The Science Behind Sleep Disorders

There are many different kinds of sleep disorders with many different causes.

Excessive tiredness and narcolepsy are one kind. Snoring and sleep apnoea are common. There are sleep behaviour disorders like sleeptalking and sleepwalking or a tendency to nightmares. Insomnia is thought to affect between 10-16% adults. And then there are circadian rhythm sleep disorders, a fascinating and increasingly common form of sleep disorder.

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders refer to the natural circadian rhythm being disrupted.

In some cases this is naturally sleeping a normal amount of hours, but at different times. Such as not adhering to a more typical 24-hour cycle. Left to their own devices this might not cause the sufferer any problems except that work, friends, family and most aspects of life do run on that other model. So not only can it cause physical problems but social issues too.

As well as being a medical condition in its own right, a sleep disorder and sleep deprivation can cause obesity, diabetes, stress, depression and cardiovascular disease. The downtime provided by sleep and the hormones that are released lower stress and allow the body to heal.

The causes of circadian rhythm disruption are not completely understood but there are factors we can identify. Alcohol and caffeine consumption commonly cause sleeping issues. Sufferers can work to lessen symptoms by eating healthily and getting regular exercise.

Studies are also showing a link between mobile phone use and sleep deprivation. The artificial blue light that electronic screens give off is on the same wavelength as sunlight. It is sunlight that governs our natural circadian rhythms. So our body gets mixed signals about when it is daytime and we should be awake. This stops our body producing the right sleep hormones and so it affects sleep patterns.

Late night mobile phone use could be disrupting your sleep – so what can you do about it? The WaveWall Sleep blocks the blue light from your phone with a filter that also protects the screen.

Do you use your mobile phone late at night? Ever thought about how it might be affecting your sleep?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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