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Committed to bringing the latest in neurosciences and staying responsive to the needs of the community, we will soon launch our dream project with a new 100-bedded facility that will bring to the region much needed specialties such as Radiosurgery.

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Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders, conditions that interfere with normal sleep, can affect general health and increase the risk of other health problems. Sleep deprivation can affect quality of life, as well as causing safety issues with driving and other tasks.

Signs and symptoms of sleep disorders include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irregular breathing or increased movement during sleep
  • Irregular sleep and wake cycle 
  • Difficulty falling asleep

Types of Sleep Disorders

Some common types of sleep disorders include:

  • Insomnia – difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
  • Sleep apnoea – interruption in normal breathing patterns while sleeping
  • Restless legs syndrome (RLS) – a sleep movement disorder which causes an uncomfortable sensation and an urge to move the legs while trying to fall asleep
  • Narcolepsy – neurological disorder of sleep regulation that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness, causing extreme sleepiness or falling asleep suddenly during the day.

There are many possible causes of sleep problems, including:

  • Digestive system disorders causing pain or acid reflux 
  • Breathing disorders, such as asthma
  • Psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety
  • Environmental factors, such as caffeine or alcohol consumption
  • Night shift work affecting an individual’s ‘biological clock’
  • Genetics factors may be involved in narcolepsy 
  • Medications which may interfere with sleep
  • Aging – sleep disorders are more common in the elderly, although it is not clear why.
  • There are many ways to help diagnose sleep disorders. Successful treatment depends on finding the cause.

    • Physical examination and assessment of symptoms
    • Keeping a sleep diary
    • Tests to rule out other health conditions
    • Sleep study – or polysomnogram (PSG) – a test that electronically transmits and records specific physical activities while you sleep.

There are a variety of treatments, depending on the cause, including:

  • Cognitive behaviour therapy – a type of counselling that can help ‘recognize, challenge and change stress-inducing thoughts’ that can keep you awake at night
  • Medications may help for some causes, such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy
  • Keeping a regular sleep schedule and routine.

Some lifestyle changes can help with getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Creating an optimal sleep environment by reducing light, noise, and maintaining an optimal room temperature
  • Managing anxiety, for example with meditation or counselling
  • Establishing a regular bedtime and a relaxing routine 
  • Avoiding long naps during the day
  • Avoiding stimulants (coffee, tea, soda/cola, cocoa and chocolate) and heavy meals for at least four hours before bedtime
  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco for at least four hours before bedtime
  • Exercising regularly, but not within four hours of bedtime if you have trouble sleeping

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