If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. This is a problem that many people all over the world go through every day. In fact, over 30% of adults in the United States suffer from chronic insomnia.
When you have sleep problems, your body makes it difficult to forget. If you can’t string together consecutive days of good sleep, you feel more and more fatigued. You lose focus and find it difficult to concentrate. Reduced sleep quality can cause errors in the workplace or accidents if you drive a vehicle.
If you are experiencing the following, you should make an appointment with a sleep doctor:
1. Chronic Insomnia
If you are consistently having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may be suffering from chronic insomnia. Bouts of acute insomnia can last for a few days or weeks because of stress or a traumatic event. Chronic insomnia, however, can last for a month or even longer.
Many health (stress, asthma, GERD) and environmental (antidepressants, caffeine, blue light) factors may lead to insomnia. Sometimes it happens on its own. If you have trouble sleeping often, a sleep diary can help you keep track of your symptoms. The more information you have about your sleeping habits, the easier it will be for your doctor to diagnose your sleep disorder and prescribe treatment.
2. Loud Snoring
When you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops and starts all through the night, causing vibrations and loud noises. This disorder can interrupt your sleep if your throat relaxes too much, causing reduced airflow. This can trigger your brain into waking up so you can breathe more deeply.
It’s important to treat sleep apnea because it can lead to severe complications. If your oxygen levels drop as you sleep, your blood pressure may increase, causing strain in your heart. People with sleep apnea are also more likely to develop insulin resistance and diabetes.
3. Restless Leg Syndrome
If you feel pain in your legs as you’re trying to fall asleep, you may have restless leg syndrome (RLS). This condition is linked to a lack of dopamine and may be an early symptom of other neurological disorders. If aches or pains in your legs make it hard to fall asleep at night, you should see a doctor.
4. Fatigue During The Day
Excessive daytime sleepiness (ESD) is a disorder that can be directly linked to sleeping disorders. While it’s normal to feel tired the first few hours after waking up, EDS is more intense, and it occurs no matter how much quality sleep you get the night before. You may also feel a sudden attack of sleepiness that comes from nowhere.
EDS can be a symptom of narcolepsy. If you regularly experience bouts of ESD, you can keep a diary to keep track of your symptoms and what situations lead you to feel sleepy. This information will help tremendously with your diagnosis.
5. Sleeping Too Much
Catching up on sleep debt during weekends and holidays is entirely normal. You also need more rest if you’re recovering from an illness. But if you exceed 9 hours of sleep regularly, it could indicate a sleep disorder.
Millions of people have trouble falling asleep at night. Experience insomnia over one month or experience the other things listed above. It may be time to go to a doctor to get a firm diagnosis for a sleep disorder. Keep track of your sleeping habits, diet, and other activities that have affected your sleep. This will help your doctor with differential diagnosis and treatment.
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