Snoring can be dangerous — not just because of the disturbing noise, but because it may be linked to a serious condition. Loud, disruptive snoring that’s coupled with extreme daytime sleepiness may be a sign of sleep apnea — when breathing becomes blocked during sleep. While this brief halt in breathing doesn’t necessarily awake the snorer completely, it does result in a poor night’s sleep. Sleep apnea may also trigger high blood pressure, heart failure, heart attack, diabetes and stroke.
We’ve all drifted off in a movie or while watching television from time to time. But people suffering from narcolepsy find it physically impossible to stay awake. They have a tendency to sleep at inappropriate times, such as while working, eating or talking with someone. These “sleep attacks” can last from a few seconds to 30 minutes, and can prove dangerous in some situations.
Periodic Leg Movements of Sleep (PLMS)
Unusual movements during sleep may indicate periodic leg movements of sleep. Unbeknownst to the sleeper, repetitive leg muscle jerks or twitches can cause hundreds of awakenings each night. The result is daytime sleepiness and fatigue for many middle-aged and older people.
Insomniacs have difficulty falling asleep, awaken frequently during the night or wake up early and cannot get back to sleep. This commonly found sleep disorder is often a sign of other problems and can be triggered by stress, anxiety, depression, night-shift work or jet lag. Long-term insomnia can also intensify chronic medical conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.
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