What To Know About Sleep Disorders And The Brain

Sleep Disorders And The Brain

In this guide brought to you by Premier Neurology, we discuss what you may not have known about sleep disorders and the brain.

What Are Sleep Disorders?

Sleep disorders, also known as sleep-wake disorders, are medical conditions that cause problems with the amount, quality, and timing of sleep that a person gets. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night in order to feel rested. Without enough restful sleep, someone could potentially endure both short-term and long-term health problems.

How Does Our Brain Affect Our Ability To Sleep?

Our brain has a number of chemicals that send signals that affect the activity of your cells. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters and they can shape our sleepiness or wakefulness. As we get ready for bed, our brain should send out the proper chemicals to promote relaxation.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Getting Enough Sleep?

Research shows that getting adequate sleep helps people:

  • Clear toxins from their brain cells

  • Improve learning

  • Preserve memories

  • Repair tissue damage

  • Regulate hormone production

  • Maintain control over behavior and emotions

What Are The Risks Associated With Insufficient Sleep?

Studies have shown that there are a number of issues that could arise if someone does not get enough sleep. Without enough sleep, someone can potentially experience other health issues and experience a negative impact on their daily functioning. Inadequate sleep has been associated with a weakened immune system and increased risk of depression, diabetes, and obesity. People who don’t get enough sleep are also more likely to experience relationship conflicts and issues with their learning, emotions, and behavior. It is also believed that drowsiness causes traffic accidents and accidents in the workplace.

What Are Common Sleep Disorders?

  • Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. People with insomnia may wake up prematurely and have difficulty getting more restful sleep. Acute or short-term insomnia describes a period of days or weeks in which someone has the sleep disorder, possibly due to a stressful period in their life or traumatic event. Should insomnia last for a month or more, it can be characterized as long-term or chronic.
  • Narcolepsy is a chronic condition characterized by persistent drowsiness and sudden “attacks” of sleep (in which someone falls asleep unexpectedly and suddenly). People with narcolepsy often find that this sleep disorder disrupts their daily life. Other symptoms can include hallucinations and loss of muscle tone. 
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a medical condition in which the soft tissue of someone’s mouth and throat can block their airway during sleep. Although someone’s brain can wake someone up when it senses they are not getting adequate air, this constant sleep-wake cycle reduces the quality and restfulness of someone’s sleep. It is believed that sleeping on one’s side, weight loss, and reducing alcohol consumption can help with this sleep disorder.
  • Parasomnias describe any unusual behavior that someone may exhibit while sleeping. Common parasomnias include: talking in your sleep, sleepwalking, or sleep paralysis. It is theorized that unusual sleep behavior is caused by genetics, brain disorders, other sleep disorders, or medications.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition in which someone experiences an almost irresistible urge to move their legs, usually during the nighttime. This can affect people with the condition while they are sitting or lying down and disrupts their ability to get enough rest. People with the condition often need to physically get up and move around to temporarily get rid of the feeling.

If you’re ready to experience relief from your sleep disorders, consider Premier Neurology & Wellness Center in Stuart, Florida. Premier Neurology is proud to offer a variety of treatment methods, such as cannabis for medical use or Botox to address migraines. If you’re wondering how we can change your life, call Premier Neurology today at 772-210-2447.