Now that you’re halfway through Better Rest Solutions’ #8HourSleepChallenge, hopefully you’ve made some interesting observations. If everything has been going smoothly and you’ve been able to get the full 8 hours each night without issue, you may notice that you’re feeling more alert and less tired and distracted while you’re awake.
Unfortunately, this challenge isn’t going to be easy for everyone though. For example, maybe you’ve found it really difficult to fall asleep at your chosen time or stay asleep during the night. It’s important to take note of these obstacles, as they may indicate that you have a sleep disorder.
Here’s a look at three common sleep disorders – and signs you may have them.
The most common of all sleep disorders, insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. While most people experience this every once in a while, it’s considered chronic if it happens at least three nights a week for a few months in a row.
In many cases, insomnia is a symptom of another issue, like anxiety or depression.
You may have insomnia if you…
- Have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep
- Wake up too early in the morning
- Don’t feel refreshed when you wake up
- Require sleeping pills in order to sleep
- Experience fatigue or lack of energy
- Have a hard time concentrating or maintaining personal relationships
- Notice changes in your mood
When people have sleep apnea, it means that they stop breathing repeatedly during sleep – sometimes up to hundreds of times per night. The most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when the soft tissue in the throat relaxes and blocks the airway, causing those who suffer from this to snore loudly.
There are certain risk factors for sleep apnea, such as being male, over the age of 40, overweight and having a large neck circumference.
You may have sleep apnea if you…
- Snore loudly in your sleep
- Wake up with a headache or a dry throat
- Wake up frequently and abruptly
- Have a hard time concentrating or remembering things
- Notice changes in your mood
- Experience excessive daytime sleepiness
Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes people to experience throbbing, pulling, “pins and needles” or other uncomfortable and painful sensations in their legs and a subsequent uncontrollable urge to move them. Symptoms are most prevalent when the legs are at rest, and often become worse at night when people are trying to sleep.
The cause of Restless Leg Syndrome is unknown, but doctors suspect that it’s genetic.
You may have Restless Leg Syndrome if you…
- Feel discomfort in your legs and a strong urge to move them
- Experience nighttime leg twitching
- Experience relief when you move your legs
- Notice that your symptoms worsen at night when you’re at rest
The good news is that if you have one of these common sleep disorders, there are proven methods of treatment – such as CPAP therapy for sleep apnea or simple lifestyle changes for Restless Leg Syndrome – that can give you relief and help you get a good night’s sleep. Keep in mind that an untreated sleep disorder can have a significant impact on your overall well-being and even lead to serious health issues, so it’s important to see your doctor if you have reason to believe you may have insomnia, sleep apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome or any other sleep disorder.
You’re halfway through Better Rest Solutions’ #8HourSleepChallenge! Don’t give up now. Keep trying to get those full 8 hours per night and remember that you can enter to win a ResMed S+ every day over at http://bit.ly/8HrSleep.