There are very few things that are more satisfying than a good night’s sleep. Sleep is a phenomenon that provides our mind with the rest we need after a long hard day, it refreshes our mind. It is a naturally occurring and much-needed phenomenon. Most of us love to sleep, am I right! I usually have a very hard time waking up in the morning.
I’ve wondered, if that too is some kind of sleep disorder, having a hard time waking up in the morning.
Have you? While we would love to get all the sleep we need, there are some sleep disorders that could prevent us from sleeping well at night. So let us get some information about them so we could fight them better.
There are a lot of sleep disorders like insomnia, narcolepsy, sleepwalking, sleep paralysis, etc. However, the most common sleep disorder that the world suffers from is insomnia.
Although 6 to 10 percent of people suffer from insomnia and when we generally talk about sleep disorders insomnia is the first disorder to come to our mind. Other sleep disorder like narcolepsy causes its victims to fall asleep during the day but do not let them sleep at night.
Sleep paralysis is a terrifying phenomenon and all of us are somewhat familiar with sleepwalking and sleep-talking. But before we talk about sleep disorders, let us talk about what links all these disorders together, sleep.
Main Cycles of Sleep
Sleep occurs in repeating cycles of two patterns, the two patterns are called REM and non-REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement.
As the name suggests, during this cycle our closed eyes make some movements in a very rapid and random fashion, therefore this cycle gets the name, REM sleep.
The REM sleeping pattern is unique to mammals and birds, and interesting things associated with sleep like dreams happen during this stage. Another interesting that happens to our body during REM sleep is our muscles might get paralyzed which may cause sleep terror.
Many people feel a supernatural presence while they sleep and find themselves unable to move any part of their body. During this stage, our body goes through various experiences that are like hallucinations and often might get kind of weird or even scary. REM cycle is also the cycle where you can feel experiences like lucid dreaming.
The non-REM cycle of sleep is pretty opposite of what happens in the REM sleep cycle. Our muscles are not paralyzed, our eyes make few to no movement and there is very little chance of dreaming or even if you dream you are probably not going to remember them.
Various sleep disorders like sleepwalking, sleep talking are associated with the REM cycle of sleep.
Why Sound And Deep Sleep is Important For Our Body
Resting is very important for everyone. As sleep provides this much-needed rest to our body, it is really important to sleep.
But there is way more to the story, sleep is much more than your mind shutting down when it is tired in order to get some rest. Let’s explore some things that happen in our bodies while we sleep.
An interesting fact about sleep is even while we sleep, some part of the brain and our body does not take any rest and continue the function they are made for. Our heart keeps beating and pumping blood through the veins of our body, our nose continues breathing and all the other functions keep happening that are mandatory for living.
Types of Sleep
The REM and non-REM stage of sleep that we found out about before are further divided into different stages. Non-REM sleep is divided into four further stages. Different functions occur in these different stages.
Phases of Non-REM Sleep and their benefits
The first stage consists of light sleep. During this stage, our body is in alternates between being asleep and being awake.
During the second stage, our sleep starts getting deeper. Our body temperature starts to drop and our heart rate and breathing stay normal.
The third and fourth stages of non-REM sleep are the ones in which our body is in deep sleep. A lot of necessary processes happen during these two stages. During the third and fourth stage our blood pressure lowers, our muscles start to get a bit relaxed and our breathing rate becomes very much slower.
This is when processes like tissue repair and muscle growth take place in our body. Ever heard of the saying that we grow taller when we sleep?
This is because when we sleep many hormones including a particular one called growth hormone, which aids our body by being an essential element in the process of growth and development of our body.
Phases of REM Sleep and Their Benefits
Although non-REM sleep managers to accomplish so many important processes in our body, it is the REM state of sleep which provides our body with the rest it really needs.
The REM sleep stage usually consists of 25% of our sleep time and it occurs after 90 minutes of falling asleep. In this stage, our muscles become completely inactive and relaxed but our mind stays active.
That is why we are able to dream during this stage of sleep. This stage of sleep is the most important stage. That is because it refreshes our mind after waking up and throughout the next day, as it provides energy and support to how active we are during the daytime.
What are Sleep Disorders
The simple definition of a sleep disorder would be it is a disorder that is associated with sleep and affects our normal life in a negative way. Sleep disorders are a kind of mental disorder. After all, it is associated with our minds.
There are a lot of kinds of sleep disorders. Depending on the sleep disorders, the causes and effects and solutions to them vary significantly. Sleep disorders like sleep talking or sleepwalking are possible in even children or the elderly.
Sleep disorders apparently are very common as statistics suggest. Around 10 to 20 percent of us have some sleep disorder that negatively affects the lives of those who have them.
Different kinds of sleep disorders
Here is a list of the sleep disorders that you might ever come across-
- REM sleep behavior disorder
- SWSD (Shift work sleep disorder)
- Night terror
- Sleep talking
- Idiopathic hypersomnia
- Sleep paralysis
- Jet lag
- Sleep apnea
- Periodic limb movement disorder
- Restless legs syndrome
- Kleine–Levin syndrome
- Delayed sleep phase disorder
- Hypopnea syndrome
- Delayed and advanced sleep phase disorder
Treatment and Care
We have detailed articles about each and every one of the sleep disorders mentioned above, so if you wanna know more about them, we might as well check those out.
Stress is one of the major causes of many sleep disorders and in fact many mental disorders. So you might wanna relax and keep yourself away from stress if you want your mind to be healthy. Sleep disorders can be cured very easily with proper care. Many sleep disorders can be removed by therapy, or chemical medicine or even homeopathy.
Sleep disorders may end up causing major inconveniences in your life including depression and anxiety. So you might wanna seek professional help if you or your loved one is facing any of these problems. After all, health is wealth.