Do you face problems in falling asleep or staying asleep? Do you fall asleep often in the daytime such as in the office or while driving? If yes then you probably have a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders can be defined as any difficulty related to sleeping such as difficulty in falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at wrong times (while driving, in the office), significant increase in total sleep time, or any other abnormal behaviours associated with sleep (sleep walking, sleep talking and vivid dreams). There are several different kinds of disorders of sleeping and waking (more than 100) and they can be categorised in four main types:
- Insomnia: Difficulty with falling and staying asleep.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness: Problems with staying awake in the daytime.
- Sleep rhythm problem: Difficulty in sticking to a regular sleep schedule.
- Sleep-disruptive behaviours: Unusual behaviours while sleeping (like sleep-walking, sleep talking).
If you have problems with sleep, consult your physician and/or a sleep specialist because ignoring sleep disorders can result in poor health and mood, can negatively impact motivation, relationships, and job performance and cause lethargy. Sleep specialists can help to determine the origin, cause and severity of a sleep problem, and recommend treatment to help you sleep better. Sleep experts do not agree to the custom of using over-the-counter (OTC) remedies or alcohol as these can cause significant side effects and worsen sleep problems.
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