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Diseases of Sleep


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Diseases of sleep refers to diseases, disorders or infections that are either caused by or a symptom of sleep-related problems. These include the likes of epilepsy, flu and fevers, alzheimer's and many more...

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Diseases of Sleep

  1. 1. Diseases of SleepFor the purpose of this article, when we discuss diseases of sleep, we arenot talking about sleeping disorders like narcolepsy or insomnia. Instead,we are talking about diseases that are caused by or a result of some factoror characteristic relating to sleep.It has long been known that problems related to sleep play a significantrole in a large number of disorders. Many medical problems such asasthma attacks and strokes, occur more often throughout the night andinto the early morning. It is thought that this may be related to some of thefacets of sleep including things like hormone and heart rate changes.Diseases of Sleep - EpilepsyIn studies, we have seen how the different stages of sleep - non REM andREM sleep - can affectepilepsy patients. Itseems that deep sleepmight actuallypromote the spread ofseizures while beingdeprived of sleep cantrigger seizures inpeople with certaintypes of epilepsy. Sleepdeprivation has alsobeen known to beconnected to heartdisease. In addition,studies have also
  2. 2. shown that sleep deprivation has been connected to certain mentalillnesses such as bipolar disorder and psychosis. A 2007 study using MRItechnology, performed at the Harvard Medical School, showed that whenlacking sleep, the brain has difficulty dealing with emotional events -oftentimes being unable to put them into the right frame of reference. Thisresults in a persons inability to react properly to the event, being unable tocreate a suitable response.Diseases of Sleep - Infectious DiseasesIf youve ever had the flu before, youre aware that these types of infectiousdiseases make us feel tired. Cytokines, the chemicals produced by ourimmune system to fight off these infections, are very strong sleep-inducers.This feeling of sleepiness is thought to happen because the body is usingsleep to conserve energy and recharge itself. And this is done inpreparation for your immune systems attack on the infectious invaders.Diseases of Sleep - Mental DisordersSleeping problems seem to be a byproduct of almost every mental disorder- including people with schizophrenia and depression. For people sufferingfrom depression, they often findthemselves waking up in the middle ofthe night, unable to find their wayback to sleep. Ironically, sleepdeprivation is sometimes used as aneffective way to combat depression incertain cases while in others, sleepdeprivation can be the cause of theirdepression. And in extreme cases ofsleep deprivation, people have beenknown to experience hallucinationsand states of paranoia. In people
  3. 3. suffering from manic depression, sleep deprivation has been known to bethe catalyst, triggering hyperactivity and agitation (manias). Not being able to get to sleep at night can be a horrible experience - at night as well as throughout the following day. But it doesnt have to be that way - sometimes all it takes is a few lifestyle adjustments. Learn what you need to know to instantly fall asleep each night in the sleep ebook, Get to Sleep Now! 39 Ways to Guarantee Your ZZZs.Diseases of Sleep - Other DisordersProblems associated with sleep can be associated with a multitude ofinfections, diseases and disorders. Patients with neurodegenerativedisorders such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons have been known toexperience severe sleeping problems. Other disorders where the inability toget or stay asleep becomes a problem are in cases of stroke and cancerpatients and for people who experience some type of head injury ortrauma. The problems these people experience while trying to sleep arethought to be caused by the neurotransmitters that control sleep or fromthe drugs theyre prescribed. Whats worse is that patients who experiencesleeping problems due to their condition usually experience frustration,depression or bouts of confusion as well as an increase in pain levels. Thisin turn leads them to increase their dosages of pain medication, therebymaking it more difficult to get quality sleep.
  4. 4. Diseases of Sleep - Sleep Diseases / Sleeping SicknessesThere are two types of sleep diseases that are less common around theworld and get their names from the effects of the disease rather than beingcaused by anything related to sleep.One is commonly called Sleeping Sickness which is prevalent in someregions of sub-Saharan Africa. Also called Human Africantrypanosomiasis, Congo trypanosomiasis or African lethargy, this disease isso named because of the extreme fatigue people feel after they contract thedisease. Sleeping sickness is transmitted by the tsetse fly and people bittenand infected by the fly will experience symptoms including fatigue, bouts ofinsomnia, periods of mania, reduced co-ordination and increasedconfusion. The disease is fatal without treatment as the progression ofmental deterioration will eventually lead to a coma and then death.The other sleep disease carries the nickname Sleepy Sickness but is alsosometimes called (and confused with) Sleeping Sickness. The proper namebeing Encephalitis Lethargica, an epidemic spread around the worldbetween 1915 and 1926 without another epidemic since being reported. Thecause of sleepy sickness is not known forcertain but the symptoms are severe andinclude sore throat, double vision, high Related Articlesfever, slow mental and physical response,headaches , lethargy and catatonia. And Why We Sleepin more acute cases, a coma-like state What is Insomnia?called akinetic mutism. Fortunately, very What is Sleep Apnea?few cases of sleepy sickness have since What is Narcolepsy?been reported. Looping Dreams