Do you feel it is difficult to concentrate on a work-related task? Or do you feel your memory sometimes fails? If you answered yes, you might have a sleep disorder, not only short attention span or forgetfulness.
A few sleep disorders, such as insomnia and Apnea, are extremely common. However, many of us are not aware that these diseases influence our ability to focus, to concentrate.
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Indeed, it is during sleep that the brain accumulates and stores the information gathered during wakefulness. Therefore, if you do not have a restorative night’s sleep, you will probably experience difficulty concentrating. Beside difficulty of concentration, you might also have other symptoms, such as constant daytime fatigue, headaches, irritability, depression, forgetfulness, and so on.
The most common sleep disorder is insomnia. A majority of insomnia cases stem from bad sleeping habits, depression, anxiety, lack of physical activities, chronic diseases, or certain kinds of medication. Its symptoms might include difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep, and not feeling rested after sleep.
Now, how can insomnia be treated? Treatments include better sleeping habits, behavioral therapy, and cause identification and control. Patients might also use sleep medications, but these have side effects and ought to be monitored.
Another potential disturbance is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, characterized by upper airways obstruction during sleep, usually accompanied by a drop in blood oxygen saturation, followed by a transient arousal from sleep to breathe.
Its symptoms include but are not limited to loud snoring and daytime fatigue, even after a whole night’s sleep.
In order to diagnose this disorder, healthcare professionals might request sleep-monitoring tests. To this end, one option is Sleep Apnea Digital Monitoring (SADM), the Biologix Sleep Test. It is a test you can conduct at home -simple, convenient, and effective, with no need to sleep at a sleep lab. Before going to sleep for the night, just place the Oxistar sensor, which is a high performance oximeter, on your finger and start the test using the Biologix App. Upon waking up, click on “end test” to get the result in a few seconds by e-mail.
The diagnosis can also be established by means of a test called Polysomnography, which is conduct at a sleep lab where patients are required to sleep for one night. There, patients are monitored using sensors that record the passage of air through nose and mouth, blood oxygenation, heart rate, brain activity, as well as chest and limb movements.
Treatment typically include changes in lifestyle, such as losing weight, and the use of a breathing assistance device during the night. Examples of these devices are Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines (CPAP) or, in milder cases, intraoral devices (IOD).
Now we will give you a few tips to help improve your sleep hygiene. The sleep hygiene rules aim at helping you make the most of your hours of sleep. Unfortunately, they do not work for everybody, particularly if you suffer from a yet untreated sleep disorder. Nevertheless, heeding these tips can help patients under treatment or being monitored by a physician. Moreover, these rules are worth following to keep healthy:
- It pays to keep sleeping and waking times even on weekends and holidays.
- Staying in bed for a long time after you wake up does nothing to improve your sleep quality; and do not go to bed if you are not sleepy.
- Do not work, study, or eat in bed. Your bed is for sleeping!
- Do not read, watch TV, or use your cell phone prior to sleeping.
- A 30-minute nap can be an option to build up stamina, but taking repeated naps throughout the day is not a good idea. You want to avoid napping after 3 p.m.
- For most of us, physical activity in the evening can interfere with sleep quality. It varies a lot from one person to another.
- Do not have coffee, tea, chocolate, or soda after 6 p.m. Avoid alcoholic beverages six hours before your bedtime and do not smoke near bedtime;
- Those who snore can sleep in different positions using a pillow between their knees or a body pillow; they usually need to be evaluated by a specialist trained to diagnose potential sleep disorders.
- Lighter meals are usually digested faster. Do not go to bed hungry!
- Unpleasant temperatures interfere with sleep; so, keep warm in cold days and keep cool in hot days.
- Get enough sleep to feel you had a restorative night’s sleep every night; do not allow yourself to be sleep-deprived. While most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night, sleep requirements vary from person to person.
A healthy lifestyle: this is how we can summarize sleep hygiene, which includes abstinence from smoking and alcohol, a balanced, low-calorie diet combined with focused, routine physical exercise that aids in weight loss and improve patients’ quality of life.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this blog aims at assisting you in your education and is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical advice. Only physicians and dentists can diagnose diseases and prescribe treatments and medication. Thank you for visiting our website.