Insomnia is the most well known problem , but others like obstructive sleep apnoea (osa) and narocolepsy , which too can be life threatening are coming to light , thanks to a new breed of clinicians who practice sleep medicine . The good news is that most sleep disorders are entirely treatable . The bad news ; most od us , including doctors are unaware such problems even exist
It is chilling to think of the impact of sleep deprivation on people in whose hands we routinely place our lives –pilots , doctors , air traffic controllers , drivers or police men , in fact industrial catastrophes like Bhopal and Chernoby .
Sleep disorders also hurt their victims personally and professionally –divorce and sacking are not uncommon consequences , worse still in aggregate they cost dearly .
How to get a good night’s sleep :
- try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning
- try to avoid caffeine , nicotine , and alcohol close to bed time .
- do regular exercise , try not to exercise close to bed time
- don’t eat a big meal in the evening , although a light snack before bed time may help you sleep
- make your sleeping place comfortable , be sure it is dark , quiet and not too cold or too warm
- create a routine to help you relax and wind down before sleep , such as reading a book or taking a bath
- if you can’t fall asleep and don’t feel sleepy , get up and do some thing else until you feel sleepy
- keep the clock face turned away , do not keep looking at it
- an occasional sleeping pill is not too harmful
- do not keep working right up to the time you switch off the light , unwind
- watching television before sleep is a bad habit , flickering lights wake us up even more , soft music is better .
- avoid naps , day time naps can disturb sleep at night
- try gentle stretching , yoga , meditation , warm milk , or herbal tea
- if you find you still have a sleep problem , remember not to go to a psychiatrist , see a sleep specialist
- have difficulty falling asleep
- tough race through my mind and prevent me from getting to sleep .
- anticipate a problem with sleep several times a week
- often wake up and have trouble going back to sleep
- worry about things and have trouble relaxing
- wake up earlier in the morning than I would like to
- lie awake for half an hour or more before fall asleep
- often feel sad or depressed because can’t sleep
Sleep apnoea :
- have been told that I snore loudly
- have been told that I hold my breath while sleep
- often wake up gasping for breath
- get morning head aches
- over weight
- often feel sleepy and struggle to remain alert during the day
- frequently wake up with a dry mouth
- wish had more energy
- friends and family say that often grumpy and irritable
- have high blood pressure
more and more of us are getting less and less of the approximately 8 hours of sleep that most experts say humans need for a normal life . Dr. Ajit Vigg of the Hyderabad based institute of sleep medicine , estimates that urban Indians now sleep under 6 hours a day because of changed life styles . Collectively we are running up a “ sleep debt “ that we can never hope to bridge .
people with such debts would end up at psychiatrists clinics or were simply dismissed as lazy rip van winkles , never realizing they had largely treatable disorders , take snoring , an affliction so common that it is entirely unremarkable .
yet “snoring is sound sleep “is worse than just a bad pun , most heavy snores get very little good sleep .
Deconstructing Sleep :
The 24/7 work shop ; the brain co-ordinates the release of sleep inducing chemicals in response to daylight , to keep the body on a steady cycle of sleep and wakefulness
Pituitary gland : the gland releases growth hormone during sleep , which stimulates protein production , it also helps repair tissue damage .
The Pons : this structure at the base of the brain is active during rapid eya movement (REM) , it signals nerves in the spine to immobilise the body and starts REM
Eye ; the retina senses changes in light between day and night , it relays this information to the hypothalamus through the optic nerve .
Master Clock : the eyes signal the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) , a part of the hypothalamus through to control falling asleep and waking up .
Pineal Gland : the gland releases melatonin , a hormone that triggers , drowsiness and sleep and is regulated by the SCN .
Five stages of sleep : electrical activity in the brain recorded during sleep .
1.light sleep : muscles relax , body temperature drops , you drift in and out of wakefulness , fragmented images may appear .
2.trensition : heart rate , breathing and waves of electrical activity in the brain slow down .
3.deep sleep :large , slow waves in the brain , the body becomes harder to awaken as it ,closes itself off to stimuli in the fourth stage the waves are similar , but slower
4.REM : ( rapid eye movement) ; eyes flutter , but the body is paralysed , heart beat and blood pressure rise along with brain activity , dreams appear at this stage , the color of your collar does not matter when it comes to sharing the debt burden of sleep , one –third of the adult population regularly fails to get a good nights sleep . this gels with more detailed studies in the US , which show that nearly 40 % of the teen and adult population suffers from some form of insomnia or the other .
sleepless is a common and serious primary disorder , if you are obese , snore loudly , gasp for breath during sleep , are forgetful , drink a lot of alcohol or have morning head aches , you may be at risk . Typically , the throat closes in and obstructs breathing during sleep , several factors can contribute , fatty tissue in the throat area , enlarged tonsils and adenoids , hypothyroid trouble , an unusually long uvula (the fleshy lobe at the back of your mouth ) or a large tongue leads to high blood pressure , heart disease and strokes and is a typical higher income life style affliction
the pulse rate fluctuates the heart beat is affected and the body is under great stress , there is a possibility of stroke , still in most cases the brain ( to which oxygen supply is affected ) alerts the body to start breathing – and the person starts snoring again .
people with insomnia have trouble falling asleep and lie awake worrying about not being able to sleep .when they do damage to doze off , they wake up often at night and have trouble going back to sleep . Some times they wake up too early in the morning , during the day they feel perpetually sleepy and tired and struggle to concentrate .
insomnia is a secondary sleep disorder caused by stress acidity , aches and discomfort from chronic insomnia , though even the young are at risk , its incidence
tends to increase with age and affects about 40 % of women and 30 % of men . Any disturbance in the mind results in sleep disturbance . 90 % of psychiatric disorders result in insomnia , is actually insomnia is a symptom , the real problem are anxiety , depression , schizophrenia or mania . Among the middle aged , insomnia is mostly related to familial , marital and sexual problems . Narcolepsy or excessive sleepiness is a chronic sleep disorder with no known cause , though some studies suggested that it may be inherited . If affects the body’s central nervous system , causing messages about when to sleep and when to be awake to get mixed up . Victims fall asleep when they do not want to . The desire to sleep can be over-whelming and some times attacks with no warning at all , it can happen several times a day , doctors estimate that as much as one-third of India’s adult population is at risk from faulty judgement and poor concentration at work , at home and behind the wheel and all because they don’t sleep properly .
Symptoms and Homoeopathic Medicines :
If you are finding it difficult to sleep during the menopause , “coffea cruda “ is a non addictive homoeopathic medicine that can be help full
Inability to fall asleep because of over excitement during the evening . Sleeplessness occur because of fear ———— Aconitum
Insomnia caused by worry about an event the , next day such as an examination or interview —————————Argentum Nitricum
An inability to fall asleep ,or wakes up about 2 am . Feels very restless and has to get up and walk around the room – Arsenicum album
The problem of the day seems to go around and around in head . Exciting thoughts of recent event causes wakefulness . Great sensitivity to noise — Coffea cruda
Sleeplessness associated with an unhappy or distressing event —Ignatia
Wakes at about 4 am and can not get back to sleep due to an overactive mind –Lyco podium
Mental over activity with the mind going over the day’s work again and again anger at this inability to fall asleep —-Nux vomica
Light sleepers are easily disturbed by the slightest noise —-Sulphur
Body feels itchy and there may be jerking movements of the limbs when attempting to fall asleep , unpleasant dreams often occur —-Valeriana
Relax the body especially over tired —–Arnica