By: Eric Stengle
There are more than 85 recognized sleep disorders, with some being much more prevalent than others. None of us want to be robbed of our sleep. A sleep disorder is broadly defined as a recurring physical or psychological problem that is impairing your ability to sleep or causes increased tiredness during the day.
You might have a sleep disorder if you are regularly having trouble falling asleep, waking up feeling exhausted, or feeling tired throughout the day even if you got at least 7 hours of sleep the night before. Other possible indications of a sleep disorder include falling asleep in your chair, tiredness while driving, falling asleep while watching TV or while at the movies, or if your partner complains that you snore. If you think that you might have a sleep disorder, try keeping a sleep diary and recording your sleep habits. Keep track of the following information every night:
- What times did you go to bed and wake up?
- How many times did you wake up during the night? How long did it take you to fall back asleep?
- What would you estimate were your total hours of sleep?
- How would you rate your quality of sleep? (i.e. excellent, good, fair, poor, or bad.)
- How many caffeinated drinks did you consume during the day and at what times?
- What types of food and other drinks did you consume during the day and at what times?
- What medications did you take during the day and at what times?
- Were you fatigued during the daytime? Did you have the urge to take naps?
- Did you do any exercise during the day and at what time?
You should also be aware of habits and conditions that can increase the likelihood of developing a sleep disorder. Some of the most common include:
- An unhealthy sleep environment (too noisy, not dark enough, too hot, too crowded, uncomfortable, etc.)
- Medication and drug use
- Alcohol and tobacco consumption
- Consuming too much caffeine
- Excessive daily stress
- Anxiety, depression, ADHD, or other psychological disorders
- Inconsistent sleep routine
- Regularly travelling across time zones
If you believe that you might have a sleep disorder, talk to your primary care physician or contact one of our sleep specialists here at Family Sleep Diagnostics. Frequently having trouble sleeping can be a frustrating and debilitating experience. We are a full-service sleep management clinic. We can use a variety of tests to properly diagnose a sleep disorder and will ask you specific questions to understand your set of symptoms. Then, we can offer you a customized treatment solution to get your sleep health back on track. Give us a call at (972) 714-0011