Over 70 million
Americans suffer some kind of sleep disorder. They can significantly impact quality of life if left uncontrolled. Many of which are by-products of other health conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain or biological changes such as menopause, however some sleep conditions appear have no underlying causes. Here are some curious facts about sleep issues:
- Snoring disrupts the sleep of approximately 37 million Americans on a regular basis, causing chronic sleep deprivation if left untreated.
- Sleep paralysis, a terrifying condition where you feel awake but completely paralyzed during sleep, has been the origin of many worldwide legends such as the person being visited by the “night hag”.
- Chronic Bruxism (excessive teeth grinding) is a common sleep disturbance that often leads to such physical symptoms as erosion of teeth enamel, trismus (lockjaw) and temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ).
- Sleep apnea afflicts nearly 15 million Americans. Chronic snoring and abrupt waking are symptoms of this disorder.
- An interesting disorder called Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder is marked by a person who goes to sleep later and later until they completely flip their sleep schedules. This sleep affliction has commonly been associated with the blind.
- Hypersomnia: the opposite of insomnia constitutes excessive napping and sleepiness especially during the daytime.
- Shift workers are at greater risk of sleep disorders as well as conditions such as heart disease and gastrointestinal issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
- A shift worker’s system will never adjust to the lifestyle, often leaving these people chronically tired no matter how much ‘catch-up’ sleep they get during time off.
- Older people are at higher risk of developing insomnia and similar sleep conditions as deep REM sleep tapers off with age.
- Sleep clinics offer such (painless) procedures as a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT) and polysomnogram (PSG) to help diagnose and monitor sleep disorders.
- Parasomnia disorders include chronic nightmares, night terrors and sleepwalking.
- Humans are the only species that willingly deprive ourselves of sleep for work or social events (sometimes to the point of developing sleeping disorders).
- Insomnia is more prevalent among those who are divorced or widowed.
- Children and adolescents often don’t get the recommended 9 hours of sleep (especially in this ‘plugged-in’ smartphone generation).
- Do you have a partner who seems to dance or perform karate katas in their sleep? They may have an excuse – Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)!
So there you have some strange but true sleeping disorders, thanks for visiting EMC!