It is thought that there are approximately 22 million diagnosed cases of Sleep Apnea in the United States alone. The amount of diagnosed cases continues to increase on an almost daily basis. To get more accurate worldwide statistics regarding Sleep Apnea however is more challenging, as there are still many undiagnosed or misdiagnosed cases.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a medical disorder, which affects a person’s ability to breathe properly while sleeping.
The word ‘Apnea’ derives from Ancient Greek, simply meaning ‘The want of breath’.
It is considered to be a chronic health problem as well as a progressive health condition that worsens if it remains undiagnosed and untreated, which is often the case.
Sleep Apnea can be described as cessations of breathing during sleep that range in duration from a minimum of ten seconds upwards. In some cases severe Sleep Apnea episodes can even last longer than one minute. It is believed that a person who has a serious case of Sleep Apnea can endure as many as 400 cessations per night.
When a person who suffers from this prevalent sleeping disorder stops breathing in their sleep, the brain partially awakens them in order to force the body to breathe again. This can happen numerous times within a short period, and when it does, the quality of sleep is affected, which can also lead to other medical problems and complications. Read more >>
Recurrent isolated sleep paralysis is a parasomnia. A parasomnia involves undesired events that come along with sleep. Sleep paralysis causes you to be unable to move your body at either of the two following times:
An episode of paralysis may cause you to be unable to speak. It can also make you unable to move your arms and legs, body, and head. You are still able to breathe normally. You are also fully aware of what is happening. An episode can last for seconds or minutes. The episode usually ends on its own. It may also end when someone touches you or speaks to you. Making an intense effort to move can also end an episode. Sleep paralysis may occur only once in your life. It may also happen many times in a year.
It can be very scary when you are unable to move. You may feel anxious and afraid. Some people also hallucinate during an episode. They may see, hear or feel things that are not there. They may even think that another person is in the room with them. These hallucinations may also appear without the sleep paralysis.
Sleep paralysis tends to first appear in the teen years. It then occurs most often when you are in your 20s and 30s. It may continue into your later years. It is not a serious medical risk.
Sleep paralysis can be one sign of narcolepsy. Other signs include disturbed sleep at night and falling asleep suddenly during the day. Recurrent isolated sleep paralysis does not disturb your sleep. Read more >>
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and in some cases episodes of cataplexy (partial or total loss of muscle control, often triggered by a strong emotion such as laughter). Narcolepsy occurs equally in men and women and is thought to affect roughly 1 in 2,000 people. The symptoms appear in childhood or adolescence, but many people have symptoms of narcolepsy for years before getting a proper diagnosis.
People with narcolepsy feel very sleepy during the day and may involuntarily fall asleep during normal activities. In narcolepsy, the normal boundary between awake and asleep is blurred, so characteristics of sleeping can occur while a person is awake. For example, cataplexy is the muscle paralysis of REM sleep occurring during waking hours. It causes sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to a slack jaw, or weakness of the arms, legs, or trunk. People with narcolepsy can also experience dream-like hallucinations and paralysis as they are falling asleep or waking up, as well as disrupted nighttime sleep and vivid nightmares. Read more >>
Insomnia can be caused by physical factors as well as psychological factors. There is often an underlying medical condition that causes chronic insomnia, while transient insomnia may be due to a recent event or occurrence. Insomnia is commonly caused by: