Insomnia, characterized by difficulty falling asleep and waking up often during the night, is perhaps the most common of sleeping disorders. A symptom of psychiatric disorders such asÂ anxiety and depression, if the condition is ongoing for weeks, months, or years it can be the sign of an underlying health condition. In fact, any of these sleep conditions can be the result of or lead to serious health challenges such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or neurological conditions.
Breathing and Sleep
According to Park, there is a definitive link to breathing obstruction, blocked pathways, and difficulty in sleeping. There are instances, he says, where people experience an interruption in their breathing (or upper airway resistance syndrome) even when they don’t have OSA. When this happens it alerts the body that you’re not breathing and the brain wakes you up to light sleep as a defense mechanism. “This puts your nervous system on edge so that you’re not fully asleep. A fast-paced, high anxiety lifestyle will exacerbate this condition. It becomes even more difficult to shut down your mind when it’s time to go to sleep,â€ Park says. In general, the combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation may lead to hypertension, heart disease, and mood and memory problems. Other symptoms are wide-ranging, such as difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, learning and memory difficulties, and falling asleep while at work or on the phone.
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