So many of us make New Year’s resolutions in January. We are intent on getting healthier, happier, and better organized, and choose many other self-improvement goals, so we build our own “plan of action”.
Not to be outdone at the beginning of this New Year, Circadiance, as a company that works in the sleep business, has also made a new and serious resolution. That is to learn about and share as much information as we can regarding the importance of sleep during this year. We are invested in sharing what we learn about sleep and our catalyst has come from the efforts and wonderful research of the World Sleep Society. This amazing group is an advocate for the importance of sleep and, this year, their focus is: sleep is essential for health.
Sleep (sound sleep) is one of the three pillars of good health. It is as important as a balanced diet and regular exercise. Humans spend 1/3 of their lives sleeping. Yet studies show that 35% of people do not feel like they get enough sleep. Lack of sleep impacts that person’s physical and mental health. For the employers, friends, and family that surround this person, the negative effects from this lack of sleep often result in moodiness, irritability, injured relationships, and impact productivity. A severe lack of sound sleep also places an additional burden on society due to increased traffic accidents and workplace accidents. It is estimated that 1,550 people die and 71,000 people are injured each year from sleep-related accidents.
Research has identified over 80 different types of sleep disorders so far. The most common sleep disorders include (but are not limited to):
- Insomnia: Unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. The most common sleep disorder.
- Sleep Apnea: A breathing disorder in which you stop breathing for 10 seconds or more.
- Restless Leg Syndrome: A prickly sensation in your legs and a powerful urge to move the legs.
- Narcolepsy: Extreme daytime sleepiness.
- Hypersomnia: Being unable to stay awake during the day.
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders: Problems with the sleep/wake cycle.
- Parasomnia: Acting in unusual ways while falling asleep or waking from sleep.
If you don’t sleep well or get enough sleep, there’s a good chance you suffer from one of these sleep disorders. To make a diagnosis, your healthcare provider will use your medical history, family history, a sleep study (polysomnogram), your sleep history, and a physical exam. Other conditions that can cause sleep disorders may also include heart disease, lung disease, nerve disorders, pain, mental illness, medicines, and genetics.
Once diagnosed, some of the treatments for sleep disorders include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Relaxation techniques
- Lifestyle changes
- CPAP Therapy
- Light Therapy (in the mornings)
While this short blog is just the tip of the iceberg as an introduction to sleep disorders, we intend to continue to share the newest topics on sleep and publish these regularly throughout the year. We are excited to continue to learn more about sleep and to share with you what we learn in our quest to improve health and quality of life!