Nothing feels better than a solid night of refreshing sleep. Good rest underpins the quality of our lives. Those who are fortunate enough to experience enough peaceful slumber each night don’t realize that its absence has profound negative consequences. The lack of good sleep adversely impacts physical health, mood and performance. Sleep science – a relatively new branch of medicine – was created to understand and treat physical and mental disorders that interfere with sleep.
Sleep disorders can be categorized broadly in one of two ways: medical conditions that originate within sleep; and illnesses and afflictions that originate outside of sleep and cause sleep disruptions. Examples of the latter category are toothaches, arthritis and depression. Disorders in the first category are more difficult to recognize without medical expertise and the use of specialized methods and tools.
The importance of consulting a physician early cannot be overemphasized because many symptoms are common to both sleep disorders and non-sleep ailments. All sleep disorders manifest themselves via one or more of these debilitating symptoms: daytime sleepiness, inability to wake when required, poor performance on cognitive tasks, or inexplicable weight gain over time (to name just a few).
Every person should understand the basics of sleep disorders in the same way we understand well-known conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The health risks from insufficient or poor quality sleep are as serious as those of other major diseases.
Sleep disorders may be classified within these subgroups:
- sleep-related respiratory disorders
- circadian rhythm sleep disorders
- neurological sleep disorders
- miscellaneous sleep disorders
Multiple disorders are often present at the same time because some conditions create a susceptibility to others. The supervision of a physician is always required to diagnose and treat disorders that have an underlying medical cause.
How Will SleepRate Help You?
Use SleepRate for a few days to identify sleep-wake patterns and to measure sleep duration, efficiency and structure. If those measurements suggest a condition that warrants further investigation, you’ll be prompted to consult a physician for an in-depth sleep evaluation. Otherwise, SleepRate will provide you with personalized advice on how to improve your sleep.