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Sleep Cycles And Sleep Disorders (Part 2)

Steven Spainhower | 03 May, 2023

Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are common problems that affect countless people in negative ways. There are various types of sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome. Each disorder affects the body in different ways and requires different treatments.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Treatment for insomnia varies depending on the cause and may include behavioral therapies, medication, supplements such as melatonin, or a combination of sleep aids.  Power naps during the day also can combat some of the disadvantages of insomnia.  A power nap should be no longer than 26 minutes because longer naps put most of us into the deeper cycles of sleep, which are difficult to wake up from without feeling groggy. 

Sleep apnea is serious

Sleep apnea is another sleep disorder that affects millions. It is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep, which can lead to loud snoring or gasping for air. Sleep apnea can be caused by various factors such as obesity, smoking, and alcohol intake. Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss or quitting smoking, the use of a mouth guard that opens the airway at the back of the throat, or the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

Snoring can accompany obstructive sleep disorder

Snoring is a common problem that can be a sign of sleep apnea. It occurs when the muscles in the back of the mouth and throat relax during sleep, causing vibrations that produce sound. Snoring can be treated with lifestyle changes such as weight loss, sleeping on your side, or the use of a mouthguard, designed to increase air flow at the back of the throat.  Some of these mouthguards are prescribed by dentists and are custom-made; others are available over-the-counter and are much less expensive, yet can be effective. 

Restless leg syndrome is another common sleep disorder. It is characterized by an urge to move the legs, especially at night. Restless leg syndrome can be caused by various factors such as iron deficiency, kidney failure, and pregnancy. Treatment for restless leg syndrome may include medication or lifestyle changes.


In conclusion, sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. The body goes through different stages of sleep, each with its unique characteristics and benefits. REM sleep is an important stage of the sleep cycle, and lack of it can lead to various health problems. Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome affect millions of people and require different treatments. It is important to get enough sleep each night to maintain good health and avoid sleep deprivation.