Millions of Americans suffer from common sleep disorders, although many are completely unaware of the fact they have a problem at all. From night terrors and sleep deprivation to insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorders come in a variety of forms that affect people differently. In this article, we discuss how to tell if you have a sleep disorder and whether medicinal ketamine can help provide relief.
Sleep Disorders 101
Otherwise known as “somnipathy,” sleep disorders are a type of medical disorder characterized by a persistent “disorder” of one’s sleep patterns. Broadly, sleep disorders are classified into the following categories:
Each of the above categories of sleep disorders encompasses their own unique characteristics. Medically, they can be tested and diagnosed using polysomnography and actigraphy technology which monitor sleep cycles.
These sleep disorders are characterized by great difficulty in getting to sleep, staying asleep, or of excessive fatigue and sleepiness. In other words, they are defined by their interference in one’s ability to get a sufficient amount of sleep or adequate quality of sleep. Typically, dyssomnia sufferers will not feel restful in the morning or will feel wakeful during regular sleeping hours.
Parasomnias are a different categorization of sleep disorder defined by abnormal movements, behaviors, perceptions, or dreams that occur during sleep or while falling asleep. Parasomnia-induced states are dissociative and typically occur between wakefulness and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycles.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSD) are a category of sleep disorders characterized by their interruption of the body’s regular sleep timing. Therefore, those who suffer from CRSD cannot easily fall asleep when they should and are often wakeful and alert while attempting to sleep. Those with CRSD do not have a regular and well-maintained “body clock.”
Sleep disturbances are a broad umbrella term to describe all other forms of chronic sleep issues. Persistent nightmares, sleep paralysis, restless leg syndrome, sleepwalking, and sleep-related anxiety are all forms of sleep disturbances that do not fall neatly under any other category.
Sleep Disorders: Symptoms and Warning Signs
Since sleep disorders come in a wide variety of different forms, they have a diverse array of symptoms and warning signs. For some, this can make diagnosis a challenge. However, there are general indicators that a sleep disorder may be at hand. Here are some of the most common signs that you may be suffering from a sleep disorder:
Online Quizzes for Sleep Disorders
To find out if you suffer from common sleep disorders, you may want to take a quick online test. Although there are several types of tests available, the Clayton Sleep Institute offers one of the most reputable and well-designed self-assessments for sleep disorders. You can find Clayton Sleep Institute Adult Sleep Quiz on their website.
Alternatively, you could take the National Sleep Foundation Sleepiness Test if you want to test your general sleepiness levels. Extreme fatigue and excessive sleepiness is a strong indicator of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. If you are rated as “very sleepy,” you should consider speaking to your doctor about sleep disorders.
For more specific online testing, you can try taking any of the Columbus Sleep Consultant sleep disorder quizzes. They have a host of online tests for a variety of sleep disorders from sleep apnea to insomnia, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome.
Ultimately, the most accurate way of determining whether you have a sleep disorder is to visit your local sleep clinic. Sleep clinics are staffed by doctors and sleep specialists who have the equipment necessary for monitoring your sleep. Sleep clinics are often covered by private insurance providers and Medicare.
Ketamine for Sleep Disorders
In recent years, ketamine has become a popular medicinal treatment for major depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain-related illnesses. This is especially true of patients who are resistant to conventional treatment methods such as psychotherapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Although ketamine currently lacks formal US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, it has gained popularity as an off-label treatment for sleep disorders as well. This is because psychological ailments and pain-related illnesses are strongly associated with sleep disorders.
What Is Ketamine?
Before seeking ketamine therapy for sleep disorders, it is important that you first familiarize yourself with what ketamine is. Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic and analgesic drug. In other words, it is a drug primarily used to treat pain. Since the 1970s, ketamine has been used as an anesthetic in veterinary medicine, which has caused it to be derided as a “horse tranquilizer.”
In reality, ketamine is far more than a horse tranquilizer. In fact, it is a potent medicine that is used to treat both humans and a variety of animals during surgery. And, unlike other popular painkillers and anesthetics, the side effects are few, especially when compared to morphine or suboxone.
Is Ketamine Safe?
Over the past decade, a wide body of scientific research has pointed to the fact that medicinal ketamine is safe for treating common sleep disorders. Notably, a 2014 study found that ketamine was safe and effective for treating both depression and sleep disturbances since it was able to induce slow wave activity during sleep.
Is Ketamine Right for You?
Unfortunately, depression and anxiety are a common thread among those who suffer from sleep disorders. The common prescriptions used to treat mental illnesses are often ineffective, which leads patients toward alternate forms of therapy, such as ketamine infusion therapy.
If you are curious about whether ketamine is right for you, speak to your doctor about ketamine infusion therapy. There are dozens of clinics across the United States and around the world that offer supervised ketamine infusions to help alleviate the psychological symptoms of sleep disorders and other mental illnesses.