Guest Post: Common Sleep Disorders and Their Solutions

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Our latest post comes from the wonderful and talented Samantha Olivier from Ripped.me. We’re delighted to have Samantha featured on the site again and know you’ll enjoy her latest piece

Sleep disorders are numerous, with more than eighty different types affecting people of all ages, genders, and sizes around the world. In the USA alone, more than 70 million people suffer from various forms of sleep disorders that hinder their daytime performance and can lead to serious long-term illnesses if not treated properly.

Digging a bit deeper into the intricacies and effects of common sleep disorders we can deduce that physical athletes suffering from these conditions can experience severe consequences in terms of elevated injury rates due to improper rest cycles, in addition to decreased performance in their training sessions on a daily basis, with an exponentially deteriorating energy output over time.

Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to address these common conditions and supply aspiring athletes with effective solutions that will allow them to reach their full training potential.

Restless leg syndrome

A common disorder among athletes, particularly endurance athletes is restless leg syndrome, characterized by uncontrollable movement of the legs during prolonged periods of inactivity, especially during sleep. The only way to eliminate the feeling of restlessness in the legs is by moving them, yet such a solution will only provide a temporary fix to a problem often caused by peripheral neuropathy, iron deficiency, kidney failure, or chronic illnesses.

The most effective way of treating this condition and ensuring quality sleep and recovery is by finding the source of the problem through various medical testing and combining medications with dedicated physical treatment through exercise and physiotherapy.

Insomnia

Affecting 50% of adults in one form or another, insomnia presents a dangerous condition for strength athletes in particular by elevating injury risk and hindering daytime performance due to the inability of the athlete to adhere to a proper rest cycle. People can suffer from temporary, acute insomnia or they can suffer from a chronic condition, characterized by the athlete’s inability to sleep for at least three nights every week for more than a month.

Insomnia can appear for a variety of reasons, from acute or chronic pain, to stress, anxiety, depression, various medical conditions, and even strenuous physical activity, such as performance training. Luckily, insomnia can be easily treated with medication and psychiatric therapy when the root of the problem has been established.

 

Sleep apnea

More often than not, sleep apnea (or irregular breathing patterns leading to sleep disorders) can affect strength and performance athletes, especially individuals who boast a massive frame with excessive muscle mass and body fat percentage. A perfect example of a top-tier athlete suffering from this chronic condition is the current strongest man in the world – Eddie Hall.

Carrying a frame that weighs 180kg at 25% body fat every day, paired with strenuous physical exercise, although necessary for winning the World Strongest Man title, carries numerous health risks, one of which the great athlete could not escape.

Luckily, he has been able to control and subdue the negative effects of his condition by utilizing sleeping masks. You can easily overcome sleep apnea by using quality CPAP masks that will ensure you get a steady flow of oxygen and regulate the pressure in airway; this will ensure a healthy sleeping cycle and avoid subsequent complications.

Snoring

Snoring is one of the most common sleeping disorders affecting people of all ages, regardless of their physical activity, yet athletes can suffer greatly if they do not address this seemingly benign condition early on, as snoring can worsen over time and have significant consequences on your physical health. Prolonged snoring can have a negative impact on your heart health as well as mental and physical performance associated with physical injury and decreased quality of life.

Luckily, there are a variety of ways you can effectively battle snoring, such as changing your sleeping position and elongating your throat and nasal passages by tilting your head sideways along with controlling your weight and making sure that the neck area is free of any excess fat mass. Furthermore, snoring can be a side effect of poor muscular distribution, so you should incorporate neck hypertrophy training into your routine to strengthen neck muscles and promote healthy positioning and movement.

Sleep disorders can commonly be overlooked, which steadily decreases an athlete’s general wellbeing and performance, possibly leading to the development of more serious health conditions in the future. Luckily, most of these disorders can be easily managed or cured, so make sure to listen to your body and introduce effective solutions that will allow you to reach your true potential.

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