Sleep disorders in children, women and men

Sleep disorders have become a medical subspecialty, and there are doctors who now specialize in sleep medicine. Sleep doctors are able to detect and treat both common and rare sleep disorders. Some common sleep disorders are insomnia, jet lag, sleepwalking, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

It is important to make sure that your child gets enough sleep and sleeps well. A tired child may start having development or behavior problems. A child’s sleep problems can cause unnecessary stress for the entire family. Experts recommend the following hours of sleep for children:
• Infants (3 to 11 months): 14 to 15 hours
• Toddlers: 12 to 14 hours
• Preschoolers: 11 to 13 hours
• School-age children: 10 to 11 hours

If your child has any of these problems with sleep, they could be on the way to a chronic sleep disorder. The problems are, a parent having to spend too much time helping the child fall asleep; the child waking up repeatedly during the night; snoring very loudly or struggling to breathe during the night; or behavior, mood or school performance changes. When this is a problem for more than several weeks, take your child to a pediatrician or a sleep specialist. Your doctor may suggest that your child spend a night or a nap period in a sleep center so their sleep cycle can be studied and also to help diagnose any medical problems.

The stress and pressure of a job, demands so much of a man’s time that it often doesn’t leave much room for sleep. The body wants to rest, but man can not stop the mind from spinning during the night. So, many men do not get much sleep on a regular basis. The following are signs that a man may not be getting enough sleep or have already developed a sleep disorder. They include being unable to pay attention during meetings, having to use an alarm clock to wake up on time every morning or just not feeling well.

As the sleep problems gets worse, depression can begin to disrupt the quality of a man’s sleep. As poor sleep continues, men stop taking care of their bodies in many ways. They stop eating or exercising regularly. They are likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. Statistics show men are four times as likely as women to kill themselves. So if a man experiences sleep problems that last more than two weeks, they also should visit a sleep expert or family physician.

Experts suggest that most men as well as women need around seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Women seem to sleep more than men, going to bed earlier with little problems falling asleep. A woman’s sleep also seems to be much lighter and easily disturbed.
There are many factors that affect how a woman sleeps. Most of these factors change over time. As an example, daytime sleepiness is most common in women when they are in their 20s and 30s, while older women appear to have little or no problems adjusting to periods of sleep loss. This difference has been attributed to the many commitments that a young woman may have. In particular are working mothers, who must balance career, family, friends and personal health needs.

Sleeping disorders are believed to affect millions of women. These problems remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated. There are close to over 80 sleep disorders that can affect women, with the causes being different by age and hormone factors.


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