Sleep Disorders, More Than A Nuisance.

4070 words - 16 pages

Sleep Disorders: More Than A NuisanceMany Americans suffer from common sleep disorders that interfere with their daily activities throughout life. Once diagnosed with a certain sleep disorder, patients want to know what treatments, if any, are available for their condition. Sleep disorders can sometimes be fatal to someone if not treated. Overall, any type of sleep disorder is not a pleasant experience, even if it is only short-term. Everyone would love to have a good night's sleep, unfortunately life is not perfect. Scientists, researchers, and doctors are searching for new ways to treat patients that may help them more effectively. To many, this will mean they can finally take back control of their lives; they will feel a lot better during the day and at night. A lot of Americans have trouble sleeping; they might have a sleep disorder without even knowing. People should be aware of the possibility that they might have a sleep disorder, and also know the possible treatments for the condition.Problems with sleep are not uncommon in the United States. According to the American Sleep Disorders Association, more than seventy individual sleep disorders exist, affecting both sexes of all age groups (Swanson 151). The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimated 40 million Americans suffer from long-term chronic sleep disorders. They also calculated that about 95% of sleep disorders are not even diagnosed. Americans are said to spend approximately six billion dollars each year on sleep-related medical care (Brenner 34). Not only do sleep disorders interrupt daily routines of thousands of people, but they can also cost a lot for treatments. Someone who has trouble sleeping is definitely not alone; many cases of unsatisfactory sleep are recorded daily. This type of sleep may be a disorder, which are grouped by their causes.Sleep disorders are divided into three main categories based upon their causes. First is labeled the dyssomnias, which are problems with sleep that result in difficulties maintaining sleep, or result in being very sleepy. People who have this condition are typically called insomniacs (Moorcroft 323). Dyssomnias are divided into three subcategories: intrinsic sleep disorders, extrinsic sleep disorders, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders (Moorcroft 323). Intrinsic sleep disorders originate or develop within the body itself. This group includes narcolepsy, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and some types of insomnia (Swanson 151). The next category, extrinsic sleep disorders, originate or develop outside of the body. Third, Circadian rhythm sleep disorders are those characterized by a disruption in a person's biological clock. Two of the more commonly associated disorders of this type are jet lag- confusion in "body" clock when traveling through time zones- and shift work sleep disorder (Swanson 152). Dyssomnias are sleep disorders that are usually fairly easy to treat, but some disorders have no cure and...

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