the sleep hub parasomnia

Parasomnia: End The Nightmare Now With These Methods

We all have bad dreams from time to time. There is nothing wrong about that. However, when these occasional dreams transform into regular nightmares and you wake up in the middle of the night screaming for help, then there is a big problem that needs to be solved. This is a serious condition well known among doctors under the name of parasomnia.

 

What Actually is Parasomnia?

 

The term “parasomnia” refers to sleep-related disorders that occur while sleeping, such as nightmares, sleep walking, sleep aggression, sleep paralysis, REM sleep or sleepsex. Parasomnia is quite common nowadays, with more and more people experiencing the disturbing effects of this condition. Whether they are related to past traumas or have no logical cause, night terrors can wreak havoc in your life and can literally ruin your mornings. To learn more about parasomnia, access the following link: http://sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/sleep-and-parasomnias

 

Some people believe that parasomnia is related to spiritual, even supernatural causes. This supposition might not be too far away from the reality. However, the good news is that you can actually control your nightmares and fight parasomnia. According to recent research, daytime emotions and nighttime terrors are strongly connected. This means you can end this nightmare today by using certain tips and techniques.

 

How to Fight Parasomnia – Concrete Steps

 

– Clinic help: one of the best ways to put an end to the terrors of the night is to seek specialized help. You can talk to a doctor and acknowledge your fears and symptoms in order to find a solution. The doctor can book you in for a sleep study. Once in the location, you enjoy 24/7 supervision and you are safe from parasomnia. In case those terrors of the night choose to pay you a visit, you can press a button and a nurse will come at your bed ASAP. Your sleep is monitored and the staff will be able to know if something bad has happened even before you realize it.

 

After a few weeks, you can view your sleep patterns as a graph. This helps you acknowledge your situation and prepares you for the fight that lies ahead of you.

 

– Drug treatment: another great way to fight parasomnia is to take trimiperamene and clonazepam. While the former is a powerful antidepressant that is used by worldwide doctors to sedate people who suffer from major psychotic disorders, the latter is a strong muscle relaxant medicine used in cases of panic attacks and epilepsy. Taking these pills just before sleeping can have a great positive impact on your sleep. Most of the people who have taken these drugs declared that they enjoyed sound sleep for months.

 

This drug treatment should only be taken under strict surveillance by a doctor. Every six months, your medication will be reviewed and the dose will be potentially cut if your condition has improved meanwhile.

 

– Put your worries to rest: try to clear your head of the daily hassles and to think clear just before you go to bed. Daily worries influence our sleep. People who tend to worry a lot usually sleep much worse than those who have either managed to control their emotions or have no worries in their lives.

 

– Control your dreams: another great method to overcome parasomnia and put an end to bad dreams is to learn how to control your dreams. As you fall asleep, remind yourself that you want your dreams to be about “Y”, Y being something positive. Try to visualize a safe place, such as a resort near the sea or a hotel room in the middle of the city.

 

– Call the National Nightmare Hotline: if nothing else works, you can always call the Nightmare Response Line – 1-866-376-7911. Skilled staff are always ready to listen to your nightmares and help you get over them. However, this team does not provide therapy or interpret dreams.

 

– Don’t catastrophize your nightmares: sometimes you might experience disturbing dreams and nightmares. If this happens, try to stay positive and to be realistic. Most of the things you dream of will never happen in real life. The reality is always much more positive than these nightmares.

 

The Bottom Line

 

Dreams do not have to affect you and ruin your life. You can now fight back and take control of your dreams. End the nightmare now by fighting and conquering parasomnia.

 

The nitty-gritty of Bruxism

Bruxism or Grinding Teeth

The importance of proper quality of sleep cannot be overemphasized. However, there are several disorders that make sleep hard to find, one of them being Sleep Bruxism (SB). This is a common condition that affects both children and adults, and that is why shedding some light on its practical details is as right as rain. It is simply a sleep disorder that is characterized by gnashing or teeth grinding at night, as well as jaw clenching during sleep. This oral parafunctional activity isn’t a disease, but when exacerbated may cause an unbalance and changing of orofacial structures.

Causes and risk factors for sleep Bruxism

Though the exact cause of sleep Bruxism is still an enigma, studies have revealed that it is highly linked to anxiety, sensitivity to brain chemicals and very brief and intense awakenings from sleep. Stress, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine, snoring and sleep Apnea are also believed to exacerbate teeth grinding. Genetic factors are also associated with this condition, meaning that if you come from a family with a history sleep Bruxism, its attack is a bitter pill you may have to swallow at some point in your life.

Living with sleep Bruxism.

People suffering from this condition experience several symptoms such as excessive tooth wear, tooth fractures and hypersensitive teeth. They normally experience pain when biting on food, due to inflammation and sensitivity of the periodontal teeth ligament. They also grind their teeth during sleep, producing an unpleasant noise. Cheek biting and lip biting may follow this grinding, and the person in question feels a burning sensation in the tongue. Other symptoms include teeth indentations, hypertrophy, tenderness and fatigue of the muscles mastication as well as restricted mouth opening. The TemporoMandibular joints also become painful and headaches follow, as if in conspiracy to make the life of the sufferer miserable.

Sleep Bruxism is also associated with several other health conditions. These includes Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral palsy, Acrodynia,Torus mandibularis, Intellectual disability, Oromandibular dystonia, Rett syndrome, Dyskinesias, Down syndrome and autism. The list is long. Indeed, misfortunes seldom come singly. These conditions may also attack or a sleep bruxism patient, striking hot nail on the already bleeding wound. Conversely, suffering from these conditions may set the stage for bruxism attack.

People living with patients of sleep bruxism.

Grinding of teeth is associated with an unpleasant sound which can be heard by a partner who is close to the sufferer. It is important for people to understand the suffering of their friends or relatives suffering from bruxism and treat them accordingly. This is not a death threatening condition and therefore all and sundry should support those affected to ensure that their path to the pink of health is smooth. For instance, if you are living with a sleep bruxism patient, ensure that he or she gets enough sleep, drinks a lot of water and does not take alcohol. Also, ensure that he or she avoids sleeping on his or her back (supine position) and keep computers and TVs away from the bedroom.

Management and treatment for Sleep Bruxism.

There are both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment for sleep bruxism. They are mainly geared towards alleviating if not eliminating the effects of sleep bruxism. The non-pharmacological treatments include applying ice to painful jaw muscles, avoiding hard foods, avoiding chewing gum and drinking plenty of water. It is also important to ensure that you take the right quality and quantity of sleep for your age, involving both the REM and N-REM sleep cycles. Additionally, practice physical therapy exercises in order to stretch the muscles of the mouth, the face and the entire head. Massaging these muscles is the icing on the cake.

 

It is safe to say that behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy are the mainstream treatments for bruxism. This is because research on the medications to combat this condition is still on going, mainly involving antidepressants, muscle relaxants , benzodiazepines, dopamine agents, anticonvulsants and beta blockers. Specifically, clonazepam, amitriptyline, levodopa, bromocriptine, clonidine, pergolide, I-tryptophan and propranolol have been useful in the medical treatment for bruxism.

In a nutshell, though bruxism is not a dangerous disorder, it could lead permanent teeth damage which sets the stage for more problems. It could also lead to a myriad of pains involving the jaw, the ears and the head. For this reason, its treatment is recommended, but it should be prevented at all costs, keeping in mind that an ounce of prevention is better than an ounce of cure.

You could also try the highly acclaimed  TMJ No More program. It is an original high quality product and one of the most comprehensive holistic TMJ/Teeth Grinding solutions on the net. The product also stands on its own because of the exclusive bonus that comes with it: They offer 24 hour personal counseling and support to guide  clients through the program until they reach their goals (get rid of TMJ naturally). You can access it instantly, just CLICK HERE

 

 

 

Restless Leg Syndrome Overview and Latest Research

Also referred to as WED or the Willis-Ekbom disease, restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the body’s neurological system. It manifests itself as a regular irresistible urge by the sufferer to move his or her legs. Although it most commonly occurs in the legs, it can also affect other parts of the body such as the head, torso and arms. Estimates within the US population put the disease at 5 percent prevalence for the general population and 10 percent for citizens over the age of sixty five. In addition, the number of infected women is twice as much as that of the men.

Symptoms

Symptoms experienced by RLS patients range in intensity from mild to fairly serious to very intolerable. In general however, the general symptom is that of restlessness usually in the legs. Occurring commonly when the sufferer is at rest, sensations of itchiness, ‘crawling’ or pins and needles are experienced. While they can be mild at times, they can also increase in severity during other periods of the day especially in the evening and at night.
In some people, RLS symptoms start early and get worse with age while in others, periods of remission occur. These remissions usually occur in the beginning stages of the disease and can last for a few weeks or even months.

Causes of RLS

The primary causes of the disease are yet to be fully uncovered and research is ongoing. Up to now, researchers have linked iron deficiency with a lot of RLS cases (20 percent). Other health conditions thought to be linked with RLS include rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, a deficiency in magnesium, sleep apnea and fibromyalgia. A number of medications are also associated with RLS. They include antidepressants, anti-nausea drugs, cold and allergy medicines and antipsychotic medications.
It has also been discovered that certain factors put some people at a much higher risk of getting RLS as compared to the rest of the population. One of these factors is pregnancy. A number of women experience RLS symptoms during the course of pregnancy. These symptoms quickly disappear around a month after the baby is born. Other predisposing factors include alcohol use, lack of sleep and depression.
Among all the known causes of RLS, there is one that has attributed to the highest number of cases (60 percent) and that is genetics. In these sufferers, a member of the family also has the same condition and passes it on to them.

Diagnosis and treatment of RLS

Doctors are yet to come up with a specific and sure test for restless leg syndrome. Sometimes, doctors will apply various tests to rule out other health conditions including vitamin deficiency. A proper diagnosis is made based on four symptoms.
1. An increase in the severity of the symptoms towards the evening and at night and noticeable reduction in severity in the morning. In severe cases however, symptoms may be experienced even during the day.
2. Sensations of tingling, pricking, numbness, pain and burning in the legs and arms, or both. These sensations produce an urge to move the affected limbs.
3. Increase in severity of symptoms during periods of rest and especially while asleep.
4. A temporary occurrence of relief when movement is initiated such as by walking or jogging.

Once the disease is successfully diagnosed, a proper course of treatment is determined. The goal of the treatment is to reduce symptoms and thus improve quality of life. Sifrol for restless leg syndrome is one of the most commonly used drugs and others include Levodopa, rotigotine and ropinirole. The treatment applied highly depends on the nature and situation surrounding the disease. While anti-convulsants are ideal for ‘pain’ symptoms, opioids are only used in severe situations where other medication fails to work. For moderate RLS symptoms, Gabapentin is used.

Latest research

In February 2014, a medical report published by the New England Journal of Medicine, stated that certain long term RLS medications made the condition worse. It advocated for the use of pegabalin which was more effective and less likely to increase severity of symptoms.
In March of the same year, two major discoveries were made. One of the discoveries was that problems in early brain development could be a factor in the occurrence of RLS. The second, equally important discovery is that RLS may not just be a disease in itself but also as an indicator of deeper health problems such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

hypnagogic auditory hallucination

Exploding Head Syndrome

Exploding Head Syndrome

hypnagogic auditory hallucination

Exploding head syndrome is a rare kind of sleep disorder, categorized under parasomnias. Parasomnias can be termed as eccentric occurrences at some point during sleep, while falling asleep or when waking up. The condition was first documented in 1920 by Armstrong Jones, a scientist who described it as “snapping of the brain”.

Individuals who are above the age of 50 years are the most vulnerable although it can happen in childhood. Below is a comprehensive look at the disease in the quest to understand it better;

Exploding Head Syndrome Symptoms

1. Individuals experiencing this condition describe hearing a sudden and loud sound in the head. Often, it sounds like;

· The sound of a gunshot

· A deafening clash of cymbals

· The sound of a slamming door

· Shouts and screams from people

· An electric buzzing sound

· A tremendously loud rushing sound

· Loud sounds which cannot be described precisely

2. While exploding syndrome is not painful, some individuals describe it as painful at the onset. Most are scared or upset when it wakes them up from sleep.

3. Individuals may experience sensations of flashing light

4. Brief occurrences sleep paralysis accompanied by an out-of-day experience

5. Difficulty in breathing which only lasts for a short period of time

These episodes last for a few seconds, or a few minutes and do not occur during the main stages of sleep; only when falling asleep or waking up.

 

Causes and Risk Factors

The main reason why exploding head syndrome occurs the way it does is yet to be explained. As perplexing as it is, some psychologist and physicians have sighted the following reasons outlined below as the probable causes

· Trifling seizures in the temporal lobe

· Spontaneous movements of the parts of the ear including the ear drum or the tensor tympani which is the muscle responsible for reducing sound, like the sound of chewing food for instance.

· Damage to the brain cells

· Muscle jerks, referred to as sleep starts, nocturnal myoclonus or hypnic jerk

· Anxiety, fatigue and stress

· Sharp stabbing pain, although it’s very rare

· Age factor

 

Diagnosis

If you’re diagnosed with the exploding head syndrome, a physician or psychologist will carry out the following procedures on you;

· Assess your medical history to ascertain when and how often it happens. Mostly, bed partners are called upon to provide the necessary information.

· Physical examination aimed at establishing if you have any physical disorders which may cause the condition.

· Overnight polysomnography PSG which is basically an exam to test the sleep so as to ultimately study your sleeping behavior.

· Electroencephalograms, EEG, a process which involves recording of the attacks and analyzing any activities that are deemed to be abnormal.

· Urine Drug Screening Examination so as to rule out any possibility drug abuse.

 

Treatment

Treatment for exploding head syndrome involves;

A Visit to the Doctor – By paying a visit to the doctor, individuals can be sure of proper advice and correct diagnosis. It’s important to mention that it’s only a qualified doctor who is allowed to diagnose such conditions.

Controlling Stress – One of the causes of exploding head syndrome is stress. It therefore goes without saying that if patients embark on a stress relief therapy they will be going a long way in improving the condition.

Keep a Sleep Journal – Recording how often the experiences occur comes in handy when trying to track the syndrome.

Avoid Periods of Fatigue – Research shows that parasomnias are likely to occur when an individual is exhausted. Fatigue can be avoided by getting enough sleep during the day or sleeping for the recommended 8 hours everyday.

Medications – If the above mentioned treatments don’t work, you can request the physician to prescribe a medication for you. Medications prescribed include depressants such as Clomipramine.

Exercise Patience – Exploding head syndrome resolves with time and sometimes all you have to do is be patient and wait for the condition to recede.

 

Related Conditions

Other conditions related to the exploding head syndrome include;

Recurrent isolated sleep paralysis – Individuals suffering from this condition are aware of the surroundings but cannot move their bodies. It occurs as you begin to sleep or wake up.

Kleine-Levine Syndrome – Unlike exploding head syndrome, Kleine-Levine syndrome is characterized by excessive sleepiness and mood swings which can last from hours to weeks

Free Running Syndrome – This is typified by irregular sleep cycles that changes later each day and is one of the hardest sleep disorders to correct.

Fatal Famillial Insomnia – This is a rare condition that affects the brain and may lead to losing the ability to sleep at and subsequently death.

Sleep may come across as an unproductive activity but in the reality it is paramount in maintaining and enduring human health. Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention should you be affected by any of the above sleep disorders.

 

 

 

 

death by sleep

Fatal Familial Insomnia; The Disturbing & Deadly Truth

Fatal Familial Insomnia

fatal insomnia

 

Fatal Familial Insomnia is one of the most interesting diseases known to mankind. It is a state of sleeplessness that begins during middle age; once your child-bearing years are over. FFI is very rare, affecting less than 40 families world-wide at time of posting. This ticking time bomb is caused by a rare genetic mutation whose nature links this it to the likes of Kuru, Mad Cow Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Fatal Familial Insomnia is known as a Prion disease (as are those mentioned above). A Prion is a name given to an infectious agent and in the case of FFI it is caused by a mis-folded protein that permanently affects the structure of the brain.

The prions eat away at the Thalamus region, which is the part of the brain responsible for the regulation of sleep as well as other sensory and motor functions. Due to the disease not presenting until middle age, the disease has been unknowingly passed down through whole familes. You can read about the fascinating case of one poor family in the book The Family That Couldn’t Sleep.

The documenary Dying To Sleep can be seen here:

There is now a genetic test, but unforunately no known cure as yet.

This deadly brain disease manifests itself in four stages :

1) The inexplicable and sudden onset of insomnia can cause unfounded phobias and panic attacks. This stages last for about 4 months.

2) When sleep deprivation takes hold, the hallucinations and panic attacks may become severe. This stage lasts for about 5 months.

3) Insomnia starts causing weight loss, and restricts proper mental functioning. The duration of this stage is about 3 months.

4) Finally, the person suffers unresponsiveness and dementia. This stages lasts for about 6 months.

Eventually, the person suffering from fatal insomnia falls into a state of coma, and dies. One of the most unfortunate aspects of this disease perhaps, is that the person has a clear understanding of the condition, while experiencing the physical agony induced by total sleeplessness.

obstructive sleep apnea, OSA

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Treat Sleep Apnea The Natural Way

 

obstructive sleep apnea, OSA

What is it? What can be done about obstructive sleep apnea in adults and children? Can you die from it? Sleep Apnea is a chronic medical condition where the affected individual stops breathing several times during sleep causing the oxygen levels in the blood to drop.

Some of its symptoms include;

  • Waking up with a dry/sore throat,
  • Snoring,
  • Restless sleep,
  • Drowsiness and lack of energy during the day,
  • Choking or gasping for air during the night.
  • Feeling of gagging while sleeping
  • Morning headache
  • Memory loss
  • Low mood/depression
  • Impotence and lack of sex drive

 

Sleep apnea is a highly distressing disorder for the sufferer and people living alongside them. To be diagnosed the sufferer must have these pauses in breathing at least 5 times in one hour for 10 seconds or more.

 

Can you die from it? 

In a study of patients who died suddenly who had had recent sleep studies performed, it was shown that almost half of the patients with sleep apnea died between the hours of midnight to 6 a.m., compared with 21% without sleep apnea. It is possible that these individuals died suddenly during periods of apnea. Recent studies show sleep apnea may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. You can read about one such study here, However, these people may have had other medical complications.

 

Cure sleep apnea naturally

 

 

 


Sleep apnea treatments and solutions


• Nasal decongestants

It can be a nasal dilator, breathing strip, saline spray or a neti pot all of these can be used to keep your nasal passages open. Nasal decongestants are only effective in mild sleep apnea and snoring.

Positive Airway Pressure Items (Devices)

They are used with a number of breathing mask. The mask should securely fit over your nose or over both your mouth and nose. It should be a bit tight so as not to move out of place when you turn in bed because then it won’t work. It supplies pressurized air-flow
continuously into the throat of the wearer enabling more air to get into the airway. This ensures the airway does not collapse causing you to wake up to catch a breath. It can be used for both mild and severe apnea. The flexible air tubes from the machines allow the pressurized air to be supplied. Among the commonly known machines is the continuous positive airway (CPAP), variable positive air-way pressure (VPAP) and bi-level positive airway (BiPAP). Studies on the effect of these airway devices indicate that they are very effective on OSA patients that use them regularly.

• Positional therapy

Certain people experience sleep apnea when they sleep in certain positions especially sleeping on the back. These people are advised to try different sleeping positions and see which one allows them to breathe properly when sleeping. It only works for those with mild
sleep apnea those with a severe condition it doesn’t change a thing irrespective of what position you sleep in.

• Mouth guards

They are specifically designed to allow more air into the airways. They are worn on the mouth while sleeping they work by pulling the lower jaw a bit forward from its normal position. This slight change is responsible for letting more air to your passages thus letting you breath properly.

• Surgery for children

Research shows most children with sleep apnea have bigger tonsils and adenoids or both. Surgical procedure that removes these two has shown 75% of children with the condition cured. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends this as the best first cause of action when kids exhibit sleep apnea condition.

• Surgery for adults

Unfortunately this is not as straight forward as in chidren.It is effective for treating snoring but not as effective in treating OSA. The challenge faced by surgeons is they cannot pinpoint exactly where the problem is in the numerous sites of the airway. Since the part obstructing the airways cannot be identified by conventional sleep testing surgery may not stop the condition. Given the several places in the airway that obstruction could occur various types of operations have been invented to try to eliminate sleep apnea. One of
these is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP Nasal surgery it has a success rate of over 50% which makes it worth trying. Some surgeons have also reported success by trying multiple stages surgery this where they deal with every part of the airway that may have
obstructions. They advise it is important once you’ve had the surgery to come for routine assessment so that your progress can be accessed. Your physician and surgeon will advise you on what is the best surgery to have it can be one of these; tracheostomy, lower jaw advancement, tongue base reduction, tongue advancement, hyoid advancement or soft palate implants.

Lifestyle changes that may help with sleep apnea treatment and solution.

1. Quit smoking

Smoking is thought to enhance the condition by increasing inflammation and fluid rentation in your upper airway and throat.

2. Abstain from alcohol, sleeping pills and sedatives

They are believed to relax throat muscles thus interfering with the breathing process especially when taken before bed.

3. Keep regular sleeping hours

Maintaining regular sleep helps you relax and sleep better thus decreasing episodes of sleep apnea.

4. Avoid caffeine and heavy meals

This two prevent you from sleeping on time and do not allow you to have a good night sleep since your body is forced to work overtime.

5. Lose some weight if you are obese /overweight. This cannot be overstated enough!

It is believed these people have extra tissue at the back of their throat that blocks the airway and block flow of air in the lungs while you sleep. Reducing a bit of weight may reduce episodes of sleep apnea and losing all the excess weight may totally cure sleep apnea.

Ignoring sleep apnea is dangerous since it can result to even greater health risks among them; it increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and diabetes, it makes arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats common, it can lead to an accident while driving or operating machinery since your concentration is low. Seek a physician help if you exhibit any symptoms to get sleep apnea treatment and solutions.

Are there alternatives to the CPAP?

Yes!

Acupuncture: 

Some studies suggest acupunctures anti-inflammatory and serotonergic ( enhances the effects of serotonin in the central nervous system) may help, but it should be approached as a complimentary treatment in anything but mild cases, rather than a stand-alone treatment.

Dental Appliance

A Mandibular Repositioning Appliance looks like a mouth-guard and can be used as an alternative to surgery. They move the tongue or lower jaw forward opening the airway. This is not suitable for severe cases but makes a good natural alternative to surgery for those with mild to moderate Apnea.

Provent

One of the newest and most promising option available. The nasal EPAP (expiratory positive airway pressure) device does away with the bulky CPAP . The Provent is a small patch with 2 plugs that fit into the nostrils. A valve opens when you inhale, but closes on exhalation so that air is forced out of a small channel; this causes slight back pressure which keeps the airway open. The Provent is for mild to severe cases and is proving very successful. They cost approx $2 per night. You can find them here Provent. Unfortunately they are not yet available in the UK

treat sleep apnea with exercise naturally

 

scared to sleep

Are You Scared to Sleep?

Causes, Symptoms and Cures of Somniphobia

People battling conditions like Insomnia will try all avenues available to them so that they can get to shut their eyes at night and keep them shut until the morning! However, there are people who find bed- time very uncomfortable and persistently experience panic attacks as this time approaches. This experience or feeling is what is referred to as Somniphobia, and being scared to sleep can have a huge impact on ones life.

In the past, people that suffered from this type of phobia did not tend to come out and share their problem. Often because they thought of themselves as unusual. However, in recent times more and more people have come open about their situation and finally the fear to sleep is finally receiving its fair share of attention allowing people that have battled with this condition to finally get solutions.

There are a number of things that could cause one to develop the fear of sleep. There are no cases that have been reported to be present since birth and most of the individuals that have been diagnosed with the condition can attest that it has not always been part and parcel of them. Some of the things that have largely been blamed for this phobia are things like traumatic experiences, nightmares, genetics and hereditary traits. However, it is worth noting that this is just like any other phobia and the pattern of causes is similar to those of others.

One may not be able to realize that they are suffering with somniphobia or could be in denial about having a phobia. Nevertheless, there are a variety of symptoms that could help you understand if what you have is Somniphobia (also known as Clinophobia). Some of the symptoms that are associated with Somniphobia, though differ depending on severity of the condition, can include shortness of breath around bed time, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating, extreme anxiety and nausea. You may also fail to be able to articulate words properly around the same time and a dry mouth could be another way that you can use to tell whether what you have is Somniphobia. If these symptoms are consistent with what you could be going through, then it is vital that you see a doctor as soon as possible.

Because of the lack of enough and proper sleep, there are a variety of effects that this kind of condition could cause. The importance of covering this is that one gets the scope of things and understands just how detrimental ignoring professional attention could be. Fatigue due to lack of sleep is among the most notable effects. However, a low immune system, reduced awareness or inability to focus and mood swings are other side effects that could be catastrophic to one’s life if not attended to.

There are a variety of treatments that have overtime proven to be effective though it is worth having in mind that people are different and the severity of the condition could greatly affect the kind of treatment that could work for you. For starters, one may be prescribed medication to help cope with the situation. However, just like in the case of other phobias, it is important to note that medications do not cure Somniphobia. What it does is suppress the system and make the process more bearable and as such you may want to look for a longer lasting process.

One way to go about this would be to talk to somebody, namely a professional. This is because, a professional will be able to help you uncover when and what started the problem. Additionally, they will be able to walk you through the process and help you overcome your underlying problems. This might not be the best experience for you but I can assure you the relief and health benefits you will feel at finally being able to relax into a good nights sleep without fear is worth the time and effort required.

Other forms of therapy that could come in handy in treating Clinophobia include behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy as well as counseling. Just remember that what works for another person may not work for you so if a certain process doesn’t work for you, don’t give up. Try another one.

Phobias can take a huge chunk of one’s life from them. However, with the right help and support they can be suppressed or even eradicated all together. It is important that you get help the sooner the better to save you all the trouble and suffering.

narcolepsy

Narcolepsy Syndrome- When Sleep Attacks

 

Narcolepsy Syndrome

narcolepsy

 Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterised by excessive daytime drowsiness and extreme attacks of daytime sleep.

Narcolepsy is a disorder that affects 0.05% of the UK’s population, meaning that the disease affects about 5 in 10,000 in the community. This disorder is also associated with sudden attacks of sleep and insomnia, dream like hallucinations and sleep paralysis. People facing the Narcolepsy syndrome often find it difficult to stay awake for longer periods of time irrespective of their circumstances. Hence, Narcolepsy can cause serious disruption in the life of people facing the syndrome.

It should be noted that Narcolepsy is not related to depression. Although the actual cause of narcolepsy is still unknown, some experts believe that it is due to a deficiency in the production of a chemical in the brain called “hypocretin”. Researchers have also discovered various abnormalities in different parts of the brain involved in regulating REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This REM (rapid eye movement sleep) is a deeper sleep cycle which usually occurs after 90 minutes of falling asleep.

People facing the narcolepsy syndrome have difficulty in following the normal sleep pattern and fall immediately asleep as well as periodically during the waking hours. Hence, the stage of REM which normally comes after 90 minutes of having asleep occurs almost immediately in the case of narcolepsy. Hence, abnormalities like these contribute to symptom development.

Narcolepsy symptoms usually develop during the teen years or young adult years normally between the ages of 10-25. Although, not limited to these ages, Narcolepsy is more common in this age group. Narcolepsy may begin during the years when a person is around 10 to 25 and may get worse with time. The key symptoms of Narcolepsy are the following:

 Disturbed Sleep Pattern

People with narcolepsy fall asleep almost immediately. Their sleeping pattern is highly disturbed. Excessive daytime sleep is usually the first symptom of narcolepsy. A person with narcolepsy may be talking to a friend and fall asleep almost immediately and wake up again in half an hour feeling refreshed. People having narcolepsy also find it difficult to sleep at night. These people often have fragmented sleep which makes them feel tired and sleepy in the morning.

 Cataplexy

Cataplexy also referred to as the sudden loss of muscle tone can cause a number of physical changes from difficulty in speaking to feeling weak in the muscles. This can last for seconds for up to two minutes again repeating every 20 to 60 minutes. This is often triggered by a sudden burst of emotions.

Sleep paralysis

People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to move or sleep while falling immediately asleep or upon waking. Although, these episodes are brief and can last for a couple of minutes but these can be frightening.

Hallucinations

These hallucinations are vivid dream like experiences which occurs between the sleep and wakeup cycle. A person with narcolepsy may be semi awake while dreaming hence these images may appear as reality.

People with the narcolepsy syndrome find it difficult to concentrate at school, work and home and social life. Although, there is no cure for narcolepsy experts believe that medicines, changes in lifestyle such as avoiding caffeine, alcohol, consumption of nicotine and shorter meals can make a significant difference. In addition to this, experts also try and regulate sleep schedules, and day time naps to (10-15 minutes in length).

Moreover, establishing a healthy meal schedule and daily exercise and other therapies have also helped improve these symptoms and helped regulate a normal sleep cycle. These treatments are often tailored as per the individual’s requirements and after carefully studying the person having the narcolepsy syndrome.

Wide Awake and Dreaming is a fascinating first hand account of life with Narcolepsy.  narcolepsy

Julie Flygare was on an ambitious path to success, entering law school at age 22, when narcolepsy destroyed the neurological boundaries between dreaming and reality in her brain. She faced terrifying hallucinations, paralysis and excruciating sleepiness – aspects of dream sleep taking place while wide awake.

Her illness propelled her onto a journey she never imagined – from lying paralyzed on her apartment floor to dancing euphorically at a nightclub; from the classrooms of Harvard Medical School to the start line of the Boston Marathon.

It is a thought-provoking read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

sleepstealers

Sleep Walking

Sleep Walking

sleepwalking

Sleep walking is something most people have encountered at some point in their lives. Even very small children can fall victim to the odd habit of rising from bed and wandering about after dark. It is most common in children aged between 6 and 12 years old but it can and does continue into adulthood, and for some it remains a regular activity.

To those people it can become a real problem with their day-to-day lives being affected negatively and their family members being disturbed and worried over the nocturnal wanderings. Contrary to popular belief it is not dangerous to wake a sleepwalking person, unless of course they are in a dangerous position like the fifteen year old girl who was found precariously snoozing on top of a 130ft crane at 2am, (teenager sleep-climbs up crane) but it will leave them startled and disorientated.

 

There are many tales about the amazing things which some people get up to during sleep walking episodes, from cooking full meals to dressing, leaving the house and going to school or work…in fact anything you can do while you are awake you can do whilst all the time completely asleep.

 

There have been many crimes commited, and some cases acquitted as a result of a sleep walking verdict. One of the most famous being the Kenneth Parks case. Kenneth’s story was captured in the film The Sleep Walker Killing. Kenneth Parks stabbed his mother-in-law to death and assaulted and seriously injured his father-in-law after driving 14 miles to their house whilst apparently asleep. He arrived at the police station after the event traumatised and repeating “I think I’ve kiiled some people”.

His claims to have been asleep during the whole ordeal were of course met with scepticism, however the specialists could find no other explanation. Parks’ EEG readings were highly irregular even for a parasomniac. This combined with the facts that there was no motive, that he was amazingly consistent in his stories for more than seven interviews despite repeated attempts of trying to lead him astray, that the timing of the events fit perfectly with the proposed explanation, and that there is no way to fake EEG results, led to a jury acquitting Parks.

There are approximately 70 recorded cases of people commiting murder while seemingly asleep to date.

On a lighter more positive note Welsh- Australian Lee Hadwin, who has no desire or ability to paint during his waking life, has frequently woke to find he has created spectacular paintings during the night. He can never recall producing them but has frequent vivid dreams about painting. He is now fondly known as Kipasso. See a short interview with ‘Kipasso’ here.

A study by scientists at the UCLA and the University of Wisconsin have jointly found that different parts of the brain ‘go to sleep’ at different times meaning communication between different regions can be lost throughout the sleep stages. This could partly explain disorders such as sleep walking. This makes us more like Dolphins who are known for their ability to sleep with one part of their brain, while the other controls their need to surface for air while they sleep. Source:  Study Finds Brain Regions Go Offline at Different Intervals.

If you or a family member is suffering from regular sleep walking episodes then you will know what a worrying habit it is; the main thing to remember is that for many people, sleep walking is a periodic problem…something which crops up during times of stress or worry and it is not something which usually occurs regularly.

 

What causes sleep walking and is it possible to stop?

Most sleep walkers find that their wanderings become worse during times of worry, upheaval or stress. Teenagers who are sitting exams are commonly affected by sleep disturbances and may get up and look for their books if they have studied for too long during the day and people who are stressed about work may wander about looking for their phone or their diary. The best way to deal with sleep walking is to ensure that the hour before bed is a calm one. Avoid alcohol. Avoid tea or coffee after 6.00pm and don’t eat too close to bedtime either! A warm bath and a herbal tea before bed is a good way to allow the mind to unwind.

 

How to manage sleepwalking in children

Small children who sleep walk are thankfully quite rare however it can happen that an upheaval or big change in a child’s life can trigger an episode of restlessness and sleep walking. If you do encounter this problem with your child, the main thing is to know that in the majority of cases, the child will remember nothing about it in the morning…and won’t be upset or disturbed by the problem.

 

If you see or hear your child wandering after they have fallen asleep, deal with them in the same way as you would an adult sleep walker; gently guide them back to their bed and wait for a few minutes to see that they are going to remain there. It can happen that a child will repeatedly get out of bed and sometimes may appear to be awake with eyes open and even asking for things. Look closely though and a sleepwalking child will appear “blank” or not fully aware. Once the period of change is over, most children will cease to sleepwalk and will return to normal habits.

 

If your child, or anyone in your household is prone to sleep walking, always be sure to secure doors and windows and that cookers and other dangerous equipment are unplugged at night. Try to ensure the sleep walker sleeps on the ground floor if possible. Placing an alarm or bell on the bedroom door may awaken the sleep-walker or alert others in the house that someone is up and wandering.

There are medications available for serious cases but the preferred treatment options are learning relaxation techniques, using mental imagery, or implementing planned awakenings if the pattern is regular enough. Wake the person about 20 minutes before they usually start sleep walking and keep them awake for the amount of time the episode usually occurs.

As always, your first port of call should be your doctor’s surgery.

Comments are open. If anyone would like to share their experiences we would love to read them!

 

scared to sleep

Sleep Paralysis- What Is It?

 

sleep paralysis- what is it

Sleep paralysis- What is it? Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon which has attracted much interest over many centuries. It has been called by many different names over the years and some people have tried to blame paranormal activity as a cause for the very uncomfortable sensations which it can bring about…today however, sleep experts understand a large part of why it happens and as a result can offer those suffering from it some help.

 

What does sleep paralysis feel like and why does it happen?

The most common descriptions of sleep paralysis are that it is like being frozen inside your own body; completely unable to move and yet completely aware of surroundings, thoughts and feelings. It occurs at the moment which the sufferer falls asleep or just as the sufferer is about to wake up. Many people report that when they are in the throes of it, they are aware of an “evil presence” in the room which they cannot see but which they “know” they must escape. It is this which has given rise to the suspicions which some people have around sleep paralysis being a paranormal event…the “evil presence” being attributed to some kind of spirit or demon.

 

In actual fact the reason for this fearful experience is simply a trick of the brain; when the body and mind are in that phase between sleep and wakefulness, the brain can have a momentary lapse in judgement and from this arises the awful inability to move; alongside it comes a very natural reflexive fear of attack…the mind realises that the body cannot move and so creates a fight or flight response which makes the sufferer assume there’s something dangerous about which needs to be avoided at all cost. There are some experts who believe that most “ghostly visitations” and even “alien abductions” can be explained away with sleep paralysis and other sleep disorders.

 

How to avoid sleep paralysis

The best way to avoid sleep paralysis is to practice good sleep hygiene. This means retiring to bed at the same time every night and ensuring that you do not indulge in alcohol or stimulating drinks in the hours before bedtime. In addition to this it makes sense to avoid lively films and books, computer games and spicy foods! Ensuring that the body is not having to process a lot of input or to deal with difficult to digest foods can really help in the prevention of all types of sleep disorder including sleep paralysis.

 

What if that doesn’t work?

Some cases of sleep paralysis are so bad that even excellent sleep hygiene cannot improve the situation. Seeing experts at a sleep clinic is the next sensible step and your general practitioner should be able to refer you on to a qualified professional who can help you.

 

Sleep paralysis is a frightening and upsetting thing to experience and for many it can cause real problems as they continually wake up exhausted and stressed. Follow the sleep hygiene guidelines and try to keep a good routine at bedtime…this is something which will help most people who suffer from this unfortunate condition.

Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night, by Ryan Hurd explores this and other fascinating sleep- states