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Sleep disorders affect 75% of Americans, any of whom could tell you that disordered sleep negatively impacts most areas of life.
The good news is that there may still be much to discover about these conditions. Although the effects of missed or disrupted sleep are well known to anyone, the neurological function of sleep is poorly understood by science. We know that we need it, but not precisely why. More and more research is being done on these common disorders. In the meantime, Santa Cruz CORE may also be able to help.
Around 50% of people worldwide have a period of difficulty falling or staying asleep each year. 30% of the general population is afflicted with insomnia on a chronic basis. Potential causes are numerous, and cases without another co-occurring condition are relatively rare. Sometimes chronic insomnia is considered as more of a symptom than a disorder in itself. However, co-occurrence with other conditions does not necessarily indicate causation. In fact, there are many cases with no clear cause.
Common strategies for treating insomnia include exercise and addressing related conditions. By contributing to the production of anabolic hormones, the Vasper system at Santa Cruz CORE can thereby help improve sleep quality. Working with a CORE personal trainer can help mitigate the effects of stress, a common cause of insomnia. There is also some research indicating that the ancient art of acupuncture may be useful in addressing sleep difficulty.
Obstructive sleep apnea (or OSA) occurs when breathing becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep. OSA affects as many as 20% of adults. Causes may include obesity, large tonsils, and disorders of the endocrine and neuromuscular systems. People with OSA may not be aware of their condition, but interruptions to nocturnal respiration will cause a sense of fatigue during the day. The risk for OSA increases with age and exacerbated by drinking and smoking. Treatments for less severe cases include changes to diet, increased exercise, and weight loss. If being out of shape is affecting your quality of sleep, a Santa Cruz CORE nutritionist or personal trainer can help you make changes to your diet and exercise regimen. Acupuncture has also been shown to help with upper airway obstruction in some cases and is worth experimenting with before considering more invasive strategies, such as a sleep mask.
As many as 13% of adults grind their teeth involuntarily during sleep, a disorder known as sleep bruxism (SB). Around 80% of people with SB are unaware of having it, but in some cases, the activity may disrupt or prevent sleep. Long-term symptoms include pain in the jaw and damage to teeth or tongue. Psychological conditions such as anxiety associate with SB. This literally unconscious habit may be difficult to completely eliminate, but diverse possible solutions exist, including medical devices that protect the teeth, drug therapy, and even Botox therapy.
Like most sleep disorders, SB often co-occurs with other diagnoses, so a holistic approach to sleep hygiene and stress can also improve the prognosis. Schedule an appointment with CORE’s osteopath to determine whether you suffer from a craniomandibular disorder (commonly associated with SB). Alternately, you can try Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy to improve joint function. Acupuncture has also been established to help with craniomandibular issues. Therapeutic massage might help alleviate tension or disordered movement in the jaw area.
These common sleep disorders are significant in their impact on quality of life, and can sometimes share a relationship or even originate from the same source problem. Sleep hygiene, which includes exercise and correct dietary habits, is the baseline approach to any of the major sleep disorders. Remember: much time and energy has gone into finding solutions, and treatment strategies for disordered sleep will likely continue to improve.
Get more with CORE!
If you are having problems sleeping, we at CORE may be able to help you find a solution. Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy and Acupuncture can alleviate many sleep disorders or habits which inhibit sleep comfort. Likewise, changes in diet and exercise can make a world of difference to one’s sleep habits. CORE is here to help you improve your quality of life by helping you achieve your optimal health!
Roth, Thomas, Ph.D. ‘Insomnia: Definition, Prevalence, Etiology, and Consequences.’ National Center for Biotechnology Information, 15 Aug. 2007. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1978319/
Guo, Shiyi et al. ‘Restless Legs Syndrome: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Diagnosis and Management.’ 2 Jun. 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454050/
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. ‘Sleep Apnea.’ Retrieved 1 Mar. 2018. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-apnea
Hauri, Peter, Ph.D. ‘The Sleep Disorders.’ National Sleep Foundation. Retrieved 28 Feb. 2018.http://sleepdisorders.sleepfoundation.org/
Yap, Adrian U. et al. ‘Sleep Bruxism: Current knowledge and contemporary management.’ National Center for Biotechnology Information, Sep.-Oct. 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5026093/