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Sleep disorders: These are the reasons why you wake up more tired than usual

Sleeping is one of the great pleasures of life, especially when we are tired and we know that we will have a few hours of restful sleep ahead of us.

But sometimes, even if we want to , the rest escapes us: either we can not sleep, or even if we sleep we get up as tired as we were when we went to bed. The use of quantifying bracelets can help us evaluate the quality of our sleep.

It is estimated that one third of suffer from a sleep disorder , and most do not go to a specialist to help them rest better. These are some of the most frequent sleep disorders.

1. Insomnia

The insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. It consists of difficulty sleeping or staying asleep at night, as well as waking up too early, despite being tired and sleepy.

Episodes of insomnia can appear and disappear throughout life, and can last a few days or months or even years. In those cases, it is called chronic insomnia.

Causes of insomnia

Insomnia can be due to many causes. One of the main ones are bad sleep habits , especially those learned when we are children. Those bad habits include: going to bed at a different time every night, taking naps during the day, a bad environment to sleep with too much light or too much noise, spending too much time in bed while awake, not doing enough physical exercise, watching TV, the computer or the mobile in the bed before sleeping.

Some medications or substances , such as caffeine , alcohol, excessive smoking and some diet pills can also cause insomnia. Getting used to sleeping medications can be a problem to get to sleep the day we do not have them at hand.

Finally, some physical conditions can be a cause of insomnia, from mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, depression or anxiety , to pregnancy or sleep apnea .


It is important to know that insomnia does not pose a health risk in itself , beyond the risks that we can undergo due to fatigue in our daily routine (for example when driving or if we handle heavy or dangerous materials). Most of the time the insomnia is overcome and disappears and the quality of life recovers as before.

To treat insomnia, it is sought to solve its cause, whether bad habits improving sleep hygiene or solved the disorders that prevent us from sleeping.

In the short term, medications can be used to help us fall asleep, but it is not advisable to convert them into a definitive solution because they can create addiction and make the patient dependent on them to sleep.

2. Hypersomnia

Hypersomnia is the opposite of insomnia. Hypersomians have trouble waking up in the morning and are excessively sleepy during the day . In this sense, this pathology resembles narcolepsy, but in the case of hypersomnia there are no sudden sleep attacks.


The causes of hypersomnia are not known, but it is usually related to other pathologies such as depression , the consumption of alcohol and certain drugs, an incorrect functioning of the thyroid or obstructive sleep apnea.


A doctor may prescribe some medications , such as amphetamines, to try to compensate for that excessive sleepiness. It is also recommended a change in life habits , for example avoiding alcohol and drugs that can cause lethargy and fatigue and avoid social activities in the afternoon / evening that delay the time to go to sleep.

3. Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea , is a pathology in which the patient stops breathing for several seconds while he sleeps because the airways become clogged or blocked.

This causes the body not to oxygenate properly during sleep and rest is not complete . For this reason, people with apnea are often tired even though they feel they have slept well the necessary hours, they can be forgetful, be lethargic, fall asleep while doing other things and be irritable.


When we sleep, all the muscles of the body relax . That includes the muscles that keep the throat open for the breath to pass through. In some people, that passage of air is narrower or there is a partial blockage, and therefore when sleeping and relaxing the muscles of the throat, the passage of air can be limited or blockedcompletely for short periods of time.

Other causes of sleep apnea are a short upper jaw compared to the upper jaw , certain forms of the palate or airway that make it more easily blocked, a large tongue that can retract when sleeping and block the passage of air , obesity or large tonsils.


The first step is to avoid those habits that can worsen the apnea , such as the consumption of alcohol and sleeping pills, try to eliminate excess weight if there is one and get used to not sleeping on your back.

Some devices can help prevent breathing blockage. It is a mask connected to a hose that blows air under pressure into the respiratory tract, thus preventing its blockage. In case nothing works, there is the possibility of undergoing surgery that corrects the problem, although this will always be the last option.

4. Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking is a disorder in which people walk, talk or perform certain activities when they are still asleep .

One night’s sleep goes through several stages , from mild drowsiness to deep sleep. One of those stages is called REM by rapid eye movement (rapid movement of the eyes), which is when we usually have the most realistic dreams.

Sleepwalking usually occurs in deep non-REM sleep , in the early hours of the night (what is called sleep N3). In fact, sleepwalking is more common in childhood than in older adults because as we get older we have less sleep N3.


Sleepwalking seems to have a hereditary component . In addition, there are factors such as stress , anxiety or fatigue that act as triggers of sleepwalking episodes.

In adults, alcohol and drugs , some mental disorders and especially conditions that cause seizures can also be triggers of sleepwalking. In older adults, the appearance of sleepwalking can be a symptom of neurodegenerative disorders .


Most people do not require treatment for sleepwalking, although in some cases short-term tranquilizers are used to reduce episodes.

Some people believe that a sleepwalker person should not be awakened , but in reality this poses no danger to their health , although they may seem disoriented for a while. It is also common belief that sleepwalkers can not be hurt or injured during episodes, but this is also not true.

In fact, it is advisable to take security measures , such as clearing the path of objects with which they may stumble, as well as leaving dangerous objects safelystored.

5. Night terrors

Night terrors are a sleep disorder in which the person suffering from them awakens suddenly in a state of terror . They differ from nightmares in that they do not occur in the REM phase and are not technically dreams, but states of terror when waking up between one phase of sleep and another .


Night terrors are much more common between 3 and 7 years , much less after. States of stress or conflict, fever or lack of sleep .

In adults, although much less frequent, they can occur in adults due to emotional stress or alcohol consumption.


Normally, children suffering from night terrors only require comfort . If they are very frequent or are prolonged for a long time, it may be necessary to treat the underlying cause, often with psychotherapy .


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