Sleep Disorders Put the Z’s in Disease
What can interfere with sleep? What are sleep disorders?
Any interruption of the normal sleep cycle, a sequential passing from light sleep to deep sleep and which contains both REM and Non-REM components, and which interferes with one’s function during the wakeful hours, is a sleep disorder. Some examples are:
Narcoleptic patients have REM sleep very early in their sleep cycle. This shortens the time it takes to go from wakefulness to deep sleep. This tendency, plaguing a person during the day, can jeopardize their employment and their safety.
Sleep-related breathing disorders
With pulmonary disease, when someone can’t breathe right during the day, they’re not going to be breathing right at night, either. With sleep apnea, however, they may do fine during the day, but at nighttime when they relax, allowing structures such as the soft palate or other obesity-influenced tissues to coll ...
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Shakespeare likened sleep to death, the only difference being the types of dreams each might engender. Had the bard been knowledgeable about sleep cycles, Hamlet would have been more accurate in saying, “To sleep, perchance to dream, then not, then dream, then not, then dream…”
Sleep disorders, disruptions in the sleep cycle, are important to recognize and treat, because sleep is a very busy time of our lives.
The Sleep Cycle
There are basically two types of sleep alternating within a night’s sleep cycle. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and Non-rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREM). The different stages have been classified based on the types of brain wave patterns evident in each. Below is a diary of this cycle from retiring for the night until awakening for the next day:
N1: the transition from wakefulness to sleep. Eye movements are slow and rolling. It is the lightest stage of sleep. T ...