Insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy are common sleep disorders. Lifestyle changes, sleeping aids, and/or medication can be effective treatments.
Sleeping disorders are conditions affecting the quality of your sleep, thereby negatively impacting your overall health, safety, and quality of life. There are a broad range of sleeping disorders, ranging from mild to severe, but it is estimated that 40-60 million people in the U.S. suffer from one or the other. Some of the most common symptoms of sleep disorders are feeling sleepy during the day and having trouble falling asleep at night, falling asleep at inappropriate or inopportune times (such as while driving), experiencing unusual breathing patterns, irregular sleep and wake cycle times, and more. A few of the most common types of sleep disorders include insomnia (difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep), sleep apnea (experiencing abnormal breathing patterns during sleep), restless leg syndrome (RLS) (an inescapable urge to move your legs while trying to sleep), and narcolepsy (extreme sleepiness causing you to fall asleep suddenly during the day).
Treatment for sleep disorders varies based on the severity and types of problems being experienced. Some common methods include taking sleeping pills or other medications, adding melatonin supplements, trying a breathing device or surgery, and lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, changing your diet, limiting caffeine, and more. Experts also recommend going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday (even weekends!) to help your body find and remember its natural sleep rhythm.