For treatments of sleep disorders to be administered, the causes of them should be determined beforehand. Though causes of sleep disorders can be broad, they can be grouped into four main categories, namely biological factors, lifestyle, side effects due to medication, and clinical disorders.
How you live your life each day directly affects your sleep. Intake of caffeine or food containing alcohol the few hours leading to bedtime will usually cause insomnia or difficulty achieving REM sleep. Some people who have no choice but to work irregular shifts are likely to develop abnormal sleep patterns too. To identify your bad habits that affect your sleep, it is advisable to keep a sleep diary, to record lifestyle habits such as exercise, food intake, activities done before sleep, caffeine consumption and so on. Showing your physician this diary will allow him/her to understand your condition better, which will definitely help in the prognosis. Even an uncomfortable mattress could be the cause.
Biological factors such as a person’s age and gender also contribute to sleep disorders. In women especially, sleep disorders are more common because pregnancy, menopause and hormonal fluctuations are very likely to cause sleep deprivation. Age-wise, the elderly have lighter sleep compared to young people, and they are more prone to sleep disorders. Chronic health problems such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), hypertension, and diabetes, all of which become more common with age, may affect your quality of slumber.
Sleep disorders also result from side effects of taking certain medications, for example, sedatives, weight loss drugs, and medications to control blood pressure. These medications cause side effects such as tiredness, insomnia and restlessness, depriving you of sleep. If this drags on, it will lead to serious sleep disorders, causing damage to your health.
Finally, medical conditions present in some individuals are likely to cause sleep disorders too. Both physical conditions and mental problems do contribute to sleep deprivation. For example, health problems like asthma and chronic coughing disrupts sleep, and mental conditions such as depression and stress lead to complications such as nightmares and insomnia during the night.
Usually, the symptoms associated with sleep disorders start small, and worsen over time. If neglected and not treated in time, sleep disorders may lead to serious health complications and may even be fatal due to diseases or accidents. Hence, those who experience symptoms of sleep disorders should not hesitate to seek medical treatment before their conditions turn for the worse. Improving your sleep will improve your life.