Getting a good night's sleep is vital to one's overall health and well-being. Missing one or two nights because you have to beat a deadline is understandable. But frequently falling asleep during the day when you're at work, or feeling exhausted even after sleeping your full eight hours might be indicative of a sleeping problem. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself, you should immediately seek diagnosis and treatment for your sleeping problem. Here, we explore some of the best treatment options for sleeping disorders.
- Sleep apnea. People with this sleeping disorder "stop" breathing when they sleep, causing them to choke, gasp, or snore loudly during sleep. This leads to sudden awakenings during the night in order to restart breathing, which leaves them sleepy and tired during the day. The best and most recommended treatment for moderate to severe cases of this sleeping problem is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). This treatment requires the patient to wear a mask-like device that provides pressurize air during sleep. This will ensure that the patient will have a constant supply of air and prevent the airways from collapsing. However, for those who find CPAP uncomfortable, there are always dental appliances that they can use to make sure they don't stop breathing when asleep. These include a Mandibular Repositioning Device and the Tongue Retaining Device. For those who don't want to wear any devices, surgery to resize their airway might be the best way to go. However, this should be the last treatment option that a person with sleep apnea should consider.
- Insomnia. Inability to sleep when you're supposed to is called insomnia. Most people suffer from insomnia at least once during their lifetime. The best treatment for this sleeping disorder involves behavioral and lifestyle changes. The trick to getting rid of your sleeplessness, as research has shown, is to relax and unburden yourself of the day's stresses. You can do this through guided relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation, abdominal breathing, visual imagery, and meditation once you're already tuck in bed. However, people with severe cases of insomnia are advised to take herbal supplements that have been known to facilitate sleep such as chamomile, lemon balm, and passionflower. Doctors sometimes prescribe melatonin supplements, although their efficacy is still to be proven. Other alternative insomnia cures are bright light therapy, acupuncture, and aromatherapy.
- Sleep terror disorder. Waking up from a nightmare now and again is nothing to be afraid of. But if you frequently wake up in the middle of the night, sweaty and afraid to sleep again, you better go to your doctor and request a test for a sleep terror disorder. Pavor nocturnus, as this disorder is sometimes called, is best cured with medication. Diazepam, or Valium as it is fondly called, is often useful in the prevention of sleep disorders, along with other hypnotics. For adults, psychotherapy is recommended as a complementary treatment to medication.
These are just some sleeping disorders and their treatments. Find one that works for you and your particular disorder, and start getting better sleep.