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Sleep Disturbance Facts

Written by Courteney

Posted on March 14, 2016 at 7:15 pm



Over 70 million Americans suffer some kind of sleep disorder. Many of which are by-products of other mental health conditions such as anxiety, physical conditions (especially pain-related ones), or biological changes such as menopause, however some sleep conditions appear have no underlying causes. Here are some curious facts about sleep disturbances:

  1. Snoring disrupts the sleep of approximately 37 million Americans on a regular basis, causing chronic sleep deprivation if left untreated.
  2. Sleep paralysis, a terrifying condition where you feel awake but completely paralyzed during sleep, has been the origin of many legends in different parts of the world. The most recurrent tale is that the paralysis is because of an old ghostly woman holding you down in your sleep or sitting on your chest. This frightening mythical woman is known as the “old hag” in Maritime Canada, and the “night hag” in other parts of the world.
  3. Chronic Bruxism (excessive teeth grinding) is a common cause of sleep disturbance, and often leads to uncomfortable physical symptoms such as wearing down of teeth enamel, trismus (lockjaw) and temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ).
  4. Sleep apnea afflicts nearly 15 million Americans. Chronic snoring and abrupt waking can be symptoms of this disorder.
  5. An interesting disorder called Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder is marked by a person who gradually goes to sleep later and later until they completely flip their sleep schedules. Blind people often experience this sleep affliction.
  6. The opposite of insomnia is hypersomnia. As you may have guessed it constitutes a disrupting excess of sleep and sleepiness, especially during the daytime.
  7. Sleep clinics offer such (painless) procedures as a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT), maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT) and polysomnogram (PSG) to help diagnose and monitor sleep disorders.
  8. Insomnia is more prevalent among those who are divorced or widowed.
  9. Children and adolescents often don’t get the proper amount of sleep (approximately 9 hours). Especially in this smartphone generation, as many adolescents are being kept awake on a regular basis by messaging, gaming and other technology.
  10. Do you have a partner who seems to dance or perform karate katas in their sleep? They may have an excuse – Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)!

Hope you enjoyed reading the interesting tidbits we’ve compiled about sleep problems. If you suspect you have an undiagnosed sleep disorder, talk to your doctor, or one of our certified DocChat physicians today with your concerns!

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