great number of people consistently fail to get
enough restful sleep. Many habits can interfere with adequate
sleep, including lack of exercise, poor diet, overeating, going to bed
use of stimulants like caffeine and ginseng or other drugs (including
alcohol), and watching upsetting
television shows (including news) before bed. There are also many
medical causes of
sleep disturbance and insomnia, including various illnesses,
depression, anxiety, addictions, and sleep apnea. It is also important
to understand that sleep disturbance can lead to serious medical
problems. Unfortunately, sleep disturbance is commonly overlooked and
can be easily misdiagnosed by medical professionals. If you have
concerns about your
sleep, ask your physician to refer you to a sleep specialist.
Here are just a few common signs of sleep disturbance:
- Loud snoring, gasping, choking, and
interruptions in breathing during sleep.
- Waking up in the morning feeling tired, and/or
feeling tired most of the day.
- Headaches and/or irritability.
- Poor concentration and low productivity.
- Feeling very sleepy and/or falling asleep at
inappropriate times during the day, for example at work, during
business meetings, or while stopped at traffic lights.
- Tossing and turning, difficulty falling asleep
and/or staying asleep.
- Sleeping too much (ten or more hours a day).
Even with excess sleep, still feeling tired and wanting more sleep.
Any of these symptoms may be warning signs of
sleep disturbance or sleep apnea, which can be serious and even
life-threatening medical conditions that require medical diagnosis and
treatment. Highly effective treatments are available.
If you have a serious sleep disturbance or sleep apnea, without
appropriate treatment it is unlikely that you will have the motivation,
energy, mental alertness, and follow-through to succeed in your life
goals and you will be at high risk for serious medical problems. You
must get medical help with this first. The information on this web site
is not medical advice or treatment. If you suspect that you have sleep
problems, talk to your doctor and ask to be referred to a physician who
is board certified in Sleep Medicine for evaluation.
Get more information about sleep apnea here: American Sleep Apnea