Sleep problems affect tens of millions of Americans each year. The severity of these problems has a wide range: those suffering from transient insomnia may only periodically have one or two nights of hampered sleep due to jet lag or other changes in sleep environment. Other sleep problems can be quite serious, as in the case of chronic insomnia—defined as the inability to sleep well for over a month. Insomnia is a sleep problem which tends to hamper women more than men—40 percent of women in America suffer from insomnia in some form; 30 percent of men report suffering from the sleep problem.
Sleep apnea is a sleep problem that negatively affects nearly 20 million Americans. People with sleep apnea may not even know they suffer from the problem, as most sufferers will continue to sleep, albeit with diminished quality due to disrupted sleep rhythms. Most of those who suffer from sleep apnea are alerted to the sleep problem by a bed partner or by family members. Sleep apnea occurs when one’s breathing is repeatedly stopped during sleep or the sufferer has unusually low breathing. Pauses in breath can last from a few second to minutes; someone suffering from sleep apnea will typically begin breathing again with a loud snort. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep problem. If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, it’s highly recommended you see a physician.
Bruxism is one of the most common sleep problems. It’s a disorder that occurs when one habitually clinches and grinds his or her teeth. Only 5 percent of those with bruxism are aware they suffer from the problem. Like sleep apnea, many suffers are alerted to the condition by a bed partner or by family members.
There are many cures to these sleep problems, some are fairly simple and innocuous, such as weight loss and reducing the amount of water one consumes just prior to going to bed. Weight loss is a particularly effective preventive measure in cases of sleep apnea, as it may release pressure on the throat’s airway. In serious cases, such as chronic insomnia, sleep tablets and sedatives are often prescribed. Natural remedies, such as valerian and naturally sourced melatonin, are gaining popularity due to their reduced side effects. Yoga and stress exercises have proven successful in the reduction of anxiety—common factors contributing to insomnia. If you suffer from insomnia or any other sleep problem, it’s highly recommended you see a physician who can administer a polysomnogram or sleep test.