Your sleep issues may be minor ones that you can easily remedy. They may also be problems linked to a sleep disorder. Read through the following important questions about sleep and sleeping problems for help in figuring out whether you should consult your doctor about your sleeping habits.
Many people experience difficulty getting a good night's rest at least some of the time. When this happens to you, it may be tough to stay awake the next day. You may even find yourself bingeing on caffeine or sugar just to keep your eyes open and get through the day.
If you have trouble getting a good night's rest only once in a while, it probably isn't a big deal. However, if you experience excessive daytime sleepiness on multiple days throughout your week, your fatigue may be related to a sleep disorder, bad sleeping habits or a medical condition such as hypothyroidism. You may want to speak with your doctor if your daytime sleepiness is interfering with important aspects of your life, such as driving, working or taking care of yourself and your family.
Several studies have been made on the ideal number of hours adults should sleep each night to experience optimal health. Reviewers determined that adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep if they want to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
Children require varying levels of sleep, depending on their age. Knowing how many hours of sleep are optimal for your health gives you a starting point in developing a good sleep routine. It can help you determine what time you or your children should go to bed.
Minor sleep issues usually don't happen all of the time. You may have a restless night because you can't stop thinking about a problem in another area of your life, or maybe you ate food that disagreed with your digestive system. Your lack of sleep may also be tied to your medication, your bedtime routine or even the incessant barking of the neighbor's dog.
On the other hand, a sleep disorder is more serious and usually affects the quality of your life in countless ways. Lack of sleep often leads to a greater number of physical injuries, health problems, less productivity and irritability. If the issues you are experiencing with sleep are affecting how you get through your days, you may want to talk to your doctor.
According to the National Institutes of Health, common signs of sleep disorders include:
If the symptoms you're experiencing are minor, you may be able to remedy the problem with simple changes to your lifestyle, diet or exercise routine. If you do have a sleep disorder, your doctor may recommend further testing.
It can be annoying when you can't fall asleep. Usually, a reason exists, but it can be difficult to track it down. Here are some of the most common reasons behind a bad night's sleep:
If minor sleeping issues interfere with your daily routines, you may want to try such simple strategies as:
Sleep disorders are characterized by either the inability to sleep peacefully without waking up or having trouble falling asleep. Insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless legs syndrome are some of the most commonly diagnosed disorders. Your doctor can help determine if your symptoms point to a specific disorder.
Some of the more common treatments suggested for sleep disorders include:
It's important to get help if your sleep problems are interfering with your daily routines. Talk to your doctor to find out what steps you can take to improve your situation.
Initially, you may want to make an appointment to discuss your questions about sleep and sleep disorders with your doctor. Be patient because your doctor needs to understand your sleep habits and issues prior to helping you figure out what's next.
At first, you may need to try eliminating common issues that interfere with sleep. However, if your doctor suspects a sleep disorder, an appointment at the sleep clinic is probably the next step.
© 2021 American Sleep Association.