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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Sleep Disorders - Causes and Risk Factors

Definition
A sleep disorder (somnipathy) is a medical disorder of the sleep patterns. It’s important to understand why sleep disorder can deteriorate your health and interfere with normal physical, mental and emotional functioning as it effects your nervous system in the production of the natural hormone melatonin which is necessary for sleep and wakefulness. Polysomnography testing can help to evaluate and detect the patterns of sleep disorder.

The basic of sleep
Why sleep is so important, you might already know that a normal night of sleep is about eight hours as recommended by most doctors. Why it is important, because during sleep our bodies repair the wear ant tear of muscle tissue, consolidate memories, and release hormones to regulate our growth and appetites and enhance the immune system, etc. The effect of disorder sleep can reduce the functions of the immune system in fighting against disease and sickness.
Causes and Risk Factors1. Genetics
Narcolepsy is a type of neurological sleep disorder caused by a number of genetic abnormalities such as Chromosome 6 also known as the human leukocyte antigen system, inherited from parents affecting certain biologic functions in the brain, together with other environmental factors during the child early brain's development.
2. Working the night shift
Working night shift may interfere with the brain natural production of the sleep hormone serotonin and normal functions of the inner biological clocks, leading to drowsiness. If this type of problem happened in a prolonged period of time may cause sleep disorder.

3. Medications
Certain types of medicines such as medication for high blood pressure, oral contraceptives, diet pills, anti depression, etc. and medication with with caffeine can increase the risk of sleep disorder.

4. Aging
The risk of sleep disorder increases with age as over half of adults over the age of 65 have some sort of sleep disorder.

5. Smoking
Cigarette contains high amount of nicotine, a stimulant which can cause sleep disorder as researchers found that smokers enhances daytime sleepiness more than do nonsmokers, especially in younger age groups.

6. Illegal drugs
Illegal drugs interfere natural brain normal functions in productions of certain hormones and blocks certain chemicals' function in transporting important neural signals, leading to sleep disorder.

7. Alcohol
Although it is considered as a sedative or calming drug, but it increases the number of times a person awakens in the later half of the night, leading to lead daytime fatigue and sleepiness causing alcohol-related sleep disorders.

8. Etc.

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