Sleep disorders are no laughing matter, as they can cause serious problems in those who suffer from it. If you find you’re struggling to stay awake during the day and feel extreme fatigue, you may suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes the sleeper to awake from their sleep due to a breathing disruption. Air becomes obstructed as they sleep, and is prevalent in men, people who are overweight and over age 40. If left untreated, it can cause stroke and heart disease. Narcolepsy is a neurological condition in which the brain has an inability to regulate the sleeping and waking cycle in a person, causing fatigue, sudden attacks of sleep, sleep paralysis and insomnia.
Both disorders can be highly disruptive to a person’s waking and sleeping life. Due to the inability to sleep properly, sufferers can be extremely fatigued during the daytime and suffer from depression and a lack of mental alertness. Excessive sleepiness, headaches and trouble waking up in the morning could be a sign of either sleep apnea or narcolepsy, as can a loss of appetite, irritability and memory problems. Causes of sleep apnea may include excessive alcohol or nicotine use, certain medications, or a lack of physical activity in one’s day.