Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

People with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) can not sleep when desired, needed or expected. It might be they can only fall asleep by 4 am, for example, and need to sleep until 11 am to get 7 hours of sleep. People typically start to have DSP syndrome when they are young children or teens. Without treatment, the problem continues through life.
Keywords: DSPS, delayed sleep phase syndrome, sleep, sleep disorder, DSPS, DSP syndrome, delayed sleep phase syndrome treatment



Navigation:
What is delayed sleep phase syndrome
Diagnosis of this condition
Usual symptoms
Treatment of delayed sleep phase syndrome
Coping with the disease

DSP syndrome can be a real issue

Since children and teens need to get up early for school, delayed sleep phase syndrome can be a serious problem because they do not get the sleep they need for physical and mental health. Adults who have the problem may find they can find night shift jobs, but if that’s not possible, they have a serious problem, too.

Studies show that about 7 to 10 percent of the people who report they have insomnia actually have DSP syndrome. The proof of this is that if people with DSP are allowed to fall asleep according to their own timing, they can sleep well for 8 hours, which is not the case for people with insomnia. People with DSP syndrome have their internal body clock set to a different time than the most people.

Every living creature has an internal clock known in scientist lingo as the circadian rhythm. The natural processes that occur during 24 hours for a plant or animal are the circadian rhythm. Nocturnal animals like owls sleep all day and wake at night. Most people and diurnal animals have body clocks set for sleeping at night time when it is dark outside.

Coping with DSP syndrome

People with DSP syndrome just have their body clocks differently than most people. When you hear people say they are “night owls,” they may very well have delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS). DSP syndrome runs in families and a particular gene associated with the condition has been identified in studies.

When night owls try to conform to expected sleep and waking schedules, they typically just get very little sleep. The effects on them have been compared to having jet lag every day. Anyone who has experienced jet lag knows how hard it can be to concentrate when suffering from it. Children and teens with this problem can have serious problems at school. Parents may think their children are not trying or are unintelligent, but the bad grades may be the result of sleeping problems.

Diagnosis of delayed sleep phase syndrome

By the time people with DSP get diagnosed, they have usually tried everything in the book. They’ve tried all the tips for good sleeping habits, hypnosis, dull reading, relaxation techniques, and nutritional supplements. Even when they take sedatives, they may not be able to get to sleep earlier.

Symptoms of DSP syndrome

Many doctors are not aware of delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) since it was only discovered in a 1981. Symptoms of DSP syndrome are often misdiagnosed as insomnia or as psychiatric problems. To diagnose DSP, doctors will rule out other conditions with certain tests. Sleep actigraphs, which are watch-sized monitors, may be used to assess your circadian rhythms over time. The doctor will also ask you to keep a sleep diary.

How to treat DSP?

Treatments may include light therapy with a full spectrum lamp during the morning and avoidance of light during the later part of the day and evening. The doctor may want you to take melatonin, a nutritional supplement that helps to reset the body clock. Sudies are ongoing as to whether the prescription drug Rozerem acts like a melatonin in resetting the body clock.

Chronotherapy treats DSP syndrome by manipulating bedtimes. One approach is to stay awake all day and night and then go to sleep 90 minutes earlier than usual for a week. This approach is repeated weekly until sleep is possible at the desired bedtime.

If you are a night owl but have to keep regular hours for work or school, you need to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment of PSDS. While there is no cure, there are a number of ways to manage delayed sleep phase syndrome so that you can get some sleep and function better.

Wearing sleep mask may not always work

Sometimes, people can have real trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. If those are the sorts of problems you face, a sleep eye mask might help. Yet, if just covering your eyes isn’t enough, you may have some other issues going on in your life.
Keywords: sleep, sleeping, sleep mask, bedroom condition, chances of good sleep, medication, sleep therapy, do sleep masks work

Sleep Eye Masks Types and Why They May Not Always Work

Sleep Mask. Typically, some people need to have darkness and silence to sleep properly. If that is the sort of person you are, an eye mask is ideal. However, you may be the exact opposite; some people need a bit of white noise to help them calm down. A little light music can help, and even the TV in the background will contribute to getting to sleep.

There are also other bedroom conditions that can thwart your efforts to get to sleep. You have to consider whether or not your bed is right for you. These days, there are adjustable beds that let you get into just the right position to aid in sleeping, and some even allow you to change the firmness of your mattress.

Some people like one very firm, others like it to be very soft. Then there’s the conditioned reaction you have to your bed. If you use your bed for sleep and “closeness” with your spouse, sleep will come easier. If you watch TV, read, eat, work on your computer, and so on then sleep will not come easy.

Eye mask may not help

Also, if you are a heavy drinker or smoke a lot, an eye mask may not help with sleeping. Alcohol, nicotine and especially caffeine are all stimulants that will keep you awake. So, the best sleep mask in the world won’t help you sleep if you down a six-pack of beer or a couple cans of soda right before bed.

By the same token, eating too much will not be good for you; nor will going to sleep hungry. So, consider a light snack a few hours before going to bed. Avoid refined sugar, as it is a stimulant; natural sugars found in fruit are ideal. Also, like fare like nuts and eggs are good.

Avoid doing things that stress you prior to going to bed

If you still find that sleep is not coming to you, consider some other problems. As you try to sleep, do you think about work, family issues, political problems, social issues? Do you and your spouse argue or talk about heady matter right before bed? Do you pay bills late in the evening? All of these things can keep you from settling you mind down and getting to sleep. So, avoid such things as much as possible.

Natural sleep remedies

There are also natural foods and homeopathic remedies you can take to improve your chances of good sleep. As it turns out, milk is a good bedtime drink; it has tryptophan (the hormone that makes you sleepy after eating a turkey dinner), and thus can aid in calming you down for bed. There’s also chamomile, which is often made into tea.

A few cups of that late in the evening can help with getting to sleep. If you have trouble getting to sleep over a long period of time, you can consider trying valerian. If a small dose is taken daily for about a month, it will eventually help you to get to sleep and sleep better. There are also over the counter medications that can help you get to sleep, but they should not be taken long term.

If trouble sleeping persists

If trouble sleeping persists, consult your doctor and see about either medication or therapy. Sometimes a mild sedative will help, or therapy can get to an underlying psychological issue that’s keeping you awake.

So, it’s easy to see that a mere mask may not be the cure all for getting to sleep.

Filed Under Tips |

How to Sleep and get the Best REM Activity

The first step in getting a good night’s sleep is to understand how your body prepares itself for sleep.

How to Sleep and get the Best REM Activity

The circadian rhythm controls your cycles of sleepiness and alertness. You may have noticed that you feel a bit drowsy long about the middle of the afternoon, and then you’re more alert in the early evening. After that, the cycle starts to move toward being sleepy, until the early hours of the morning – about 1 am to 2 am. Then, between 4 am and 6 am, you’re again heading into a period of sleep.

So, knowing these cycles, you can align yourself to get the best sleep by going to bed during the height of a sleep cycle. Also, you can manipulate the circadian cycles, if you know how. Bright light tends to wake the body up. So, dimming the lights helps you to cycle down to sleep. Some people even take to wearing sunglasses in the evening to further enhance this effect.

Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone; so taking some in the early evening can improve your sleep. If you feel the need for sleeping pills, consider consulting a doctor first; you don’t want to become dependent on them for sleep.

In addition, there are natural methods for improving your sleep. A warm bath will slightly raise your body’s temperature, and then a drop in body temperature helps to induce sleep. Also, a bit of exercise prior to settling down for the evening can also help you fall asleep. Once you are asleep, you move through essentially five stages of sleep. Technically, they’re called the four stages and REM sleep. Stage 1 is simple drowsiness; 2 is light sleep, and then 3 and 4 are deep sleep.

REM Sleep

After that, comes REM sleep, which is very similar to stage 1. At this point, you’re sleeping very lightly, but you’re dreaming. This stage gets its name from Rapid Eye Movement (REM), which occurs when you’re dreaming. Essentially, you’re watching the dream play out before your eyes. After that, you cycle back through stage 2, 3 and 4, and then REM sleep again. Typically, you go through about four REM cycles each night, and it’s not unusual to be dreaming right before you wake up in the morning.

REM sleep is important to your mind for a number of factors. It allows you to process and consolidate emotions, memories, and reduce stress. Some researchers also believe it’s vital in the learning process and brain development. In terms of getting more and better REM sleep, the easiest way is to sleep a bit longer in the morning.

Deep sleep periods

One other aspect of the sleep cycles is that the deep sleep periods (stages 3 and 4) are longer in the early part of the night, and the REM stage is shorter. As the night progresses, these switch. So, by the time morning comes, your REM stage is at its longest. By increasing the time you sleep in the morning by as little as half an hour you can greatly improve and lengthen your REM sleep.

Next, there is simply getting enough sleep overall. The sleep stages exist in a delicate balance. If you don’t get enough deep sleep, your body will start to reduce the amount of REM sleep it goes through in order to compensate.

So, going to sleep in mid to late evening, when your circadian cycle is in sleep mode, avoiding stimulates – food, drinks or mental stimulation – and getting to sleep at a reasonable hour will insure you get enough sleep. In so doing, you can help to maximize the time your brain has to go into REM sleep.

Filed Under Tips |

Chronic Sleep Deprivation Causes and Effects

One of the main causes of sleep deprivation is a simple change in a person’s work schedule. Some jobs require people to alternate their work times, do shift work, or work nights. As an example, medical staffers, police and fire fighters often work twelve hour shifts. As a result, their circadian rhythm – the cycle that controls their feeling of alertness and fatigue – can get thrown out of alignment. Also, jet lag can have the same effect.
Keywords: sleep, sleep deprivation, sleepiness, cannot sleep, lack of sleep, insomnia

Chronic Sleep Deprivation Causes and Effects

Other causes are quite varied and usually fall into what’s known as obstructive sleep patterns or disorders. As the term implies, these are maladies that obstruct a person from getting a good night’s sleep. The first is sleep apnea, where a person stops breathing for an extended period while they’re asleep. This can lead to excessive sleep deprivation and feelings of chronic fatigue. Insomnia is another problem that can become chronic based on a number of factors.

If a person drinks too much caffeine, if they have stress due to personal finances, work, family, and so on, all of these can contribute to a person’s inability to fall asleep. Then there’s narcolepsy, where a person falls asleep suddenly; it too can disrupt the normal sleep patterns. Despite them getting bouts of sleep during unusual times, they can end up not sleep well at night. Another problem is cataplexy; this is where a person will briefly lose control of their muscles, usually as a result of a strong emotional outburst. Finally, there’s sleep paralysis, this is when a person literally can’t move when they are waking up and/or falling asleep. Both of these last two problems lead to people having trouble get to sleep or wake up.

Sleep Deprivation effects

In terms of the effects, they can be varied and quite debilitating. First off, a lack of sleep adversely affects a person’s feeling of alertness and various upper brain functions. Their memory – long and short term, decision-making ability, risk assessment and problem solving are all negatively affected.

In particular, when people try to perform routine, mundane tasks, their brains are unable to focus on the job, and they simply shut down! In addition, a lack of sleep leads to decreased REM sleep (dreaming) as a result of what’s known as sleep debt. When deprived of periods of continuous sleep, the body will decrease REM sleep to give it more deep sleep. This causes further mental deterioration and cognitive confusion. People have been known to hallucinate, become paranoid, and suffer delusions. Extreme personality shifts and mood swings are not uncommon. People can become short tempered, sob uncontrollably; lash out at friends and family, and other extreme emotional outbursts.

Fatigue, muscle aches and more

Then there are the physical affects. Sleep deprivation causes – of course – feelings of sleepiness, and then also fatigue, muscle aches and joint pains. People have less energy, their physical coordination becomes poorer, and their reaction time becomes worse. This is why it is unwise to drive when you are very sleepy. In the event of an accident in the road ahead of you, a slippery road due to rain or ice, your ability to react will be compromised.

Sleep deprivation long term effect

Over the long term, the physical affects can mount up. Doctors have found that the immune system can be weakened, muscle tone will decrease, and brain functions can be impaired. Also, a person’s inhibitions decrease – it is a little like being drunk, and people can become prone to do and say various things. As a result, sleep deprivation is sometimes used as in interrogation technique by police and military organizations. The only good thing about sleep deprivation is that its affects can be counteracted by merely getting several nights of good sleep.

Lack of Sleep diminishing effects

If you don’t get a good night’s sleep the effect can be more that mere fatigue the next morning. The initial effect will be sleepiness, trouble concentrating, and slight aches and pains. That is the result of not getting only one night of decent sleep. If you miss more, the effects build up.
Keywords: lack of sleep, insomnia, problem sleeping, lower concentration, fatigue, muscle aches

Lack of Sleep

One of the chief effects is that your circadian rhythm, the bodily cycle that controls when you feel alert and tired will get thrown into a state of misalignment. As a result, your sleep stages can also be messed up. During a normal night, you go through four stages of sleep – from very light to very deep, and then you cycle into Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, also known as your dream phase.

Once the circadian cycle is changed, your sleep will become even more erratic. The body needs a certain amount of all stages of sleep, and if deprived of deep sleep (stages 3 and 4), it’ll “dip into” the REM sleep, and then the negative effects start to really add up.

Your concentration is lowered

Initially, as previously mentioned, there’s the diminished level of alertness, and negative affects on upper brain functions. The more nights you go without a decent amount of sleep, the more the effects build up. Your long and short term memories can become cloudy, and your ability to make decisions will be impaired. Everything from how to solve simple problems to making assessments of risk and hand to eye coordination are diminished. If you have to perform some tasks that are very boring and repetitive, you can have trouble concentrating and focusing your mind on them. Studies have shown that people’s mind literally shutdown in such situations!

As the amount of REM sleep is reduced, your brain will suffer additional mental confusion and cognitive deterioration. It is not unusual for you to suffer hallucinations, become paranoid, and experience delusions. Some of these effects will be hard for you to see, as they’re happening within your own mind! If you find yourself snapping at people over small things, bursting into tears at the sight of a picture of a puppy – or other emotional outbursts that are extreme, they are the signs of too little sleep. You may even experience extreme mood swings and shifts to your personality.

Fatigue, joint pains and muscle aches

There are also a plethora of physical affects. If you lack sleep over a long period of time, feeling sleepy will be the least of your problems! There’s also fatigue, joint pains and muscle aches. Your energy levels will diminish, you’ll have less physical coordination, and your reaction time will become very poor. As a result, the effects are like being drunk, so driving or operating heavy machinery is unwise. It can lead to an accident and/or serious injury.

If you don’t get a decent amount of sleep over an extended period of time, several months, the mental and physical affects will also build up. Your immune system will become weaker, your muscle tone will diminish, and a host of brain functions will be impaired. Again, much like being drunk, your inhibitions will decrease, and you may find yourself doing and saying things you normally wouldn’t. People report it’s a little like having an out of body experience or walking through a dream. They see and hear themselves doing things that they’d never do for real, but it doesn’t feel like it’s them doing it.

So, it’s always wise to try to get that good night’s sleep. The good news is, if you suffer a prolonged bout of not getting the sleep you need, the affects can be corrected if you’re able to get back into a regular sleep schedule.

Related article: Lack of sleep treatment.

Natural Sleep Aids can be Hit or Miss

If you have insomnia and are thinking about using natural sleep aids, you need to know that these products can be a hit or miss. Some natural sleep aids have been shown in studies to be no better than sugar pill placebos.
Keywords: sleep aid, sleep aids, insomnia, Melatonin, Tryptophan, Herbs as Sleep Aids, remedy, sleep remedies

Natural Sleep Aids can be Hit or Miss

Another issue is that no natural sleep aids are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Thus there is not little scientific documentation of effectiveness or safe doses. Also the purity of the natural sleep aid products is not regulated and can be a problem.

Melatonin

A lot has been written about melatonin as a sleep aid. People have natural melatonin in their systems as a hormone. Increasing melatonin levels are found when people are asleep.

The natural rise in the body of melatonin levels is triggered by darkness. Studies, however, have not found melatonin supplements any more effective at treating insomnia than sugar pill placebos. Some positive study results were found for helping jet lag and night shift workers.

Tryptophan

Some people say that the tryptophan in roasted turkey is what puts everybody to sleep after Thanksgiving. Actually, there is many foods ranging from bananas to cod (which has more tryptophan than turkey).

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is used in making the chemical serotonin in your brain. You may have heard about how serotonin levels are low in people with depression. Serotonin also is the chemical used by the brain to tell the body to sleep.

Many people say that tryptophan supplements help them with sleeping problems. The results of clinical research, however, are mixed with normal patients. There is some indication that tryptophan aids sleep in people with disorders such as seasonal affective disorder or premenstrual problems.

Herbs as Sleep Aids

The herbs that are thought by some to be helpful with insomnia include chamomile, St. John’s Wort, valerian. lemon balm, kava kava, passionflower, and lavender. Many people like chamomile tea because of its gentle sedative properties and it is generally safe, except for people who have plant or pollen allergies.

One serious problem with St. John’s Wort is that it can make many prescribed medications less effective, including prescription blood thinners, birth control pills and some anticancer medications. Evidence about the usefulness of valerian is inconclusive. The problem is that valerian can cause vivid dreams, blurred vision, changes in heart rhythm, and excitability if taken in inappropriate doses.

Kava

Kavais a natural substance from the western Pacific that is marketed as being good for anxiety and stress as well as insomnia. Some studies have concluded that kava kava is more effective than a placebo for treatment of short-term anxiety.

While kava kava roots are considered safe, some supplements contain kava kava stems and leaves, which have reported bad effects on the liver. Lemon balm is considered to have a mild relaxing effect and is generally safe. However, lemon balm inhibits the absorption of thyroid drugs so should be avoided by people taking that medication.

One variety of the passionflower, known as Maypop, has long been used by Native Americans. The US colonists learned to make a tea with the herb for medicinal purposes, including insomnia. A study on the use of Maypop for anxiety found that it was as effective as a prescription drug, but with less side effects. The use of Maypop for treatment of insomnia has not been studied.

Lavender is often used for relaxation and insomnia. Sometimes people make a drink with lavender flower heads and boiling water for a bedtime drink. People with have plant allergies should avoid lavender. Pregnant women should not take lavender internally.

Hit or Miss Effectiveness

None of the natural sleep aids have been proven in studies to be generally effective. Natural sleep aids may help some but not the majority of people who take them. The effectiveness of natural sleep aids are definitely hit or miss.

Filed Under Tips |

Ideas for when you Can’t Sleep

If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, there are several steps you can take to help you get settled down. Read our article and find out more.

Sleep Help – Ideas for when you Can’t Sleep

First off, avoid any sort of stimulants. So, cut out caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. The first one is a stimulant, and should just be avoided anytime during the evening. With nicotine and alcohol, they will initially calm you down, but their long term effect is to stimulate you and wake you up.

Exercise

If exercise helps you to unwind, try doing a little bit of a light workout before bed, and then take a warm shower or bath. Science has shown that when people cool down, it helps them to fall asleep. If exercise tends to charge you up, then try things like meditation, some light stretching, listening to soft music or use aromatherapy.

Redecorate your bedroom

Often times your bedroom can be the problem. If you like darkness and quiet and your bedroom is bright and noisy, sleep with be tough. If you can’t sleep pull the shades closed, turn off the TV and/or radio, and make the room as quiet as possible.

On the other hand, if silence is downright deafening to you, then turn on some soft music or something. There are even tapes and CD’s that feature instrumental music with the sounds of nature blended together. This can help you to calm down and relax.

Buy new bed

Your bed can also cause you trouble. If your sheets are too rough, they may be uncomfortable. If your mattress is too firm or too soft it can lead to sleep trouble, as can allergies.

If they trouble you, check on the detergents you use or if you have any pets. If they cause you sleep troubles, then make sure that they stay off of your bed.

Don’t eat before bed time

If you find that your stomach is grumbling as you get ready for bed, this can keep you awake. So, have a light snack, but avoid eating a very large meal as it will leave you feeling stuffed. Also, don’t drink too much after about 8 pm. If you do, you may have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

A meal made up of fruit or foods like nuts, eggs, juice, milk (especially warm milk), tuna, and a number of others are all great at helping you to settle down to sleep. Many foods like milk contain tryptophan, which is a natural sleep hormone. It is for good reason that there’s an old wives’ tale that says a glass of warm milk before bed helps you to sleep.

Keep your naps short

Another thing to avoid is taking a nap late in the day. If you feel especially tired during the day, try to confine naps to the late morning or early afternoon, and keep the naps short – no more than fifteen to twenty minutes. Late afternoon naps can cut into your regular sleep schedule.

Avoid stress

Then there are things on your mind. These days, work can be stressful, people can be worried about finances, personal issues can prey on your conscious and subconscious mind.

If you end up lying in bed thinking about things in your life, the best thing to do is get up and do something about them. Sometimes, something as simple as writing down some notes on the issue that’s troubling you can help to get it off of your mind.

Last resort – drugs

Finally, you can use some over the counter, herbal or prescription medication to help you get to sleep. Chamomile is a natural means of inducing sleep, and makes an excellent tea. Sometimes a simple herbal remedy is enough; if not, an antihistamine can also help. For stronger medications, consult your physician.

So you have quite a few options for sleep help. Some you can quite easily take charge of yourself, others you may have to consult a medical professional on if your need for sleep help persists.

Filed Under Tips |

What is narcolepsy

People with narcolepsy experience overwhelming daytime sleepiness that can lead them to fall asleep at inappropriate times. Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder when the brain is unable to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. There is no known cause of narcolepsy.
Keywords: narcolepsy, sleep disorders, sleeping disorders, sleep, problems with sleep

Primary Symptoms of narcolepsy

Narcolepsy has four primary symptoms. There are additional symptoms that may occur.

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) is a condition of narcolepsy. There may be sleep “attacks” that occur without warning. Narcoleptic people have persistent drowsiness. They may also have “microsleeps” which are moments of sleep that intrudes into a waking state.

Cataplexy is the sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone. The episodes can be relatively minor with sagging facial muscles and/or slurring of speech. Major episodes may result in complete body collapse. For some people, cataplexy resembles an epileptic seizure. Episodes can last for a few seconds or several minutes.

Hallucinations can be a problem for narcoleptic people when they starting to doze, fall asleep and/or awaken. While the hallucinations can be very vivid and frightening, they are not in themselves dangerous.

Paralysis is another symptom of narcolepsy. When waking up, narcoleptic people may be unable to move or talk for several seconds or minutes. While not dangerous, it can be very scary to be paralyzed even for such a brief time.

The cause of narcolepsy remains unknown. It is likely that narcolepsy involves multiple factors interacting to cause neurological dysfunction and sleep disturbances.

Additional Symptoms of narcolepsy

People with narcolepsy may have difficulty sleeping at night. This is one reason that narcolepsy has often be misdiagnosed as insomnia.
For people with narcolepsy, the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep begins almost as soon they fall asleep.

REM sleep is the period of the highest brain activity. In normal people, REM sleep only occurs after a person has reached a very deep sleep when the body is immobile. Having REM sleep occur suddenly after being awake can sometimes lead to automatic behavior.

This is when the body continues to move and do things while sleep has overtaken the brain. Automatic behavior may include talking, walking, and doing other things while asleep.

Research on narcolepsy

In government recent studies, there are indications that abnormal immune system processes may be involved in the causes of narcolepsy. U.S. government research is now trying to determine if drugs that suppress immune system processes can interrupt development of narcolepsy.

There is increasing awareness that narcolepsy develops during childhood and it may contribute to behavior disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A large US government epidemiological study is seeking to find how prevalent narcolepsy is in children aged two to 14 years who have ADHD.

Narcolepsy treatment

While there’s no cure for narcolepsy, a dug called Modafinil was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1999 for the excessive daytime sleepiness.

The drug Xyrem was approved in July 2002 for treating cataplexy and in November 2005 for excessive daytime sleepiness. There are some safety concerns associated with Xyrem, so doctors are very conservative about prescribing it. Cataplexy can also be treated by two classes of antidepressants: tricyclics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (like Prozac).

None of these medications are totally effective in preventing the symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy in narcoleptic people. The medications also don’t help with hallucinations and paralysis symptoms of narcolepsy.

Most patients find that the narcolepsy get worse over 20 to 30 years after they first experience the first symptoms. If you are concerned that you may have narcolepsy, it’s very important that you see your doctor for diagnosis. Medication will help you cope with narcolepsy and function more normally.

Sleep Insomnia

Simply put, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, and it can be the result of a myriad of physical and/or mental issues.
Keywords: insomnia, inability to sleep, cannot sleep, insomnia sleep disorder, prevent insomnia

All About Sleep Insomnia

First, there are your sleeping conditions: what is your bedroom and bed like? If you need peace and quiet, and darkness, keep your bedroom like that. These days, many people eat, drink, read, watch TV, and countless other things in bed. All of them are detrimental to a good night’s sleep.

If you body gets used to other activities going on in your bed, sleep will become harder. So, reduce the activities you do in bed to sleep and sexual intercourse. Then there are the conditions within your bed: how firm is the mattress, how soft? If your body needs a soft bed, get rid of a hard mattress, and vice versa.

What to do to prevent insomnia?

Do you suffer skin or sinus allergies? Check on the detergents you use, and the type of sheets on your bed; any of them can lead to irritation that then leads to insomnia.

Insomnia is a very serious sleep disorder. Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, and it can be the result of a myriad of physical and/or mental issues.

Next, what about the events of your life. Right now, the economy is bad and people are struggling to keep their homes out of foreclosure. These kinds of mental stress can lead to insomnia. If they are the underlying cause of your sleeplessness, talking to a therapist can be one answer.

Also, a doctor can proscribe a mild sedative that will help you to calm down and clear your mind. Very often, the first step in evaluating your insomnia is a sleep study. Your doctor may determine that you have sleep apnea, which is where you stop breathing while you sleep, and this can be a contributing factor to insomnia.

If your doctor does suggest medication, there are two classes they can use: benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines. Both forms of drugs have side effects, but the former are a bit stronger and they have a greater chance of addiction. Mild side effects include things like dry mouth and fatigue.

More severe ones include extreme sleepiness; some people have reported almost falling asleep right after lunch. As they say, a full belly already makes you sleepy; these medications can only add to that. If these side effects persist, let your doctor know as soon as possible.

More steps to prevent insomnia

Then there are the things you put in your body. Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine can all lead to insomnia. Many people think that alcohol helps to relax you, and it’s true that one or two drinks are fine, but too many will actually end up pumping stimulants into your blood. As for the other two, they both have the same affect – stimulation.

Did you know, hypnotizing yourself can help cure insomnia.

So, cut down on all three; at the very least, avoid them after the middle of the afternoon. In terms of food, don’t eat a large meal close to bedtime as it will leave you feeling rather bloated; yet also don’t go to bed hungry. A rumbling stomach is a sure way to stay awake. A light meal made up of simple foods like fruit, nuts, eggs, juice and milk are best.

The issue of milk brings up a host of simple herbal sleep aids to ease the problem of insomnia. Milk contains tryptophan, which is a natural sleep aid. So, it seems the admonition from our grandparents about drinking a glass of warm milk to help you sleep is a good one. If you like tea, try drinking some chamomile.

Depending on how severe your insomnia is, you can try valerian. While it’s great for aiding in getting to sleep and improving the quality of your sleep, it takes about a month to become effective. So, you take small doses every day, and it will gradually improve the quality of your sleep.

Lack of Sleep Treatment

If you have trouble sleeping, you can choose from a host of treatments to help you. Some people prefer going with natural treatments, and there are plenty available. First off, something as simple as a glass of warm milk or a warm bath can help to relax and calm you down. Also, something like meditation, listening to soft music, and even aromatherapy can do the trick. If exercise helps to get your tired, a light workout can help as well.
Keywords: lack of sleep, treatment, sleep deprivation treatment, sleep guide, sleep

Lack of Sleep Treatment Options

Then there are things to avoid. Don’t drink soda or coffee, or other things containing caffeine after dinner. Avoid alcohol or smoking, both can pump stimulants into your bloodstream. If exercise gets you charged up, don’t do it; instead, try a bit of light stretching. Also, use your bed for what’s it is intended – sleep.

Well, and one other thing, but we won’t get into that here. The point is, don’t eating, read, watch TV or listen to loud music in bed. You want your mind and body to associate bed with its primary (and secondary) uses. If the sound of silence is detrimental to sleep, try some soothing music.

If those don’t help you to sleep, there are some natural herbal aids to try. Melatonin is one of the best options, it’s a hormone that helps to regulate the body’s sleep cycle, the circadian rhythm. If you just take a small amount every day, it’ll help you sleep. Also, chamomile tea has been used for centuries. If you’re looking for something long term, valerian is very good.

By taking a small dose of it every day for a month, it’ll solely build up in your system. Not only does it help you fall asleep faster, it also improves the overall quality of your sleep. You can also use Kava Kava, but it’s said to have side effects that impact the liver. So, before trying it, check with your doctor. As an herbal treatment, it’s great for reducing your stress levels.

If the herbal treatments don’t work or appeal to you, there are some over the counter (OTC) medication you can try. The sleep medications diphenhydramine and doxylamine are both good. Their main active ingredient is an antihistamine.

The medication prevents the body from releasing histamine; it’s a chemical in the brain that keeps you awake. In addition, a lot of these OTC drugs have a painkiller as another active ingredient. While these drugs are helpful, you have to be careful; they are not intended to be used on a regular basis.

When to see a doctor?

So, if your sleep trouble continues for over a week, then you should see your doctor. Their first step will be to order a sleep study and a full psychological workup. These days, stress is a real issue. So, if you go to the doctor complaining of jaw pains, it could just be that you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep – a sure sign of stress.

Anything from work, personal problems, financial troubles and so on can lead to trouble sleeping. In the case of a psychological issue being the underlying cause, your doctor may recommend talking to a therapist or taking a mild sedative. If actual sleep medication is needed, your doctor can draw from the benzodiazepines and the non-benzodiazepines. Each type has its own pluses and minuses.

With the latter, their side effects are less, and there’s less of a risk of you becoming addicted to them. Typical side effects include dry mouth, bouts of fatigue, and trouble concentrating. There are reports of people almost falling asleep at their work. If these side effects continue, go back to your doctor and review the dosage. Sometimes just reducing it can be enough.

So, it’s clear that you can take your pick from a myriad of sleep treatments. Finding the right one may take some time, but it’s well worth the effort – a good night’s sleep is your reward.