Suffering From a Sleep Disorder?
Restful sleep allows your body to heal and your brain to process information and make connections.
Without it, your physical and mental health will suffer. However, a proper diagnosis is the first step towards better sleep.
If you feel like you're not sleeping right, read on and find out: Are you suffering from a sleep disorder?
There's more to narcolepsy than falling asleep at random. This sleeping disorder comes with a range of symptoms that can lead to additional injury and distress. They may include:
- Loss of muscle control.
- Muscle weakness.
- Sudden sleep
Since narcolepsy can make it difficult to stay awake and alert during the day, doctors often prescribe stimulants like modafinil (Provigil).
Modafinil keeps you awake without giving you highs and lows, and side effects are minimal in the cases where they exist at all.
Narcolepsy is nothing to be embarrassed about, so try to be open with your friends, family, and coworkers.
Follow a set sleep schedule every day—accounting for naps as well—and exercise routinely. Try to avoid alcohol and nicotine as these can disrupt your schedule.
Seeking treatment for sleep apnea can be tricky because many people don't even realize they have it. Talk to your doctor about sleep apnea if you experience these symptoms:
- Daytime fatigue.
- Loud, excessive snoring.
- Waking up gasping.
- Dry mouth.
Although medication is not usually the primary treatment for sleep apnea, the right prescription can help manage the symptoms.
Modafinil is used to address daytime sleepiness, while benzodiazepines like lorazepam (Ativan) and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics like zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) help with falling asleep and staying asleep at night.
Many people who suffer from sleep apnea use positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy or other oral appliances for treatment. Sleeping in a position that opens up your airway can also be helpful.
Shift Work Sleep Disorder
An irregular work schedule can take a toll on your mind and body. If you overwork yourself or take on too many rotating shifts, you could find yourself with shift work sleep disorder. These are some of the symptoms:
- Lack of energy.
- Unrefreshing sleep.
- Fatigue or alertness at inappropriate times.
- Difficulty concentrating.
Stimulants like modafinil come in handy once again when it comes to treating shift work sleep disorder. Your doctor may also prescribe sleep aids to help you get more productive sleep during your hours off.
In addition to taking your medication, try to control your light exposure. Try to avoid the light before going to bed, and create an environment appropriate for sleeping.
If you spend your nights lying awake worrying about the future or simply staring at the ceiling, you might have insomnia. Those with insomnia suffer from symptoms like:
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Tiredness during the day.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Worry about sleep.
The obvious problem with insomnia is not being able to sleep, which is where prescription sleep aids come in.
Medications like eszopiclone (Lunesta) and zaleplon (Sonata) help you fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. If this treatment method isn't effective and you still feel daytime grogginess, your doctor might prescribe a stimulant like modafinil to keep you alert during the day.
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