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A healthy sleep cycle is 7 hours of sleep at night for adults around 40 years of age, and six and a half hours of night sleep between 55-60 years of age. The sleep should lead to an individual waking up fresh and energetic in the morning.
Common sleep disorders are: – Insomnia – Circadian Rhythm Disorders – Sleep-Disordered Breathing – Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Narcolepsy
Some common symptoms are: – Inability to fall asleep – Excessive daytime sleepiness – Snoring – Increased daytime fatigue – Nocturia (urinating frequently at night) – Choking at night
The stress of being affected by the virus during the pandemic has disrupted the psychological well-being of many, which has led to insomnia and disturbed sleep schedules. Overall, stress, a sedentary lifestyle and increased screen time have affected sleep schedules amongst many. Increased screen time can also affect the release of melatonin, the hormone that signals the body to sleep. Also, lack of moderate exercise affects one’s overall well-being, leads to weight gain and hence, the quality of sleep is distressed.
A sleeping disorder is diagnosed through an overnight sleep study. It is performed on an individual to check the stages of sleep, breathing, heart rate and oxygen levels during sleep. If a person is facing symptoms like unrefreshing sleep, waking up tired, increased daytime sleepiness, snoring, inability to sleep, then they should consider visiting a doctor.
Some common measures are to follow: 1. A moderate exercise regime. 2. Healthy eating habits to avoid putting on excess weight. 3. Not looking at screens at least 45 minutes before bed time.
Treatment of sleep disorders varies from medical treatment to using devices like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for obstructive Sleep Apnea. A specialist can also recommend medication and lifestyle modifications to an individual who is facing sleep issues. The course of treatment is determined after the sleep disorder and the severity of it is diagnosed.
Some lifestyle tips are listed below: – Reduce screen exposure before sleeping – Regular moderate exercise 40-45 minutes 5 days a week – Avoid eating heavy meals just before sleeping – To keep a gap of at least 90 minutes between meals and falling asleep – Slowing down and relaxing just before falling asleep
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