Sleep is a natural process to our weary bodies after the end of a long tiring day. As we close our eyes ready for a goodnight’s sleep, we trigger a 3-phase sleep cycle, the final phase of this cycle is scientifically known as Rapid Eye Moment(REM).
During REM, we rejuvenate and commence healing to all the wounded areas in our body. But what happens when our bodies experience an interference with REM sleep and can no longer trigger the curative process?
We began to develop various sleep disorders.
The following 10 sleep disorders are some of the most alarming sleep conditions known to humans.
#1. Night Terrors
While this sleep disorder commonly occurs in children, adults can experience their fair share of night terrors. An individual experiencing night terror is unusually woken up in the middle of the night with feelings of panic and fear. A night terror should not be confused with a reaction from that of a nightmare.
A night terror is prone to occur two to three hours after sleep. In the event of an individual experiencing night terror, it’s best not to wake them up. Awakening them would only cause them to be disoriented.
A sleep disorder that causes an individual to get up and move around their room while still sleeping. Sleepwalking is often caused by extreme stress and can be genetically passed on. Sleepwalkers have no recollection or any memory of where they have been and quite often, many sleepwalkers don’t even know suffer from this condition.
Sleepwalking is an extremely dangerous sleep illness; it can cause the wanderer to severely hurt themselves by falling down a flight of stairs or by touching an electrical outlet.
An individual suffering from narcolepsy is under severe risk of endangering themselves. Narcolepsy is categorized as a sleep disorder that incapacitates the sleeper’s ability to recognize sleep-wake cycles. The sufferer involuntarily falls asleep at any point in time; creating a dangerous scenario such as falling asleep while driving a car.
Narcoleptics are prone to also experiencing hallucinations and extreme paralysis during an attack. Narcoleptics skip the 3-phase sleep cycle and enter a quick REM sleep and upon waking, have no recollection of any events that took place.
#4. Sleep Paralysis
A frightening sleep disorder that occurs in most individuals at some point in their life. Sleep paralysis is most often experienced when your body is experiencing REM sleep. During REM, your brain activity may suddenly spike up and your body experiences a state of paralysis where your muscles are shut down and are non-responsive.
During the attack, it’s common to experience heightened emotions of fear and panic as your mind is still coming to terms from being abruptly awoken. Sleep paralysis is psychologically disturbing and most people have a hard time coming to terms with the experience.
Snoring is classified as one of the most common sleep disorders around the world. It affects about 45% of adults and is often a recurring condition. Snoring occurs when the muscles in your throat start to relax, this causes the walls around to vibrate as you inhale causing the characteristic sound.
Men are more prone to snoring than women since the space behind the tongue is larger in men. Snoring has serious repercussions if left unnoticed, notably, sufferers are at risk of heart attacks and daytime fatigue due to poor sleep. So don’t ignore it and get a cure for snoring.
#6. Restless Legs Syndrome
If you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs during sleep coupled with flare-ups, you may be suffering from a sleep condition called restless legs syndrome. Sufferers from this disorder generally feel a strange and unpleasant need to get out of bed.
Restless legs syndrome is generally caused when an individual consumes too much caffeine, alcohol and other sleep preventing stimulants.
An extremely bothersome sleep disorder caused when an individual loses the ability to fall asleep. Insomnia generally break out into more serious situations if left undiagnosed. Complications such as hallucinations, stroke, and heart diseases are at a greater risk of developing as days pass.
Insomnia is caused by various traumatic events or by poor lifestyle choices such as alcohol abuse, chain smoking, not keeping a strict sleep schedule, etc. Chronic insomnia may begin to manifest in long-term insomniacs and is likely to trigger depression, panic attacks, and suicidal tendencies.
#8. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Irregular heart rate, minimal oxygen to the brain, and in severe cases – death. These are all the symptoms associated with obstructed sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes random pauses to occur while breathing during sleep.
Sleep apnea can be caused by other underlying sleep conditions like snoring or could be caused due to being severely overweight as well as stressful situations. Consult a sleep specialist immediately if the condition begins to intensify.
#9. REM Behavior Disorder
When a sufferer enacts the actions of their dream in actual being, they are said to be suffering from REM behavior disorder. This disorder is caused when the brain stops sending signals to the body to stay still during sleep. When this occurs, the body starts to perform various motions such as violent kicks, unconditional shaking, turn vigorously from side to side, etc.
The sleep disorder is generally prevalent in senior individuals and can be an underlying symptom of a degenerative neurological disease called Parkinson’s.
#10. Exploding Head Syndrome
A rare yet extremely terrifying sleep disorder. Exploding head syndrome is characterized by experiencing auditory hallucinations by the sufferer. These auditory hallucinations are notably heard as doors slamming shut, gunshots, cymbals clashing, etc. In extremely severe cases, visual hallucinations are also reported by the sufferer.
Exploding head syndrome is not affected by headaches or direct pain; it’s caused by the sufferers being awoken to violent sounds through auditory hallucinations. Strong emotions of panic and anxiety result after an attack.
If you have been experiencing any of the following conditions, it’s advised to visit a sleep therapy lab near your local vicinity immediately.