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Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and Other Sleep Problems

Understanding Sleep Problems

A 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 too late, 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 Association.



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