Sleep Issues

What Are Sleep Issues

Sleep issues are any condition, medical or psychological, that prevents a person from getting a restful and complete night's sleep. This includes, insomnia, sleep walking, nightmares, and sleep apnea.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Issues?

The symptoms vary from condition to condition.

  • Insomnia - inability to fall or stay asleep
  • Sleep walking - rising out of bed while still asleep and sometimes go through normal daily activities
  • Nightmares - while everyone may have nightmares occasionally, if they wake a person every night, they may be keeping them from getting a full night of restful sleep
  • Sleep apnea - this causes a person to stop breathing while in deep sleep. They must then rouse themselves to resume breathing. This prevents healthy REM sleep.

What Are the Causes of Sleep Issues?

Often stress or emotional turmoil contribute to the onset of sleep issues but sometimes the causes are unknown. In the case of sleep apnea, the cessation of breathing is caused by the relaxation of the palate which blocks the airway. The cause of this is not entirely known but genetics seems to play a part.

Can Any Complications Arise if Left Untreated?

Long term sleep deprivation can have many negative side effects. These include:

  • Irritability
  • Problems with concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Mental instability

What Medications Treat Sleep Issues?

Sleep apnea is most often treated with a device, known as a CPAP Machine, that gently forces air into the mouth to prevent the palate from collapsing. There have been recent successes with newer treatments that electrically stimulate the breathing passages to keep them open.

There are two classes of medications regularly used to treat sleep issues; anti-anxiety drugs (Ativan, Librium, Xanax and Valium) and sleep aids (Temazepam, Triazolam, Zaleplon, and Zolpidem)


Common medications may include

Antianxiety Agent - Benzodiazepines
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Anticonvulsant - GABA Analogs