Indeed, sleep is essential for everyone regardless of sex, background, economic status, and the like. With enough sleep, you can keep your body healthy and avoid chronic diseases. Moreover, you can improve your ability to memorize, concentrate, and think clearly.
However, various factors can affect men and women and the time they spend sleeping. These factors include work schedules, aging, family responsibilities, medical conditions, and disruptive bedroom environments. Although both share the same amount of nightly sleep needs, recent findings show that sleep experiences vary. Noticeably, it’s believed that many men are unable to get quality sleep every night.
If you’re a man who wants to have a good night’s sleep, you should consider having a good, comfortable mattress. Online shops today sell electric adjustable beds that promote proper spinal alignment and enhance the quality of your sleep.
However, if you still have difficulty falling or staying asleep after availing yourself of a comfortable bed, that may be a sign of a sleeping disorder. With that, read further to learn more about the types of sleeping disorders in men and how to treat them.
- Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This sleep disorder has two types: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. When diagnosing sleep apnea, a doctor will review your personal medical history, check your family history, and conduct a physical exam.
Moreover, your physician will likely ask a few questions about the symptoms you’re experiencing to determine if you have sleep apnea. Notably, people with sleep apnea experience symptoms like snoring or choking, drowsiness during the daytime, difficulty falling or staying asleep, and morning headaches.
If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, the good news is that several treatment options are available for you. Depending on your symptoms and how long they’ve occurred, a sleep specialist will decide which treatment options are appropriate for you. These treatments include oral surgery, medications, and oral appliances.
In addition to these treatment options, it’s highly advised to take various lifestyle approaches to manage sleep apnea. These approaches include exercising, avoiding alcohol, and quitting smoking.
Narcolepsy is a long-term neurological disorder that affects the nervous system. A person with this sleeping disorder experiences sudden attacks of sleepiness and may have uncontrollable incidents of falling asleep during the day. Note that this sleeping disorder has two types: type 1 and type 2 narcolepsy.
A person with type 1 narcolepsy experiences excessive drowsiness during the daytime along with ‘cataplexy’ or sudden muscle weakness. On the other hand, a person with type 2 narcolepsy also has excessive daytime drowsiness yet doesn’t have cataplexy.
If you’re diagnosed with narcolepsy, various lifestyle changes are vital in managing this sleep disorder. These lifestyle changes include taking scheduled naps, creating a rigid sleep routine, and avoiding stimulants like caffeine late in the day. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet are excellent ways to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness as well.
Moreover, the primary medications to treat narcolepsy fall into two categories. The first category includes stimulants that promote wakefulness and alertness. The second category contains sedatives and antidepressants that help treat cataplexy, decrease overall anxiety, and ensure a more regulated sleep.
- Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)
Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) commonly occurs in those who work different shifts or outside the typical 9-to-5 workday.
If you’re doing shift work, you’re at risk of disturbing your natural sleep pattern or wake-sleep cycle, causing you to have SWSD. Notably, the most common symptoms of this sleeping disorder are sleeping difficulty, excessive sleepiness, headaches, concentration difficulty, and lack of energy.
While medication may help treat SWSD, it’s advised to consult your doctor to know the appropriate dosage and time of taking sleep-promoting medications. Moreover, regarding lifestyle changes to manage this sleeping disorder, it’s highly advised by sleep specialists to take naps, eat a balanced diet, practice good sleep hygiene, and minimize switching between day and night shifts if possible.
- Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder (DSWPD)
DWSPD, also known as delayed sleep phase, is a circadian rhythm or an internal sleep clock disorder. This sleep disorder happens when a person’s sleeping pattern is delayed by two hours or beyond what’s considered normal.
When diagnosing DSWPD, it’s easy to mistake it for typical variations of sleeping disorders and other types of insomnia. Hence, it’d be best to consult a sleep doctor to help determine your sleep problems.
If it turns out you have DSWPD, that means you likely prefer late bedtimes, which makes it difficult for you to wake up early. As a result, this delayed sleep pattern can trigger symptoms like excessive sleepiness, concentration difficulty, and abuse of alcohol or medications like sleeping aids.
Generally, treating DSWPD involves multiple methods. These approaches include advancing your internal clock, chronotherapy, bright light therapy, taking melatonin supplements, and improving your sleep hygiene.
Overall, if you still have difficulty getting quality sleep after trying various self-help treatments, it’s highly advised to consult a sleep specialist. Especially if you experience daytime sleepiness, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep, or other issues related to sleep. A sleep doctor can help you determine the proper treatment approach.