Sleep disorders in children, women and men

Sleep disorders is now a medical subspecialty with doctors who specialize in sleep medicine. These sleep doctors detect and treat common and rare sleep disorders. Common sleep disorders are jet lag, insomnia, sleepwalking, sleep apnea, and snoring.

Seeing that your child gets enough sleep and sleeps well is tremendously important. Tired children have problems with development and behavior. Sleep problems with children can cause needless stress for the entire family. Experts advise the following sleep hours for children; infants from 3 to 11 months should sleep 14 to 15 hours, toddlers 12 to 14 hours, preschoolers 11 to 13 hours and 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 continually during the night; snoring loudly or struggling to breathe; or mood, behavior or performance at school 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 the mind won’t stop spinning. 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 problems with sleep continue, depression can disrupt the quality of a man’s sleep. The man might lie in bed tossing and turning late into the night. As poor sleep continues, men stop taking care of their bodies in many ways. They often stop exercising regularly and stopping eating or begin overeating. They are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. Statistics show that men are four times as likely as women to commit suicide.

So if a man experiences sleep problems that last more than two weeks, they too should visit a sleep expert or family physician.

Experts suggest that most men and women need about seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Women usually sleep more than men, going to bed earlier and falling asleep easier. A woman’s sleep is not as deep as a man’s and it is easier to disturb a woman during sleep.

Women also describe sleep problems using different terms than men. Women will be less likely to say that they feel sleepy during the day. Women instead will often say that they feel unrested, tired, or fatigued. These terms reveal feelings of mental or physical exhaustion. Women may also report a lack of energy or vitality.

There are numerous complex factors that affect how women sleep. Many of these factors change over time. Extreme daytime sleepiness is most common when women are in their 20s to 30s, while older women appear to adapt better to periods of sleep loss.
This difference has been attributed to the many commitments that compete for a young woman’s time. In particular working mothers, who balance the demands of career, family, friends and personal health needs.

Sleeping disorders are believed to affect millions of women. These problems with sleep very often remain undiagnosed. There are close to 81 sleep disorders that are most likely to affect women, with the causes being different depending on age and hormone factors.