Don’t we all remember waking up from a nightmare as children? Some of us still do. However, do you know that the fright can show up in real life through a scary sleep disorder?
While some of the disorders are very frightening since they possess a risk to you and your loved ones, other disorders like night terror would need serious attention. Fortunately, most of these can be managed by taking help from a sleep specialist or a psychologist.
Here, we list down seven scariest sleep disorders and how they can be treated.
1. Night Terrors
Night terrors are way more advanced than average nightmares. These are common in children and lead to fear, making your child inconsolable. Night terrors are not exactly a dream, but a strong reaction when the child transitions in sleep from one phase to another. These occur two to three hours after your child begins to sleep.
While your child suffers a night terror, it is best not to wake him or her up as it could lead to complete unsettlement. Instead, just sit by and make sure he does not hurt himself. To prevent such night terrors from happening, try and reduce all the stress in your child’s environment and prevent him from staying awake for too long. Create a calm and soothing bedtime routine.
Consult a doctor for medication if the night terrors occur regularly.
This is one the subsets of a group condition called Parasomnias when the patient performs and goes through abnormal activities while sleeping. Sexsomnia is a condition in which patients indulge in sexual activities while being asleep. In some cases, they masturbate or indulge in intercourse while in other cases they engage in such acts that they would not while being fully awake.
One of the best ways to manage this disorder is by making sure the bedroom environment is safe making the patient sleep alone until the condition is manageable. Eliminating drugs and alcohol abuse can also help in stabilizing the mental health of the patient.
Consult a doctor if the disorder occurs regularly.
In narcolepsy, the patient is not able to maintain regular sleep-wake cycles. This results in involuntary sleeping periods through the day which could last from a few seconds to several minutes. These episodes can be extremely dangerous. Since it cannot be predicted when the patient will fall asleep, daily chores like driving a car or working at an office can lead to severe problems. Sometimes, narcoleptics also experience hallucinations, loss of muscle tone, and even paralysis during these attacks.
Narcolepsy is treated with medication while working on behavioral changes.
Sleepwalking is one of the most famous parasomnias in which the patient starts walking around while being in a deep sleep. It is dangerous to the sufferer as well as others since there is no control of where the patient might walk off to. It usually occurs in children but can continue through adulthood.
Just like other parasomnias, you can reduce risk by increase safety in the patients home like locking the main door properly and putting gates at stairways. Most of the time, medical treatment is needed to control a person from sleepwalking.
5. Restless Legs Syndrome
In this disorder, the patient might experience an unpleasant sensation in their leg as they sleep. It also brings about an uncontrollable urge to get up and move. This condition is complicated to manage because its symptoms rise higher up when the patient is trying to do the opposite by relaxing and going back to sleep.
Patients are suggested to reduce and eventually cut off the intake of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. Proper medications are required to be given in the conditions remains the same.
6. Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis is one of the standard symptoms of narcolepsy. It prevents the patient’s complete body movement for a couple of minutes while going to sleep or waking up. This occurs while the person can understand everything mentally but is unable to react or move physically.
Apart from exercising regularly and avoiding sleeping on the back, the patient needs proper medications by consulting a doctor.
7. Exploding Head Syndrome
This is undoubtedly the scariest disorder listed here. Exploding Head Syndrome is a rare parasomnia in which the patient experiences a deafening noise in their head while sleeping. It seems like the sound of a bomb explosion, gun firing or cymbals being crashed together.
It can be treated by reducing stress and avoiding drugs and alcohol to provide a regular and calm sleeping cycle. Medication needs to be given if the disorder continues.
Sleep disorders can be very troublesome while being frightening. If yourself or your loved ones suffer from any, visit a doctor and get proper medication. You should also make the sleeping environment extremely comfortable, especially the bed, pillows, blankets so sleep does not get disturbed and mind remains at rest.
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