1. Increased Sleep And Sleepiness

    Recently my wife has started sleeping for a long time during the day. She is 58 years old and always feels sleepy. Please advise.

    Sleeping for long periods could be due to many reasons. Considering the age, it could be any of the following reasons:

    • Snoring and sleep apnea:

    Blockages (full or partial) in the upper airway of the mouth can cause interruption in normal breathing, leading to ineffective respiration. This in turn could lead to increased sleepiness during the day.

    • Involuntary movement of limbs during sleep:

    Sometimes there are recurrent attacks of movement of limbs (usually the lower limbs) during sleep - a characteristic movement of the big toe might be noticed. All this leads to instability during sleep and prevents the individual from reaching the deeper stages of sleep and hence a person sleeps longer during the daytime.

    • The laziness of the thyroid gland:

    It is a common ailment among women in this age, and may cause increased drowsiness and weight gain.

    I suggest that your wife should visit a specialist for a diagnosis and treatment.

  2. Hissing Sound While Breathing

    Right from birth, my son’s breathing is accompanied with a hissing sound. His ribs and abdomen often get swollen. Initially we were told that this condition might cure itself in six months. It has already been four months and there is still no improvement.

    Sounds produced by children during breathing can have more than one reason. I strongly recommend that you visit a pediatrician who specializes in respiratory diseases.

    Children with hypertrophy tonsils, adenoids in the throat or any other nose problems may produce such sounds. Respiratory diseases like asthma can also result in noises during sleep and difficulty in breathing. Even heart problems can cause difficulty in breathing and such conditions could be accompanied by sounds during sleep.

  3. Deep Sleep

    My son, aged 14 years, suffers from deep sleep. It becomes very difficult to wake him up even after 10 hours of sleeping. It is a very big problem for all of us. This happens every day and especially during vacations.

    Sometimes deep sleeping is purely a nature of a certain individuals or it could also be genetic. However, the information that you have mentioned is not sufficient to exclude or include any particular causes of deep sleep, such as sleep apnea. Thus, we are not able to pinpoint the problem.

    Please note that young people sometimes suffer from biological clock disorders, and have difficulty staying awake during the day. Hence, they prefer to sleep during the daytime and stay awake at night. This might happen more during vacations, as they are free to sleep during the day.

  4. Sensitivity To Sounds During Sleep

    I am unable to sleep around people who snore. Even a simple beep wakes me up. Although we live in a noisy area, I find it difficult to sleep if there are any kinds of disturbances. I am the only member of my family who suffers from this problem. Please help.

    It is well known that hearing remains active during sleep, but to varying degrees. Some people are very sensitive to sounds while sleeping and even the slightest of noise can wake them up.

    I advise you to use earplugs during sleep to lessen the effect of the external noise. Alternatively, you can also try to listen to any singular tone like that of an air conditioner when trying to sleep. You can use any source of constant sound that can help cover the other sounds.