Understanding Sleep Disorders and How to Get Better Rest


Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our lives. It can impact everything from an individual’s health to their productivity throughout the day. It is crucial that people get the right amount of sleep each night; click here to see how much sleep the National Sleep Foundation recommends.

Unfortunately, many people regularly experience more than just a restless night. There are many types of sleep problems and health issues that can arise from a lack of sleep. Fortunately, there are ways to improve yours, even through the use of acupuncture; keep reading to learn more about these common problems and helpful solutions.

Common Sleep Disorders

This may shock some people, but The Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine notes, “There are over 100 different types of sleep disorders ranging from difficulty sleeping at night to problems with excessive daytime sleepiness. Therefore, it is critical to receive the correct diagnosis and work with a qualified physician to develop a treatment plan.”

According to Stanford, some of the most common sleep disorders include:

  • Sleep Related Breathing Disorders (Sleep Apnea)

  • Snoring

  • Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS)

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

  • Centeral Sleep Apnea (CSA)

  • Insomnia

  • Shift Work & Circadian Rhythm Disorders

  • Restless Legs Syndrome / Periodic Limb Movements During Sleep

  • Pediatric Disorders

  • Narcolepsy, Kleine Levine Syndrome & Other Hypersomnias (Excessive Sleepiness)

  • Nighttime Sleep Behaviors

Top Signs of Sleep Disorders

While it is common to have a hard time falling asleep or a restless night when things are on your mind, consistent trouble sleeping may mean you have a sleep disorder.

Here are five signs to watch out for from Valley Sleep Center:

1. Waking Up Tired

If you went to bed at your normal time and wake up after eight or so hours, and it feels like you hardly slept, you could have a sleep disorder. “Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can impact the quality and quantity of sleep you are getting without you noticing.”

2. Trouble Falling Asleep

You could be suffering from insomnia if you simply cannot fall asleep and end up tossing and turning all night. “Insomnia is both a sleep disorder in its own right and a common symptom of other sleep disorders. Don’t think that because it is just insomnia that you don’t need to discuss it with your doctor. There may be some other condition contributing to your inability to sleep.”

3. Snoring

Snoring is a red flag when it comes to sleep apnea, though not every who snores has the disorder. It is important to note however, “The dangers of untreated sleep apnea are significant enough that anyone who snores should speak to their doctor about their sleep habits and make sure they do not have sleep apnea.”

4. Trouble Staying Awake During the Day

You should see a doctor if you have trouble staying awake throughout the day as it can be a sign of many sleep disorders including sleep apnea or narcolepsy.

5. Trouble Focusing, Concentrating or Paying Attention

Sleep is so important to our ability to function cognitively. When we don’t have enough quality and quantity of sleep, we can have trouble concentrating on school work, our jobs and life.

A Lack of Sleep and Your Health

While losing a few hours of sleep every now and then or not having a good night’s sleep may not seem like a big deal, consistent sleep deprivation can do a lot of harm to the body. Here are a few of the ways poor sleep can have a negative impact on your life from Health Line:

1. Memory Issues

When you sleep, the brain forms connections to help process and retain new information. When you are experiencing a lack of sleep, it can have a negative impact on both the short and long-term memory.

2. Mood Changes

Have you even woken up on the wrong side of the bed? That could be because your mood is influenced by sleep. Chronic sleep problems can lead to anxiety and depression, which can get worse over time.

3. Weak Immune System

You’re more likely to get sick when you’re exposed to germs because too little sleep weakens the immune system.

4. Increased Diabetes Risk

Health Line notes, “A Lack of sleep affects your body’s release of insulin, a blood sugar-lowering hormone. People who don’t get enough sleep have higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.”

5. Weight Gain

The website also mentions, “With sleep deprivation, the chemicals that signal to your brain that you are full are off balance. As a result, you’re more likely to overindulge even when you’ve had enough to eat.”

Don’t forget that stress can also cause insomnia and weight gain; watch for a correlation between the two.

Try to Get a Good Night Sleep Naturally

Now that you’re aware of the different sleep disorders and how they can negatively impact your health, it’s time to learn how to improve your sleep.

How to Sleep Better

Getting a good night’s sleep is so important! Here are a couple of natural ways to improve your sleep from Prevention, which spoke to different health experts on the matter.

1. Stick to a Schedule