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Woman with insomnia

Sleep Disorders

A sleep disorder refers to many different types of abnormal sleep patterns. It is a medically classified disorder and can interfere with the functioning and overall well-being of a person.  There are many different types of sleep disorders including Primary Insomnia, Primary InsomniaPrimary HypersomniaNarcolepsyNightmare disorderSleep Terror disorder and Sleepwalking disorder.

Primary insomnia refers to a sleeplessness that people who are physically and mentally tired feel. People who suffer from primary insomnia cannot fall asleep or do not stay asleep long enough to get adequate rest. Insomnia is characterized by poor sleep quality or the inability to fall asleep at all. Insomnia can occur at any age without any pre-existing sleep issues. Insomnia affects men and women equally. Primary insomnia is not due to a environmental, psychiatric or medical cause. A person must have difficulty falling asleep or non-restful sleep for at least one month. There is no known cure for primary insomnia but there are simple steps that a person can do at home to help get a more restful sleep. These steps include limiting caffeine intake, excising earlier in the day and minimizing distractions when trying to fall asleep. If these methods do not work medication is often prescribed to help promote sleep including hypnotics and benzodiazepines.

Narcolepsy is another type of sleep disorder that affects the brains sleep cycle. It often starts as difficulty getting sleep when needed which results in sleeping during the day. In a more progressed state daytime sleep occurs more often even after a restful night’s sleep. People who suffer from narcolepsy often experience the REM sleep stage within minutes. Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep problem that results in excessive and unwanted period of sleep. These daytime sleep periods can occur with little warning during inopportune times. People who suffer from narcolepsy feel sleep deprived constantly. Genetics seem to play a large role in determining who might become inflicted with narcolepsy. There is no known cure for narcolepsy although treatment can prove to be beneficial.  The treatment chosen is based upon the patient’s individual needs. Medication is commonly prescribed including central nervous system stimulants.

We will discuss many different sleep disorders including Primary Insomnia, Primary Hypersomnia, Narcolepsy, Nightmare disorder, Sleep Terror disorder and Sleepwalking disorder.

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