Sleep Disorder - To
Call The Doctor Or Not?
by Donald Saunders
Experiencing difficulty in sleeping for any
great length of time may well indicate that
you suffer from a common sleep disorder.
Today more than 35 million Americans reportedly
suffer from a chronic sleep disorder (sleeping
difficulty that lasts for more than one month)
and as many as 30 million more suffer from
a shorter term or "transient" sleep
disorder (sleeping difficulty that lasts for
less than four weeks).
Commonly triggered by upcoming events (such
as important meetings or interviews), jet
lag, or a passing illness (like a cold or
the flu), a mild sleep disorder presents relatively
little difficulty in terms of its management
and, if left to its own devices, will often
pass quite quickly. This said, many simple
steps can be taken to both reduce the effects
of mild insomnia and to speed its passing.
A persistent sleep disorder however will rarely
disappear of its own accord and may well require
pro-active treatment. Prolonged sleep disorders
include conditions such as chronic insomnia,
restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea and narcolepsy.
Difficulty in getting to sleep, staying asleep,
waking through the night (and being unable
to get back to sleep), or waking too early
in the morning, when experienced for any length
of time (and certainly for more than four
or five weeks), warrants a diagnosis. You
should also begin exploring natural sleep
remedies that can help you get a better night's
sleep, not to mention assisting you in effectively
managing your problem.
The most commonly diagnosed sleep disorder,
insomnia, also represents one of the easiest
problems to treat. Simple lifestyle adjustments,
structured relaxation or meditation, or a
variety of herbal and natural sleep remedies
will often provide a cure.
Like insomnia, sleep apnea is another sleep
disorder that affects millions of Americans
each year. The most dangerous of all sleep
disorders, sleep apnea occurs when air flow
through the windpipe is temporarily obstructed
during sleep, often due to the relaxation
or collapse of surrounding muscles. Sleep
apnea is most commonly associated with snoring,
although snoring alone is not necessarily
indicative of sleep apnea.
Narcolepsy, a sleep disorder marked by uncontrolled
"mini sleeps" during the day (even
when the sufferer otherwise appears completely
alert), is sometimes confused with sleep apnea;
however, these represent two very different
Restless legs syndrome (RLS), another sleep
disorder that ranks as one of the most frequently
diagnosed, affects more than twelve million
people in the US alone each year. Unlike other
common sleep disorders, restless legs syndrome
combines the physical symptoms of a sleep
disorder like insomnia with neural symptoms
such as periodically uncontrolled limb movement
and a tingling sensation in the legs and feet.
While a serious sleep disorder such as obstructive
sleep apnea, chronic narcolepsy or restless
legs syndrome requires the intervention of
a medical professional, there are still various
ways in which you can actively manage your
sleep disorder. In fact, numerous natural
sleep remedies can help you get a better night's
sleep and effectively deal with your sleep
disorder, without resorting to sleeping pills
or artificial sleep enhancers.
These sleep remedies are too numerous to discuss
them in any detail in this short article,
but they include melatonin and valerian root,
two natural alternatives to sleeping pills,
as well as aromatherapy, color or chromatherapy
and guided relaxation and meditation. Chamomile
or lavender teas and infusions are also an
excellent natural remedy for managing various
While some persistent sleep disorders do certainly
merit investigation by your doctor, chronic
insomnia can, more often than not, be cured
without the need for medical intervention.
Understanding the underlying causes of your
insomnia and then making a number of simple
changes to your lifestyle or routine can make
a dramatic difference to the quality of your
sleep. With the added help of one or two natural
sleep remedies, you can then soon say farewell
to this particular sleep disorder.
Copyright © 2005 Donald Saunders Help
Me To Sleep Affiliates
About the Author
Donald Saunders is the author of a number
of health related publications including:
"Help Me To Sleep - A Guide To Natural
Sleep Remedies", "Jet Lag - An Alternative
Approach", "Shift Work Insomnia"
and "The Art of Meditation - A Guide
To Meditation, Breathing and Relaxation Techniques"
For further details please visit Sleep Disorder