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Sleep Disorders

Control sleep

01/09/2006

Question:

Hello sir, I am 26 year old mail.I usually get more sleep, whenever i think to sleep i will get sleep, even though i slept for 7 hour i can still sleep. If i think to sleep i dont know sleep automatickly covers me and i will get sleep of 2 to 3 hours in the mid day.Because of this i could not study properly.Most of the time it happens that i take my book with eagerness to study and i think of sleep and i will go into deep sleep even though i had good sleep of 6 to 7 hours in the night.

I need to control my sleep to study well,Please let me know how can i control my sleep only up to 6 to 7 hours not more then that.my weight is 72kg. height is 5` 5`` Thanking you,

Answer:

If I understand your question correctly, you are asking why you don't feel rested and awake after routinely getting 6-7 hours of sleep per night and how you can maximize your level of alertness. In this answer, I will address these specific questions.

Undesirable sleepiness can have a number of underlying causes that can range from a lack of adequate sleep to disorders that interrupt or fragment sleep (such as sleep apnea or periodic limb movements in sleep) to disorders of excessive sleepiness (such as narcolepsy). Determining whether or not suffer you from one of these conditions will depend on obtaining additional information and performing a physical examination.

An individual's sleep needs are genetically determined and cannot be altered. While most individuals need somewhere in the range of 7-8 hours of sleep to feel rested, the range of required sleep can vary from as little as 5-6 hours per night to up to 8-9 (or even more) hours per night. Trying to realize your own sleep requirement is not too difficult to do. If you are not feeling refreshed when you awaken and are having trouble with daytime sleepiness, try extending your sleep time by 1-2 hours per night for several consecutive nights. If this alleviates the symptoms, then it is likely you are suffering from chronic insufficient sleep (or lack of adequate sleep time). You will then need to change your lifestyle in order to ensure that you are getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

There is growing concern that insufficient sleep is serious problem in modern society. In today's 24/7 culture, there are many distractions and pressures on our time that seem to make sleep alm ost an afterthought. However, we all know how poorly we feel when we are tired from lack of sleep. Furthermore, growing research is showing that sleep is involved in a number of important functions that affect our health and well-being. The process of learning is one of these functions and, thus, in order to do your best studying, you need to be well-rested.

Other sleep disorders may contribute to the problem with sleepiness that you describe. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the recurrent complete or partial closure of the airway during sleep, fragments sleep causing symptoms of morning headaches, unrefreshing sleep and daytime sleepiness. Periodic limb movement disorder is another sleep condition that can fragment sleep and result in unrefreshing sleep and daytime sleepiness. Often time, an individual's bed partner is the first to complain about this problem. Narcolepsy is another one of the sleep disorders that results in severe sleepiness, though sleep episodes with this condition tend to be refreshing. Many individuals with narcolepsy will suffer from cataplexy, or the sudden loss of muscle control during emotionally charged times.

If increasing your sleep time does not help with your problems, then it would be a good idea to determine if you may suffer from one of these (or other) sleep disorders. You should discuss your problems with your primary doctor. He or she will obtain additional information and perform a physical examination. They can then decide if you need referral to a Sleep Specialist, specific testing, or if a treatment plan can be instituted. Aside from increasing your sleep time, careful use of caffeine (such as coffee or soda) before study time may help you maintain alertness. Caution should be used, however, as too much caffeine can lead to problems with falling asleep, nervousness, anxiety, and palpitations (in some individuals).

To learn more about sleep disorders, please visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website. In addition to information, the website contains a list of Sleep Centers across the country so that you may locate one near you. Good luck and here's to better sleep!

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Response by:

Dennis   Auckley, MD Dennis Auckley, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University