Understanding Sleep Disorders
Sleep is an essentially natural, recurring condition of the body and mind, characterized by decreased awareness, relatively decreased sensory activity, decreased muscle activity and decreased social interaction during rapid eye movements (RIM) sleep, and decreased interactions with the environment during the rest of the night. The word “sleep” itself is derived from the Greek work “soma”, which means “surrounding” or “enclosed”. Sleep is a normal, necessary function of the body that conserves energy and helps to regulate the body’s internal functions. It is a sleep state in which the body has recovered from physiological stress and/or a bout of sleep paralysis, is dreaming, or is sleeping in an unconscious state. In between these two states is an area of non-responsiveness to stimuli, a state of body unawareness.
Rapid eye movements sleep or REM sleep is the most common of all sleep stages. Rapid eye movements sleep is also called NREM sleep or stage 1 n REM. Rapid eye movements sleep typically begins about thirty minutes before the actual period of sleep. Rapid eye movements sleep (or REM sleep) occurs as a reaction to some form of stimuli. It can include a visual or auditory stimulus, a temperature change, or pain or a change in body position. Some people are prone to rapid eye movements sleep because their REM sleep chambers are not large enough and they do not enter the REM sleep state until they have entered Stage 1 n REM.
A person’s capacity for sleep Wakefulness is the capacity to execute an efficient sleep drive. It is the brain’s attempt to make up for the reduction in the levels of its various neurotransmitters which were affected by the waking state. Wakefulness is a natural sleep phase, and the ability to sleep can be improved by the addition of certain drugs, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or light therapy. The amount of sleep needed for the average adult to reach the state of wakefulness is approximately eight hours. The average sleep drive is one to two hours less than this.
Feeling sleepy at work A person who is regularly getting enough sleep at night is less likely to be absent for work or absent for long periods of time. Getting too little sleep can lead to poor performance at work, memory problems, lack of concentration, and difficulty focusing. There are many potential health benefits of getting enough sleep.
Feeling tired The feeling of being tired can affect a person’s quality of life and can even lead to more serious issues. People who feel tired during the day and for no obvious reason are more likely to have sleep disorders, such as insomnia, snoring, daytime sleepiness, and sleep apnea. People with insomnia are more likely to have interrupted sleep cycles or to not get enough sleep during the night. People who snore or experience insomnia are more likely to have sleep apnea.
Breathing problems or shortness of breath While sleeping, the brain usually does not circulate enough oxygen through the body. The brain does not need oxygen to function properly, but it needs regular supply of oxygen to make its processes run smoothly. Breathing problems, if they are not addressed, can cause problems such as hypertension, asthma, clogged arteries, memory loss, and heart attack. These symptoms can also indicate that a person is in the early stages of stage two nrem sleep, which is also known as non-restorative sleep. People in this stage of sleep are more likely to have cardiac and/or respiratory problems.