Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders have become a medical subspecialty, and there are doctors who now specialize in sleep medicine. Sleep doctors are able to detect and treat both common and rare sleep disorders. Some common sleep disorders are insomnia, jet lag, sleepwalking, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

It is important to make sure that your child gets enough sleep and sleeps well. A tired child may have development or behavior problems. A child’s sleep problems can also cause unnecessary stress for the entire family. Experts recommend the following hours of sleep for children:
• Infants (3 to 11 months): 14 to 15 hours
• Toddlers: 12 to 14 hours
• Preschoolers: 11 to 13 hours
• School-age children: 10 to 11 hours

If your child has any of these problems with sleep, they could be on the way to a chronic sleep disorder. The problems are, a parent having to spend too much time helping the child fall asleep; the child waking up repeatedly during the night; snoring very loudly or struggling to breathe during the night; or behavior, mood or school performance changes. When this is a problem for more than several weeks, take your child to a pediatrician or a sleep specialist. Your doctor may suggest that your child spend a night or a nap period in a sleep center so their sleep cycle can be studied and also to help diagnose any medical problems.

The stress and pressure of a job, demands so much of a man’s time that it often doesn’t leave much room for sleep. The body wants to rest, but the mind won’t stop spinning. So, many men do not get much sleep on a regular basis. The following are signs that a man may not be getting enough sleep or have already developed a sleep disorder. They include being unable to pay attention during meetings, having to use an alarm clock to wake up on time every morning or just not feeling well.

As the sleep problems progress, depression can disrupt the quality of a man’s sleep. You might lie in bed tossing and turning late into the night. As poor sleep progresses, men stop taking care of their bodies in other ways. They stop eating and exercising regularly. They are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. Statistics show that men are four times as likely as women to kill themselves. So if a man experiences sleep problems that last more than two weeks, they too should visit a sleep expert or family physician.

Experts suggest that most men and women need about seven to eight hours of sleep each night. In general, women tend to sleep more than men, going to bed and falling asleep earlier. A woman’s sleep also tends to be lighter and more easily disturbed. Women also tend to describe sleep problems using different terms than men. Women may be less likely to say that they feel sleepy during the day. Instead women often describe feeling tired, unrested or fatigued. These expressions reflect feelings of physical or mental exhaustion. Women also may report an overall lack of energy or vitality.

There are many complex factors that may affect how a woman sleeps. Many of these factors change over time. For example, excessive daytime sleepiness is more common when women are in their 20s and 30s, while older women appear to adapt better to periods of sleep loss. This difference has been attributed to the many commitments that compete for a young woman’s time. In particular working mothers, who must balance the demands of career, family, friends and personal health needs.

Sleeping disorders are believed to affect millions of women. These problems often remain undiagnosed. There are close to 81 sleep disorders that are most likely to affect women, with the causes being different depending on age and hormone factors.