side effects. The product is approved for use in the USA by the FDA for spraying or chewing the snoring away. The product has been very effective since 1995.
- ANTI-SNORE SHIN STRAP
Most people snore because they sleep with the mouth wide open and thus the base of the tongue or the soft palate closes the breathing passage. Gently closing of the mouth using the chin strap helps to alleviate the problem and also increases the sleeping quality.
The available chin straps brands are Genation, Stop snoring by UMITOM, Yuminer, New my snoring solution, Stop snore, anti snore stop snoring device, Zaru premium and Anti-snoring chin strap devices.
The author and American Medical Review recommends new my snoring solution.
- NOSE VENTS/ NASAL DILATORS/NASAL STRIPS
This is also a very effective way of combatting snoring. They are used to gently open the nasal cavity wide most importantly the nostrils to ensure smooth flow of air. This enables smooth deep breaths without snoring because ordinarily people breathe through the nose except when one has a cold. They come in two forms either a small tube or wing-shaped strips.
The most effective nasal strips include:
Anti-Snoring by Brison
MQFORU 50-Count Better Breath
Sleepeze Remedies Nasal Strips
Theravent Snore Therapt Strips
- MANDIBULAR ADVANCEMENT DEVICES (MADs)
These are devices that are used to hold the lower part of the jaw and tongue forward and thus breathing becomes easier because of the increase of breathing space. This thus prevents the user from snoring. This method is very effective for people whose snoring is caused by having the base of the tongue resting on the breathing cavity. They come in different brands and types and thus it is very useful if the selection of the device is done appropriately. There are MADS comparison tables available to check if the device you want to procure is suitable for you. The MADs available include:
Pro Adjustable night guard Bruxism Mouthpiece Aid
Vital Sleep Anti Snore Device
Snoring Sleep Aid Custom Night Mouth Guard
Zquiet Anti Snoring Mouthpiece
Zyppah Anti Snoring Mouthpiece
SnoreMeds Snoring Aid
Pure Sleep Anti Snore Device
Snorerx Snoring Mouthpiece
Do you occasionally find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep at night or wake up too early? Then from doctors definition you should be asking yourself, do I have insomnia? Insomnia is a common sleep disorder defined as the state where one has a difficulty in getting to sleep or remaining asleep when the opportunity to sleep arises. The disorder may be chronic or acute. The sleep disorders symptoms above mostly apply in this condition but more specifically lethargy, tiredness, being moody, lack of concentration and poor output in school or work. A normal adult requires seven to eight hours of sleep per day but it varies among individuals. With age the episodes of insomnia increase but it might also be a problem in children and teenagers. Women due to hormonal changes are more susceptible to insomnia.
What are the causes of insomnia?
worrying too much about the daily chores may cause insomnia. These chores may include thinking too much about schoolwork, work, family issues and financial matters may lead to lack of good sleep. Trauma and disease may also cause insomnia especially if it was hurting including disease or death of a person close to you, your own health matters or separation from a loved one.
- Bad sleeping habits
The human body depends on the circadian rhythm is a biological clock that the body uses to guide metabolism, body temperature and sleep-waking up cycles. The biological clock can be interfered by poor sleeping habits. The common bad poor habits in the current era include bedtime behaviors like watching TV, using the smartphones, computers and tablets, playing video games in addition to working in bed or sleeping at different times regularly.
- Work or travel schedules that disrupt sleeping patterns
Jet lag especially involving movement from one time zone to another and changes of working shifts where a person rotates the shifts from night shift to day shift regularly disrupts the biological sleeping clock leading to insomnia.
- Taking too much food especially just before sleeping.
Eating lots of food especially just before bedtime can be a major cause of insomnia because of being uncomfortable while lying down. Having a light meal is however preferable if one is hungry. Eating too much food just before bedtime can also cause hyperacidity and food regurgitation hence leading to insomnia.
- Taking stimulants or alcohol just before sleeping
Taking caffeinated drinks like energy drinks, coffee, tea, cola or smoking cigarettes can lead to insomnia because they cause the brain to remain alert during the night. Alcohol however is a sedative but it prevents the individual from going deep into the sleep even though it facilitates sleeping.
Other causes of insomnia include:
- Diseases that cause chronic pain including cancer, diabetes, asthma, heart conditions, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and hyperthyroidism.
- Mental health disorders like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
- Other sleeping disorders like restless legs syndrome, snoring partners, obstructive sleep apnea.
- Medications including antidepressants, hypertension medication, asthma drugs and stimulants.
CURES FOR INSOMNIA
These few methods can help cure insomnia:
- Making lifestyle changes
- Change of diet
- Taking supplements
- Use of essential oils
- Stress reduction
- Making lifestyle changes
High bedroom temperatures affect sleep thus having room temperature of less than 70 °F is more suitable for sleeping. Also ensuring that your bed is comfortable will greatly facilitate your sleep in addition to keeping your sleeping routine, minimizing naps and staying active during the day.
2. Change of diet
Too much stimulants, carbohydrates and sugars before sleeping makes sleep hard to come by. Reduction of the two just before going to bed will give you a better rest. This is because your body while digesting the two produces heat which makes it hard to sleep.
Increase in milk products and foods containing healthy fats, B vitamins, magnesium and potassium in the meals before sleeping will also facilitate sleeping. These foods include avocados, bananas, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, Asparagus, sweet potatoes, citrus, squash, kiwi fruits, tomatoes, pawpaw and cantaloupe.
3. Taking supplements
There are several quality supplements that can be taken to cure Insomnia. Taking 400 to 500mg of magnesium supplements daily before bed will help in stress reduction hence naturally increasing sleep. In addition other supplements especially the ones containing L-ornithine, melatonin, hydroxytryptopan, or valerian root will do much good but are not recommended for long-term use.
Some of these supplements include:
- Research verified Insomnia relief
- Natural sleep aid for adults by nature’s wellness
- Natrogix 5-HTP
- Luna natural sleep aid
- Driftoff natural sleep aid
- Dreamrite natural sleep aid
- Legion lunar natural sleep aid supplement
4. Use of essential oils
Taking essential oils like chamomile and lavender can improve the quality of sleep one experiences. Chamomile is an edible oil that can be taken with tea, tincture, inhaled as vapor and it helps in relaxation in addition to fighting stress. The herb is also used in aromatherapy to help fight depression and anxiety which are also some of the causes of insomnia. Lavender oil can be rubbed off on the body muscles including the neck or used in bath water or poured on sleeping materials to help you to relax. For better results while used to bath, epsom oils can be added. Epsom oils contain magnesium which is a natural cure for insomnia. Some of the brands available in the market include:
- Good Night Synergy Essential oils by Edens Gardens
- Davina Yawn Insomnia sleep Essential oil Blend
- Woolzies good night blend of pure essential oils
- Naturenics Lavender Essential oil
- Aromatherapy Insomnia Relief
5. Stress reduction
Anxiety insomnia or stress insomnia can naturally be managed. The two types in addition to the diet insomnia are the major insomnia cases. Use of devices that emit blue light like smart phones, computers, TVs or video games up to bedtime may cause sleeplessness. The blue light excites the pineal gland hence altering the circadian rhythm. To remedy this one should stop using these devices 30 or more minutes before going to bed and try a more soothing routine.
Also to increase the chances of good sleep one should endeavor to produce hormones called endorphins during the cause of the day. This can be easily done by exercises and ensuring that you are happy during the day.
Not being able to suddenly control your motor system(Cataplexy) while also experiencing unexpected sleep episodes is not the stuff to be happy about. This is what happens when one has the chronic neurological disorder that affects the ability to regulate sleep in the brain’s ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO or VLPN) of the hypothalamus. The condition affects approximately 1 in 2000 people and the quality of sleep is not good because the condition is associated with hallucinations during sleep.
The condition has no known exact cause but is thought to be hereditary in 10 percent of the cases but potential causes may include autoimmine-conditions associated low levels of the neuropeptide orexin in addition to distress, stress or shock, infections and toxic substances.
Cure for Narcolepsy
There exists no known cure for the disease but management of symptoms through a combination of methods gives the individual a good quality life. The management can be through:
- Counselling and support groups to ensure the patient does not get depressed.
- Change of lifestyles by ensuring one does exercise, manages stress and takes the right healthy foods while avoiding caffeine, nicotine and alcohol manages the symptoms.
- Taking medication including central nervous system stimulants, antidepressants, and sodium oxybate as prescribed by the physicians.
4. Restless legs syndrome(RLS)
This is a condition associated with an irresistible urge to move the legs especially in the evenings because of a disorder in the nervous system. The condition can have mild sensation or severe sensation on the legs or hands or both. It affects up to 30 million Americans of both sexes but is more prevalent in women.
Like in Narcolepsy above the condition has no known cause and hereditary factors are associated with nearly half of the known cases. Some chronic diseases, medication and pregnancy may increase the chances of acquiring or worsening the disease.
Cure for Restless legs syndrome
The condition has no known cure but management of symptoms can go a long way in improving the quality of life. The management methods that can help in RLS include:
- Scheduled regular exercise.
- Reduction of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine intake.
- Having a regular sleeping pattern and good sleeping habits.
- Taking a hot bath and massage before sleeping.
5. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders(CRSD)
These are a group of sleeping disorders that affect the sleeping cycles. They can broadly be grouped into extrinsic disorders where the cause if from the environment, schedules or behavior like work shift changes and jet lag or intrinsic where the cause is within the body including delayed sleep phase disorder where one gets sleep early in the evening but can not get sleep in the morning, delayed sleep phase disorder where one sleeps late into the night and is very alert at the middle of the night, Irregular sleep-wake rhythm where sleep time is normal but occurs at irregular moments of the day like sleeping during day time and staying awake frequently during night-time and non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder where with time the person affected sleeps later and later on each subsequent day.
There is no known cause of circadian rhythm sleep disorder although genetic disorders are an apparent cause.
Cure for circadian rhythm sleep disorder
There is no known cure for the disorders especially the intrinsic disorders but management of the disorder is the ultimate goal of the treatment. The treatment options below are majorly used in combination to increase the effectiveness. The treatment options include:
- Counselling and behavior change therapy about sleep etiquette like stimulant intake reduction and avoiding naps. Any other activities other than sleeping and sex should be avoided.
- Elimination of blue light in the evening by dark therapy. Dark therapy involves the use of goggles to eliminate the blue light in the evening in order to prevent or limit melatonin production.
- Use of prescribed medication like modafinil and melatonin.
- Sleep phase chronotherapy. This involves gradual movement of sleep time according to the condition to ensure better sleeping patterns.