- Sleep disorder can contribute to an increase in blood pressure in women
- Sleep disorder can interfere with day-to-day function
- It can cause weight gain and fatigue
Sleep deprivation might do much more than disrupt your daily life and make you feel tired all the time. New research suggests that problems with sleep or sleep deprivation can be unhealthy for heart health. It has been found that even mild sleep problems like finding it difficult to fall asleep can raise blood pressure in women. The study from Columbia University Irving Medical Center - published in the journal of American Heart Association - stated that women who face problems while sleeping, including those who have slept for 7 to 9 hours at night are more likely to have high blood pressure - which is a trigger for heart disease. A lot of people today struggle to sleep peacefully at night. The American Sleep Association reports that around 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder and 30% of them have been found to have insomnia-related issues. The findings of the study are concerning since they signal that milder sleep problems and/or sleep deprivation can have a disproportionate effect on cardiovascular health in women.
What are sleep disorders?
Sleep disorders are characterised by a group of conditions which affect the ability to sleep well on a regular basis. Stress or an underlying health condition can cause sleep disorders. Having extremely hectic schedules can also lead to disturbances with sleep. However, it is when these sleep issues become too regular or interfere with daily life that they signal a sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders can make it extremely difficult for people to sleep at night. Lack of sleep can end up having an adverse impact on your concentration, mood, energy and overall health.
Diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders need to be done immediately. If left untreated for a long period of time, sleep disorders can further deteriorate health and affect performance at work, create rift in relationships and impair ability to perform daily activities.
Also read: Why Does One Sleepwalk: Know The Causes
Symptoms of sleep disorder
Symptoms of sleep disorder depend on the severity of the type of sleep disorder a person is suffering from. Sleep disorders may vary when they are caused because of any another condition. Common symptoms of sleep disorder include facing difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep, experiencing daytime fatigue, feeling a strong urge to take naps during the day, lack of concentration, depression, irritability and anxiety.
Also read: 7 Ways Sleep Deprivation Could Harm You
Kinds of sleep disorders
Following are the different kinds of sleep disorders:
Restless leg syndrome: The restless leg syndrome is a condition in which a person feels an overwhelming need to move legs. It also makes one feel a tingling sensation in the legs. These symptoms occur during the day but are more prevalent at night.
Insomnia: Insomnia is a sleep disorder which is characterised by inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. Jet lags, anxiety, stress, hormones and digestive problems are common causes of insomnia. Insomnia can cause difficulty in concentrating, depression, weight gain, irritability and impaired work of school performance.
Parasomnias: Parasomnias are a class of sleep disorders which cause abnormal movements and behaviours during sleep. This condition causes sleep walking, sleep talking, nightmares, groaning, bedwetting, teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
Sleep apnea:Sleep apnea is a condition which is characterised by pauses in breathing while sleeping. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition which causes the body to take less oxygen. Disrupted breathing while sleeping can wake you up several times during the night.
Narcolepsy: This is a condition which causes sleep attacks during the day. A person feels extremely tired and falls asleep without a warning. This disorder can cause sleep paralysis which may make you unable to move right after waking up.
Treatment of sleep disorder
Sleep disorders are usually treated with the help of medical treatments or introducing a few changes in lifestyle.
The medical treatments include melatonin supplements, allergy or cold medication, sleeping pills, breathing device or surgery, dental guard for tooth grinding etc.
Making a few lifestyle changes can help in improving quality of sleep to a great extent. You can include more veggies and fish in your diet and cut down on your sugar intake to get better sleep. Take less stress and anxiety and exercise regularly. Try sticking to a regular sleeping schedule and drink less water before bedtime and limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can disrupt your sleep routine.
In case you are facing problems while sleeping, you can cut down on your tobacco and alcohol consumption. Also, eating small and low-carb meals before bed time can help you get better sleep.
Sleep disorders must be taken seriously. As the new study has linked them with high blood pressure and therefore heart disease in women, it is all the more important to make sure that you sleep properly every day.