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The Treatment Of Sleep Disorders in 2024

As you know sleep is one of the most essential things to live a healthy and quality life. But for some people, it is very challenging to get a good shut-eye. It is not that easy for them like laying on the bed and falling asleep. Getting poor sleep is normal if it is occasional. Because every day you go through so many things which may affect your sleep. If you have occasional sleep disturbances, you can not say that you have a sleep disorder. However regular sleep disturbances may lead to sleep disorders.

Sleep disorders are a group of conditions or factors that affect your ability to sleep well regularly. These disorders are of various types. All of them have different symptoms and causes. in this article, you will get to know about different sleep disorders and medications to treat them.

What are the different types of sleep disorders?

Insomnia: It is one of the most common sleep disorders. Every third person around us is suffering from insomnia.  It impairs your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Older adults and women are more prone to this disorder. There are several reasons which may cause insomnia and the most common reason is stress or anxiety. If insomnia lasts long, it can create huge problems for your overall health. Insomnia is of three types – acute insomnia, intermittent insomnia, and chronic insomnia.

Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which you experience abnormal breathing patterns while sleeping. It is a serious issue where your body doesn’t get sufficient oxygen while sleeping. You may wake up from sleep if you skip breathing for long. This can happen more than once a night and if continues to happen it badly affects your sleep quality. The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea is of two types – obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that disturbs your sleep-wake cycle. It impairs your brain’s ability to maintain the sleep-wake cycle resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness. Due to excessive drowsiness and sleepiness, you find it very difficult to perform your daily activities. Moreover, it affects your performance at school, college, or workplace. Increased drowsiness increases the risks of injuries and accidents.

Effects of sleep disorders on your health

Sleep is an essential psychological process to help your body and mind function properly. Lack of sleep or poor sleep affects your health in every possible way whether it is physical, mental, or emotional. Here, we will discuss the harmful effects of poor sleep on your overall health.

Central Nervous System: Poor sleep interferes with the working efficiency of the CNS. It impairs your memory, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Along with that, it also affects your creativity and causes difficulty in concentrating. Some recent studies show that poor sleep leads to sadness, mental fatigue, and increased anger issues. If these issues last long, your mental health gets affected very much leading to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Cardiovascular System: After CNS, poor sleep has severe effects on your heart health. It increases the blood pressure leading to the increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Because poor sleep affects your blood circulation which increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

Immunity: Poor sleep has very harmful effects on your immunity and ability to fight any infection. You become more prone to infections and getting sick. Because your body produces fewer antibodies and T-lymphocytes.

Libido: One of the most observed effects of poor sleep is that it reduces your sex drive. This is so because persistent lack of sleep affects your mood and vigor.

Lack of sleep increases the risk of accidents which may result in severe injuries. Some recent studies have shown that if you are getting less than 6 hours of sleep, you are more prone to accidents. Poor sleep induces drowsiness which makes you less alert and you may have an accident. So, you should avoid driving if you haven’t slept well. Moreover, the risk of weight gain, obesity, and diabetes also increases if you don’t get quality sleep.

Medications to treat sleep disorders in 2024

You know poor sleep has very negative impacts on your body and mind. It leads to several health issues and affects the quality of life. So, it is important to improve your sleep cycle and treat sleep disorders. Along with lifestyle changes, feeding habits, and relaxation techniques, medications are also used to treat these disorders. Sleep medications are very effective in treating sleep issues. They start showing their effects within 15-60 minutes of administration. Below are some medications that your doctor may prescribe depending on your sleep issue:

Benzodiazepines: Although these medications are primarily used to treat anxiety or panic disorders. But benzodiazepines work great for insomnia and sleep apnea as well. These medications slow down brain activity and make you less alert. They induce sedation and drowsiness and make you fall asleep. Moreover, they also increase the activity of GABA neurotransmitters in the brain. GABA is known for its calming effect on the brain. It calms your nerves, reduces anxiety, and helps in falling asleep. The most commonly used benzodiazepines for sleep issues are:

·         Xanax

·         Diazepam

·         Lorazepam

·         Clonazepam

Z-drugs: These medicines do not belong to the benzodiazepine class. However, these medicines are more effective than benzodiazepines for sleep-related issues. The action mechanism of z-drugs is similar to benzodiazepines. They also slow down brain activity and help you fall asleep. These medicines improve both the quantity and quality of sleep. These medicines are also known as sedative hypnotics which induce sedation and make you sleepy. Zopiclone and zolpidem sleeping pills are the two most commonly used Z-drugs to treat sleep disorders.

Besides these medicines, Modafinil is also a good medicine to treat narcolepsy and sleep apnea. Modafinil is known as a smart and safe drug and it works great for both these disorders. 

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