Sleep disorders are a set of conditions that alters an individual’s normal sleeping patterns. Sleepwalking isn’t a random or innocuous habit of being dismissed. It would be more appropriate to treat mental health care as it is a persistent problem that may result in behaviors that are potentially detrimental to the patient with sleep disorders. There may be a medical problem involved with these types of problems when they persist, and you will need professional advice.
How Do you Recognize a Sleepwalking Condition in Someone you Love? There are a Variety of Different Symptoms that May Signify the Condition.
The Symptoms May Include:
- Feel confused, tired or disoriented upon waking
- Have no memory of behavior during sleepwalking episodes
- Have open eyes and otherwise appear to be awake but are completely nonresponsive
- Have a blank look that indicates they don’t hear you or see you
- Talk but make no sense
- Walk around and perform detailed activities
Daily sleepwalking, though it can appear to be an act, may spoil a good night’s sleep and affect the patient’s ability to do well at work, at home, and behind the wheel the next day.
An Overview of Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders can range from mild to severe. One of the most common forms of sleep disorder is improper sleep hygiene. It is necessary to learn many things about sleep hygiene to maintain good sleeping habits. Our 24-hour society has adapted to the practice of staying up late, waking up for work before having a sufficient sleep, or working odd shifts that do not follow our normal circadian rhythms. It might seem like a normal thing for someone to have poor sleep habits and that it does not impact their everyday lives. Psychological Today has indicated that this would be incorrect.
Getting Insufficient or Poor Sleep can have Many Negative Effects on Our Lives, Including:
- Impulse control
- Ability to handle pain
- Blood pressure
- Lack of concentration
- Ability to make sound judgments, including making a judgment about whether we can make judgments
It may seem like common sense to many people with sleep problems, but several simple tips and tricks can be helpful to them with Sleep Disorders. For example, if you go to bed at the same time every day, changing the bedroom atmosphere to eliminate distractions (such as TVs) can have a positive impact on sleep. A typical night’s sleep can be a good quality sleep if you expose yourself to bright light from sunrise to sunset and eliminate bright lights after sunset (table lamps instead of overhead lights). This practice will help you regain a healthy sleep cycle. The hormone melatonin may affect Sleep Disorders and assist sleep processes in the brain.
Causes of Insomnia
Moreover, according to a Mayo Clinic study, individuals require varying sleep each night. It is possible for someone suffering from insomnia to have difficulties falling asleep or unable to stay asleep for a long period. The individuals may also experience Sleep Disorders and the symptoms listed above. In recent years, researchers and scientists have been able to identify a range of risk factors that can influence the likelihood of a person who has insomnia. Sleep disorders affect both men and women differently, though women are more prone to insomnia than men. Several risk factors can also contribute to developing an addiction to marijuana, such as mental disorders, stress, and sleep disorders, often coming with night shift workers.
Even though most people turn to medication to manage their sleep disorders, there are a few non-medical ways to treat insomnia. People who have insomnia can be helped by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a method that has been successfully used to treat alcoholism and drug addiction. Sleeping disorders patients have prescribed a concept that eliminates nighttime worries and replaces them with positive thoughts and solutions to clear their minds before sleep. Other options to reduce anxiety Sleep Disorders include relaxation methods, breathing exercises, light therapy, and ensuring the bedroom is mainly used for sleeping.
A Sleep Apnea Diagnosis Can Be Difficult
One of the most common causes of daytime fatigue or sleepiness is a condition which, quite literally, causes an individual to stop breathing – or to take shallow, unrewarding breaths – while they sleep. When an individual has Sleep Disorders, they will generally start breathing again. However, the sleep pattern has already been disrupted, causing one’s sleep to be inadequate for the body’s needs. According to the National Institutes of Health, it is difficult to diagnose because there is no blood test to detect it, and it is impossible to witness the condition. At the same time, a patient is awake in a doctor’s office due to Sleep Disorders.
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs most frequently. A person snores when they lie down to sleep because the airway is blocked somehow by Sleep Disorders. In severe cases, breathing may stop altogether. In addition to overweight individuals, tonsil conditions such as Sleep Disorders can also affect anyone. Several treatments are available for sleep apnea, including changes in lifestyle, such as losing weight and becoming fitter, mouthpieces designed to keep the airway free and open, and surgery.
Narcolepsy Can Lead to Sleep Paralysis
According to the National Library of Medicine, the most significant symptom of narcolepsy is the inability to stay awake, even if one is standing or walking. A person may fall and experience temporary paralysis without any warning. But this only occurs when Sleep Disorders are severe. Narcolepsy can affect people without these most severe problems. By definition, narcolepsy is a condition of the central nervous system. There is little information available on the causes of this disorder; however, researchers have said it runs in families. Some experts believe sleep disorders are auto-immune disorder, meaning that the body attacks its parts – such as the protein hypocretin.
Narcolepsy Symptoms Include:
- Extreme daytime drowsiness
- Sleep attacks, generally lasting 15 minutes or so and potentially occurring during activities such as driving or having a conversation
- Loss of the ability to move, known as cataplexy after experiencing intense emotion
Sleep paralysis is another symptom of narcolepsy that can be quite frightening. Stanford University describes sleep paralysis as the inability to move one’s body just before one falls asleep or just after one wakes. It is known that people who are suffering from sleep paralysis also suffer from the “hag phenomenon” when they experience hallucinations of someone in the room while also suffering from sleep disorders. According to experts, this is not harmful, although people report feeling dread, fear or doom when they feel their chests crushed Sleep Disorders. As many as 35 per cent of individuals who have sleep paralysis also suffer from panic attacks during the day, and 16 per cent suffer from panic disorders.
Sleepwalking Can Be a Side Effect of Medications
Two types of sleepwalking affect people at different times of the night. Sleepwalking is typically associated with deep Sleep Disorders and occurs early in the night – or sleep cycle. When sleepwalking occurs during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, it is associated with a REM behavior disorder. These sleep disorders are more likely to appear in the early morning hours.
The individual does not have to get up and walk around the house Sleep Disorders when they sleep. Even if the individual only sits up in bed or holds a conversation, they are considered sleepwalking. Talking in one’s sleep is not necessarily a form of sleepwalking, although it can be a symptom of the disorder. The difference is in the appearance the person has to others. If it is not obvious to others that you are sleepwalking, you will behave and look normal, even if you look sleepy. However, some individuals will appear wide awake and show symptoms of Sleep Disorders.
Sleepwalking Disorder Triggered by Zolpidem
Patients who struggle with sleep disruption, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep all night, often seek pharmacological assistance to help them get a good night’s sleep. In the field of sleep disorders, Ambien, or zolpidem, is one of the most commonly prescribed medication. Unfortunately, patients may experience various unexpected and unusual side effects resulting from taking the drug, making it even more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that sleepwalking is experienced by many patients, who engage in behaviors such as feeding, shopping, driving, and having sex while experiencing sleep disorders.
Co-occurring Disorders: Substance Abuse and Sleepwalking
Many people who have mental illness often misuse drugs or drink alcohol sleep disorders, and it is not uncommon for them to misuse these substances. Sleepwalking co-occurs with other insomnia such as drug abuse or addiction, such as drugs like Ambien abuse. This usually results in unsuccessful sleep disorders.
What is the reason for this? When substance abuse is too closely linked with a mental health condition, it is impossible to treat the mental health effects if the substance abuse causes sleep disorders. When sleepwalking disorders are caused by drug use, such as Ambien addiction, it does not make sense to treat them without avoiding drug-related sleep disorders.
Similarly, if a medical or mental health condition causes sleepwalking episodes, the first treatment line should sleep to help the patient solve the problem.
Risks of Avoiding Treatment for Sleepwalking Disorder
Patients who fail to seek treatment for sleepwalking disorder place themselves at risk for a variety of problems. Isn’t a minor issue.
Rather, it Necessitates Urgent Medical Attention Due to the Following Dangers:
- Sleepwalking May Result in An Accident or Injury: Some patients will use knives, move heavy furniture in an unsafe way, drive, or engage in other potentially harmful behaviors.
- The Next Day, there Was an Accident or An Injury: Sleepwalking keeps a patient from having a good night’s rest. Sleep deprivation may lead to harm the next day due to a lack of care or attention, particularly if the issue is long-term.
- There is a Lack of Treatment for Underlying Conditions: If sleepwalking is caused by untreated mental health, medical, or drug abuse illness, delaying treatment may lengthen the time it takes to recover from these life-altering or life-threatening conditions.
The Ongoing Problem of Sleep Disruption
In addition, the significance of sleeping disorder sleep disorders cannot be minimized. Patients who misuse Ambien or develop a dependency on the medication typically began taking it to treat a sleep disorder. It would not do any good for them if they stopped taking the drug, which would not help them with their sleep disorders.
The recovery process for drugs and dependency sleep disorders requires support for conditions that cause substance use, including sleep disturbance. Another mental health condition may be to blame for the sleep disturbances in some cases. Sleep disturbances are typically caused by anxiety, depression, and depressive episodes sleep disorders in bipolar disorder and other mental disorders.
The goal of early detection of some of these issues during the initial assessment process is to ensure that patients receive care for the underlying cause of their sleep disorder, whether there is a mental health issue in addition to their substance abuse problem and sleep disorders.
Temporary Paralysis Is Usually Associated with REM Sleep
Sleep Disorders usually cause individuals to dream when they are in the rapid eye movement sleep phase. According to the National Sleep Foundation, during this phase of the sleep cycle, the brain is highly active – just as active as the wakeful mind, according to the National Sleep Foundation – while the body is temporarily paralyzed. However, individual suffering from REM behaviour disorder does not disintegrate physically and may act out dreams as real Sleep Disorders.
Sleep Disorders can be dangerous since dreams can control the actions of sleep partners or others. For instance, if an individual is battling enemies in a violently bad dream, they may injure the person sleeping next to them. Typically, the condition takes years to develop. In the beginning, they may only twitch or shutter in their sleep, gradually increasing their activity unconsciously until they erupt in more full-body movements. Since dream Sleep Disorders occur in the brain, they generally do not experience any physical sensations.
Medication Risks for Sleeping Disorders
Prescription drugs treat sleep disorders such as insomnia in our fast-paced society, and the same holds for other ailments, such as allergies. Commonly prescribed medications for insomnia are non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. Several side effects associated with these drugs, including driving, preparing meals, and making telephone calls while asleep, have been reported as Sleep Disorders. The other danger of these medications is the possibility of addiction. Because of this risk, it is recommended that individuals only use these types of drugs for no more than four weeks.
Because of these risks, the National Institutes of Health recommends that other possible medical problems be ruled out before treating insomnia symptoms. Sleep Disorders may be a symptom of something more severe, such as anxiety or depression. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when conditions such as anxiety and depression are left untreated, there is an increased chance of having a co-occurring addiction to drugs and alcohol. The rates are double those of the general population.
Sleep Disorders and Substance Abuse Can Be Treated with Dual Diagnosis
If you make changes to your lifestyle, you will be able to become more resilient to relapse, practice falling asleep and staying asleep, and improve the treatment of other mental health effects, leading to improved sleep disorders. As a result of these lifestyle changes, patients will be able to reduce overall stress and anxiety, improve physical well-being, and become better able to cope with acute stressors such as sleep disorders.
Don’t wait to reach out and get the help that can change your life or the life of your loved one if co-occurring disorders like a sleepwalking disorder and a substance use disorder are present. We’re here to assist you day or night. Call now 615-490-9376 for more information on sleep disorders.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.