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Understanding sleep problems

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Sleep problems

Sleep problems include:
• Circadian rhythm disorders - jet lag, adjusting to shift work
• Insomnia - trouble falling asleep or waking up often
• Snoring - can be a problem because of the noise or hints at sleep apnea
• Sleep apnea - airway is blocked, interrupting regular breathing that wakes you up
• Pregnancy - can disrupt sleep
• Narcolepsy - excessive daytime sleepiness
• Restless Legs Syndrome
• Nightmares
• Night terrors and sleepwalking

What causes sleep problems?

Some factors that cause sleep problems include:
• An illness, stressful event
• Drinking too much coffee
• Stress, depression or anxiety
• Changing levels of hormones during pregnancy or the uncomfortable size of the abdomen
• Genetic and environmental factors
• Certain medications such as antidepressant

Other things that impact sleep

• Young age
• Old age - people who are older may not sleep as deeply as young people
• Lifestyle - people who drink coffee, smoke or drink alcohol are more likely to have sleep problems
• Medication - drugs can cause sleeplessness or daytime fatigue
• Depression and anxiety - insomnia is a symptom of depression and anxiety
• Heart failure and lung problems - people can find it difficult to sleep if they become breathless when they lie down

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