When sleep problems keep you up
You have a sleep problem if you have been sleeping badly for a long period of time and also experience discomfort during the day and function poorly as a result. For example, sleep problems can lead to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability and mood swings.
Stress, noise, staying up too late, exercising or working before bedtime are common causes of disturbed sleep.
Sleep problems can take different forms. Different types of sleep problems are:
- Insomnia: the inability to get to sleep, problems sleeping well at night, or waking up early.
- Sleepwalking: you walk or move around to perform a variety of activities while asleep. Sleepwalking occurs during the deep sleep stage.
- Teeth grinding: involuntary, rhythmic gnawing or grinding movements.
- Nightmares: unpleasant dreams from which you are startled awake.
- Night terrors and screaming: feelings of anxiety leading to severe panic attacks and accompanied by screaming. This occurs during the first half of the night, during the deep sleep stage.
- Sleep apnoea: pauses in breathing or stopping breathing due to airway obstruction.
- Restless legs syndrome: irresistible urge to move your legs to ease uncomfortable sensations.
- Hypersomnia: increased daytime sleepiness or an increased need for sleep.
If you suffer from long-term insomnia, it is advisable to consult a doctor, who can investigate any medical causes. Problems with your thyroid gland, respiration, heartbeat or sugar regulation can be at the basis of insomnia.
Sleep medication can be a temporary aid to get through a difficult period. However, it is never a permanent solution. There are also serious risks associated with long-term use. Therefore, certainly do not take any medication without the advice of a doctor.