Medical Disclaimer: No claims are made for cures of any type within the following blog post. Check with your physician before following any regimen for insomnia or any other medical issues you may be facing.
Everyone has a night or two of having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. However, when it becomes a persistent case of insomnia, it can impact your quality of life, as it takes a toll on your mood, energy, and ability to get through your day. Adequate sleep is a primary part of a healthy lifestyle, and chronic insufficient sleep can lead to compromised health. That’s exactly why it’s important to look into cures for insomnia before the condition goes on too long.
Just as our hair will likely turn grey and wrinkles will probably adorn our faces, as we age many of us can expect to encounter sleep changes.
These sleep and aging changes can result in waking up throughout the night, becoming sleepy earlier, and awakening earlier than we used to.
Sleep and Aging Statistics
As many as 50 percent of seniors experience some sort of sleep disturbance as they embark on their golden years. And according to the National Institute of Aging, a good number of seniors are not getting enough sleep. One of the reasons that many seniors are sleep deprived is in their trouble in falling asleep. More than a third of women and 13 percent of men reported taking more than an half an hour (30 minutes) to fall asleep (sleep latency), according to a study the institute cited.
Read More // TAGS: aging, elderly, exercise, melatonin, seniors, sleep, sleep diary, sleep disorders, sleep disturbances, sleep problems, sleep schedule
Insomnia can be a real dream killer, and it’s a problem that plagues far more people than you realize. According to the National Institute of Health: “A general consensus has developed from population-based studies that approximately 30% of a variety of adult samples drawn from different countries report one or more of the symptoms of insomnia: difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, waking up too early, and in some cases, nonrestorative or poor quality of sleep.”
What this means is that insomnia is a condition that crosses all borders of race, religion, location, health, and wealth. It impacts people across the board and around the world.
Most people are surprised to learn night terrors — or often called sleep terrors — impact a surprising number of adults. While the condition is most commonly associated with children between the ages of three and twelve, it is also known to affect adults. The exact causes of night terrors are relatively unknown, though adults that experience them often find that there is a genetic predisposition to do so. Sometimes they are attributed to post traumatic stress — especially when night terrors impact soldiers coming home from war and victims of violence. According to the Mayo Clinic, most night terrors in children will cease by the time the child is in his or her adolescence.
Has your child ever had an episode during sleep that included intense crying, kicking, thrashing, sweating, breathing quickly, rapidly beating heart rate, screaming loudly, getting out of bed and running throughout the house, being difficult to waken, or experiencing a profound fear? If so, your child probably had a night terror, also referred to as a sleep terror.
Who Experiences Night Terrors?
Up to 6 percent of children have a night terror at one time or another, according to WebMD. Children between the ages of three to 12 years are the most likely to get them. Although night terrors in adults are also an undesired sleep disorder, they occur in a far less percentage in adults than children. Fortunately, most children outgrow their night terrors by the time they reach their teens. If you’re a parent of a child who has night terrors, you should know that in most cases, night terrors in children aren’t a cause for a concern, albeit scary to witness.
Everyone needs a good night’s sleep each and every night. Unfortunately, for a large segment of the population that is a rare commodity. While there are some who would argue that the time spent sleeping is time you cannot enjoy some of the more entertaining aspects of life, sleep actually improves the quality of your life and may even help improve your life expectancy. If you’re having trouble sleeping, keeping a sleep diary can help you manage your sleep a little better now and in the future.
Benefits of Adequate Sleep
There are many benefits that you get from a proper amount of sleep that most people don’t really understand until after they’ve gone through a fairly significant period of sleep deprivation at least once. As you age, the side effects of a sleepless night become much more pronounced and harder to overcome. These benefits include: improved mood and temperament, a brain that’s more receptive to learning, improved immunity, better alertness, increased balance, and more energy.
The average person feels a little jagged around the edges as a result of a sleepless night or even a night when the quality of sleep was less than optimal. However, a recent study conducted by the Neuroimaging Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley has revealed that “people who are highly anxious may actually be more vulnerable” to serious anxiety issues in the aftermath of a sleepless night.
The University of California, Berkeley study scanned the brains of 18 adults (who were all in good health) on two different occasions. One was after an ordinary night’s worth of sleep and the other after a night where they were deprived of sleep. During each session, subjects were exposed to a period of prolonged anticipation of a potentially negative experience. Those who experienced sleep deprivation the night before had reactions that were significantly stronger than those who had enjoyed a more restful sleep on the previous evening. In some cases, primarily for those predisposed to anxiety, the reaction was amplified by as much as 60 percent.
Which Comes First, Anxiety or Sleep Issues?
Once upon a time it was well understood that chronic anxiety can do a real number on your ability to sleep. For a long time, it was believed that sleep problems were simply side effects of anxiety disorder. However, new research indicates that sleep deprivation can actually be the cause of an anxiety disorder. Research also indicates that patients suffering from almost any psychiatric disorder also suffer from some form of sleep disorder. People who suffer from chronic insomnia are at a much greater risk of developing some type of anxiety disorder.
For one Pittsburgh surburbia teen, Sleeping Beauty isn’t just Walt Disney movie or fairy tale book. For Nicole Delien, Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS), sometimes referred to as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, is more like a nightmare of wondering when the next sleep episode is going to strike and worrying about how much of her life she’ll miss out on the next time it does.
According to a recent interview on CBS, Nicole’s longest sleeping episode lasted from Thanksgiving into January, 64 days to be exact. The only time she would waken during these sleep cycles was in a sort of sleep-like state to eat and then she would return to sleep.
What is Sleeping Beauty Syndrome?
KLS is an extremely rare neurological condition that only affects about 1,000 people around the world according to this Huffington Post article. It’s a severe form of primary hypersomnia that happens to be an extremely difficult condition for physicians to diagnose. Part of the difficulty is that it is such a rare condition. For Nicole, the diagnosis took nearly 25 months to complete. Before the final diagnosis was made, doctors considered everything from a severe virus to epilepsy, and even questioned whether or not she was simply faking an illness in order to gain attention.
Those big puppy dog eyes are begging for a snuggle. It’s almost impossible to say no to your cozy little dog, all curled up next to you under the covers—almost as hard as it is to say no to your 5-year-old who’s scared in the middle of the night. And very few of us can deny a spouse who has just as much of a right to the master bed as you do. But sleeping companions can dramatically reduce the quality of your sleep in myriad ways. Each time they move, you’re disturbed. Every snuffle or snore, chortle or blanket snatch interrupts your precious sleep. If you happen to be a light sleeper or suffer from any form of insomnia, those disruptions can rob you of hours of sleep every night as you lay there staring at the ceiling, worrying about bills or work. Long-term, that can have serious implications for your health. So what do you do? How do you reclaim your bedroom sanctuary? Here are some ideas.
While some sleeping disorders can seem funny, some of the most humorous ones can also be the most serious. One of the most serious sleeping disorders is narcolepsy. Nearly half of Americans suffer from narcolepsy, a number that may in fact shock you. There are all different levels of narcolepsy, and while it may seem odd and intriguing that a person can fall asleep out of nowhere, the truth is, narcolepsy is no laughing matter. It doesn’t matter if you’re at your desk or on your talalay mattress, narcolepsy can strike at any time. Let’s learn how to prevent sleeping during the daytime, so that you’re only sleeping on your mattress at home tonight!