What Is Sleep disorder?
Sleep disorders refer to the conditions that affect the ability to sleep well on a daily basis. While most people experience sleeping problems occasionally due to hectic schedules, stress, such disorders are usually short-lived. However, when the sleep is disturbed on a regular basis and starts interfering with daily life, it may indicate a sleeping disorder.
The sleep disorder can be of any of the following types:
- Insomnia, disturbed sleep during the night, frequent waking up
- Sleep apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep)
- Parasomnias like sleepwalking, sleep talking, bedwetting, groaning, nightmares
- Narcolepsy (sleep attacks during the day)
- Restless leg syndrome
Sometimes, a sleep disorder can be a symptom of some other mental or medical health problem. Once the underlying cause is treated, sleeping problems eventually go away. However, when sleep disorders are the problem itself, not the symptoms, treatment usually involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medicine.
Sleep disorder should be diagnosed and treated without delay. If left untreated, it can lead to other health consequences, cause strain in relationships, affect performance at work, and your ability to perform daily activities may be impaired.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep disorder?
Depending on the type of sleep disorder, people may experience:
- Difficulty in falling or staying asleep
- Extreme tiredness throughout the day.
- Irritable mood, low energy, lack of concentration, poor health.
- Strong urge to take nap during the day
What Are The Causes Of Sleep disorder?
- Any health problem, (physical or mental) like respiratory problems, breathing difficulties, frequent urination at night, chronic pain
- Too much of stress
- Hectic schedule, late night work, irregular working hours
- Jet lag
- Extreme tiredness
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Sleep disorder?
- Exercise to reduce stress.
- Maintain a balance between personal and professional life.
- Stick to your sleeping schedule.
- Drink less water two hours before sleeping.
- Take breaks from your busy schedule.
- If you have night shifts in your workplace, put heavy curtains and switch off all lights during the day to make the environment conducive for sleeping.
- Meditate as it helps in relaxing the mind.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Sleep disorder?
- Avoid stress and anxiety.
- Avoid late night working, watching movies or partying.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol.
- Avoid working on laptops, mobiles or chatting with friends online if you are not feeling sleeping. Try to close your eyes and sleep.
What Are The Best Foods For Sleep disorder?
- Tryptophan-rich foods: Tryptophan, an amino acid, turns into the neurotransmitter serotonin and then gets converted into the hormone melatonin after ingesting. Some tryptophan-rich foods are dairy products like milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese, turkey, chicken, halibut, tuna, shrimp, sardines, cod, salmon. Nuts and seeds like flax, sesame, cashews, pumpkin, sunflower, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, legumes like kidney beans, split peas, lima beans, black beans, chickpeas, fruits like apples, peaches, bananas, avocado, vegetables like broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, onions, seaweed, asparagus, grains like wheat, barley, rice, corn and oats are all loaded with tryptophan.
- Melatonin rich foods: Most of the above-mentioned foods are also rich in melatonin, which helps in promoting sleep. You can also try some melatonin supplements.
- Magnesium-rich foods: Most of the above foods are also rich in magnesium as there is a direct link between magnesium deficiencies and sleep disorders.
- Calcium helps the production of melatonin. A lack of calcium can cause sleep disorders. Many dairy products contain both calcium and tryptophan. Foods rich in calcium are dark leafy greens, yogurt, cheese, low-fat milk, sardines, soybeans, fortified cereals, fortified orange juice, bread and grains, and okra.
- Vitamin B6: It also helps in converting tryptophan into melatonin. B6 deficiency has a direct link with low serotonin levels and thus poor sleep, depression and mood disorders leading to insomnia. The best sources of B6 are banana, avocado, dried prunes, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pistachio nuts, fish (tuna, halibut, salmon,) and meats like chicken, lean pork.
What Are The Worst Foods For Sleep disorder?
- Avoid caffeine as it increases the activity of brain thus promoting wakefulness. Hence avoid coffee, dark chocolates. Avoid caffeine especially during the night or before bedtime.
- Contrary to the popular belief, alcohol can actually create sleep disorders rather than helping in sleeping.
- Avoid spicy foods at night as they cause heartburn, acidity, and indigestion. These problems can worsen while lying down.
- Avoid eating juicy fruits (like watermelon) and cold drinks as they can increase the urge to urinate during the night, thus disturbing your sleep.
- Oily, fatty foods are difficult to digest and make stomach bloat. So, avoid eating fried foods, pizzas etc. for dinner.
What Are The Medicines For Sleep disorder?
What Are The Tips To Manage Sleep disorder?
- Drink hot milk before bedtime, especially almond milk.
- Peppermint tea and valerian tea are also considered good.
- Exercise enough to make your body tired, so that you fall asleep. However, don’t overdo it.