Once in a while, it’s normal for you to have a hard time falling asleep when the sun goes down, rouse several times through the night, or wake up while the rest are still catching some shut-eye. However, it’s a different thing if it happens most of the time — it could be a sign that you should pay a sleep specialist a visit.
In the US alone, more than 25 percent of the population is diagnosed with some form of sleep disorder, ranging from insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement to narcolepsy. However, experts believe that there are millions of other cases out there that are left unreported.
Leading a normal life can be challenging for anyone who is suffering from some type of sleep disorder — it won’t take long before the mental and physical complications of it show up. Some of the problems that can come into being because of a sleep disorder can be very serious, too, like those that involve the cardiovascular system.
You may already have a sleeping disorder but don’t know about it thinking that it’s simply due to work- or family-related stress, or being with people with erratic sleeping habits. In some cases, a sleep disorder is due to an underlying medical problem that has to be identified and treated to prevent complications.
Here are some telltale signs that you should consider seeking the help of a sleep specialist:
You Cannot Go to Sleep
One of the most hard-to-miss signs that you have a sleep-related problem is difficulty in falling asleep at night. Often, you have to watch the TV or read a book — or sometimes simply toss and turn in your bed — for a couple of hours before you start to feel the urge to visit dreamland.
You Wake Up Many Times
There is also a problem if it’s not uncommon for you to wake up several times throughout the night, keeping you from enjoying uninterrupted 7 to 9 hours of sleep. However, there are cases, too, in which it can simply be due to an external factor, like consuming lots of water before bedtime or a neighbor’s noisy dog.
You Wake Up Feeling Tired
Sleep is something that should leave you feeling refreshed and energized the following day. But if you feel exhausted upon waking up, then there could be a problem. There are sleep disorders that wake you up a number of times throughout the night without you being aware of it, such as periodic limb movement.
You Cannot Focus or Concentrate
Do you find it hard to carry out mental tasks, especially those that require lots of concentration, throughout the day? Chances are that your brain is not getting enough rest every night due to a sleeping disorder. Having issues with focusing can also put you and everyone else around you in danger.
You are Told That You Snore
It’s okay for people to snore while sleeping, especially if they’re tired. However, doctors say that there is something wrong if a person snores a lot and very loudly every single night. Usually, it’s an indicator of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes cessation of breathing throughout the night.
If you have any or all of the signs mentioned above, see if your family members, friends, coworkers or doctor can refer you to a sleep specialist, and then visit him or her ASAP.