Do you have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep? Are you constantly feeling tired during the day? You’re not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer from sleep problems. But don’t worry, good sleep IS possible! We’ll talk about different sleep disorders that people experience at different stages in life. We will also provide natural remedies like chiropractic treatment to help improve sleep quality.
Table of Contents
Normal Sleep for Infants
Newborns sleep around 16-18 hours per day, divided equally between night and day. Swaddling can help soothe a fussy baby and promote sleep. White noise or sounds of the womb can also help infants sleep better.
Sleep Issues for Infants
Babies can experience sleep problems for a variety of reasons. They may have trouble falling asleep, wake up often during the night, or resist going to bed. Some babies also suffer from colic, making it difficult for them to sleep. Infants may have circadian rhythm disorders where they have difficulty learning to differentiate between day and night. It can take time for babies to figure out a sleep-wake cycle.
Normal Sleep for Children
School-age children need around nine to ten hours of sleep per night. Most children this age have a regular sleep schedule and go to bed and wake up simultaneously each day. They may still experience sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night. If you’re looking for more tips on how to help your little one sleep, check out this blog post.
Sleep Issues for Children
Some common sleep disorders diagnosed in children include night terrors and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the child’s airway becomes blocked during sleep, which makes it difficult to breathe. Night terrors occur during deep sleep and can often be very scary for children and cause them to scream or cry uncontrollably. It can be challenging for them to wake up (and it is usually recommended that you do not try to wake them), and some children don’t remember it happening.
Normal Sleep for Adolescents
Most adolescents need around eight to ten hours of sleep per night. However, many teens do not get the recommended amount of sleep. They often stay up late and sleep in on weekends. This irregular sleep schedule can lead to sleep problems. Adolescents and teenagers may have difficulty falling asleep or they may wake up frequently in the middle of the night.
One common sleep problem in adolescents is snoring. Snoring can be caused by various things, such as nasal congestion, allergies, or enlarged tonsils. Teens may also experience sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome (RLS), and insomnia.
Normal Sleep for Adults
Most adults need between seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Healthy adults generally have a consistent sleep schedule and have no trouble falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night.
- Try to stick to consistent sleep and wake times, even on weekends.
- Start winding down about an hour before bedtime by turning off blue-light screens like cell phones and tablets.
- Turn the thermostat down a few degrees for a cool sleeping environment.
- Find a relaxing bedtime activity like reading or meditation.
In adults, sleep problems can be caused by sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome (RLS), stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Adults may also experience sleep paralysis when the body becomes paralyzed during sleep. This condition often occurs in conjunction with nightmares or sleep terrors, and can sometimes be a side effect of certain medications.
What are sleep disorders?
A sleeping disorder is a condition that affects sleep quality or quantity. These disorders can cause difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, getting restful sleep, and waking up feeling refreshed. There are many different sleep disorders, and they can occur at any stage in life. A sleep specialist diagnoses most sleep disorders during a sleep study. To learn more about sleep disorders, check out the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Common Types of Sleep Disorders
Sleepwalking is a sleep disorder that causes people to walk or perform other activities while they are asleep. This disorder usually occurs in children, but it can also affect adults.
Narcolepsy is a disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness. People with narcolepsy often fall asleep suddenly and without warning. These are usually called sleep attacks. They may sleep for a few minutes or up to an hour, and they usually sleep in inappropriate places (such as at work) and experience sudden muscle weakness before falling asleep.
Nightmare disorder is a sleep disorder that causes people to have terrifying nightmares. These nightmares can cause extreme fear, anxiety, and other negative emotions.
Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Disorder
REM sleep disorder is a sleep disorder that causes people to act out their dreams. This sleep disorder can cause injury because the person may fall, kick, punch, or perform other potentially dangerous behaviors while they are sleeping.
Sleep paralysis is a disorder that causes people to feel paralyzed when they wake up or try to go to sleep. People with sleep paralysis are unable to move or speak for a few seconds or minutes until the sleep paralysis ends.
Sleep Terror Disorder
Sleep terror disorder is a disorder that causes people to have intense, scary dreams that often include feelings of fear or panic. People with sleep terror disorder may scream, cry, or wet the bed during these dreams.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes people to stop breathing during sleep. This condition often leads to snoring and daytime sleepiness. Most sleep specialists recommend patients wear a CPAP machine overnight to help with this condition.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Sleep Hygiene Tips:
- Keep a regular sleep schedule and try to go to bed at around the same time each night.
- Get a comfortable mattress, pillow, and sheets on your bed.
- Avoid caffeine before bedtime or after dinner.
- Exercise regularly but not too close to bedtime (about four hours prior).
- Keep a sleep diary and make notes of how you feel and how much sleep you got.
- Consider visiting a chiropractor.
Chiropractic Care for Healthy Sleep
Chiropractic care is an alternate form of care that focuses on the alignment of the spine. Chiropractors educate patients that misalignments in the spine can cause health problems, including sleep disorders. There is evidence that chiropractors can help improve sleep quality by adjusting the spine. They may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and maintaining a regular schedule, as noted above.