Irving Primary Care

Let\’s Talk About Sleep

Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day is necessary for optimum physical and mental performance. However, 50 percent of people over the age of 65 will suffer from a certain type of sleep disorder that prevents them from getting an adequate amount of rest. In this article, we are going to discuss the types and causes of sleep disorders and how they can be treated.

The Types of Sleep Disorders

There are various types of sleep disorders. These include:

  • Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia
  • Parasomnias
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
  • Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
  • Non-24-Hour Sleep-wake Disorder
  • Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
  • Shift Work Sleep Disorder
  • Narcolepsy

Insomnia is the most common type of sleep disorder. You can suffer from short-term or long-term insomnia. Acute or short-term insomnia is usually due to stress. Experiencing a traumatic event may also be responsible for this condition. This type of insomnia is temporary. On the other hand, chronic insomnia can result in long-term sleeplessness. It is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Finding it difficult to fall asleep during the night
  • Disruption of sleep during the night
  • Feeling tired after waking up
  • Waking up early
  • Feeling tired and sleepy during the day
  • Getting irritated too quickly
  • Suffering from symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Experiencing trouble concentrating on a task
  • Making accidental errors
  • Worrying about sleep

The Causes of Sleep Disorders

There are numerous factors that can prevent you from getting an adequate amount of sleep. Some of these may prevent you from falling asleep for a temporary period. In other cases, the symptoms can be more prolonged. A sleep disorder is usually caused by one or more of the following conditions:

  • Ulcers
  • Asthma
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Environmental stress
  • Depression and anxiety disorders
  • Narcolepsy (This is a genetic disorder that causes problems in sleep regulation)
  • Taking medication that disrupts your sleep patterns
  • Aging

Treatment of Sleep Disorders

Treatment of sleep disorders varies according to the underlying cause and type of disorder. If you have insomnia, then the following treatment measures can prove to be helpful:

  1. Changes in Lifestyle: You can adopt several behavioral techniques that help you sleep better. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy, meditation, avoiding daytime naps, and reducing your intake of caffeine or alcohol.
  2. Taking Medications: There are different types of prescription medications available that can help resolve sleep problems, as well. For instance, hypnotics and certain antidepressants have proven to be effective in treating insomnia. You can also use sleep aids carrying antihistamines. These can induce drowsiness, which makes it easier to fall asleep.

Let’s Sum It Up

There are various types of sleep disorders. These can result from physical conditions or due to external stress and a traumatic life event. In many cases, addressing the underlying cause of a sleep disorder can help resolve the problem.

If you require further advice on the causes of sleep disorders and how they can be treated, we suggest you book an appointment at Health One Family Medicine.

Visit or call 469-262-5762 for more information.