An individual with dyssomnia aka sleep disorders often experiences alterations in sleep patterns such as difficulty to sleep or lack of sleep, abnormal behaviors in sleep, very long duration of sleep and alterations in sleep rhythms/timings. Most of the causes for the sleep disorders are treatable and the common causes of sleep disorders are stress, food habits, bruxism, sleep walking, nightmares, and life style.
Some of the main types of sleep disorders are dyssomnia—a term used to denote either lack of sleep (insomnia) or excess sleep (hypersomnia)—circardian rhythm sleep disorders, restless leg syndrome, sleep walking, parasomnia, nightmares, sleep apnea and snoring-like airway problems, sleeping sickness caused by microbial infection, psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, nocturnal enuresis, tooth-grinding disorders, depression with anxiety-induced sleep disorders and rapid eye movement sleep behaviors. Most of these symptoms of sleep disorders are treatable and some of the problems need no medical attention.
The symptoms of sleep disorders are lack of sleep or excess sleep, sleep walking behavior and other abnormal psychiatric symptoms. But most of the sleep disorder symptoms may vary from one person to another.
• Polysomnography with Rapid Eye Movement (REM) studies and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) studies
• Psychological counseling can be helpful to diagnose the anxiety- or depression-related sleep disorders
The treatment is based on combined therapy of psychological, psychiatric, neurological and rehabilitary medicines. The physician often opts for regularization of the sleep patterns with sedatives or tranquilizers with or without anxiolytics or anti-depressants and psychological counseling to avoid substance abuse, alcohol and smoking as well as lifestyle modifications without coffee and tea and restoring the sleep hygiene. In bed wetting–related sleep disorders, Amphetamine and other similar drugs are to be prescribed. In tooth-grinding disorders, a sleep dentist is to be consulted to correct the symptom. Most of the other symptoms may vary from one person to another and also the medication and the treatment procedures may vary.
Most of the patients with are treatable, while some of the problems will resolve without any medical interventions. Hence the prognosis of sleep disorders with or without medical treatment is good. Changes in the lifestyle, food habits, sedentary lifestyle and avoiding narcotics and alcohol can improve the symptoms drastically without treatment. In case of sleep disorders with psychological reasons, meditation and yoga-like self-healing techniques will be useful than pharmacological treatments.
As the sleep disorders are multi-factorial, as of now, there are no effective prevention strategies recorded for sleep disorders.
When to see a doctor
If you experience lack of sleep or if you feel you are lying asleep for prolonged time than normal or if you fall asleep only in the day time but not at night or if you experience symptoms of sleep disorders even after you took the prescribed medicines, you need to consult a Sleep Physiologist or a Physician to get proper treatment.