Your Guide to Healthy Sleep (cont.)

Could you have a sleep disorder?

Are you spending enough time in bed and still wake up tired or feel very sleepy during the day, you may be one of the estimated 40million Americans with a sleep disorder.

The most common sleep disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea (sleep-disordered breathing), restless legs syndrome , and narcolepsy. Although sleep disorders can significantly affect your health, safety, and well-being, they can be treated.

Talk to your doctor if you have any of these signs of a sleep disorder:

  • You consistently take more than 30 minutes each night to fall asleep.
  • You consistently awaken several time each night and then have trouble falling back to sleep, or you awaken too early in the morning.
  • You often feel sleepy during the day, you take frequent naps, or you fall asleep at inappropriate times during the day.
  • Your bed partner says that when you sleep, you snore loudly, snort, gasp, make choking sounds, or stop breathing for short periods.
  • You have creeping, tingling, or crawling feelings in your legs or arms that are relieved by moving or massaging them, especially in the evening and when trying to fall alseep.
  • Your bed partner notices that your legs or arms jerk often during sleep.
  • You have vivid, dreamlike experiences while falling asleep or dozing.
  • You have episodes of sudden muscle weakness when you are angry or fearful, or when you laugh.
  • You feel as though you cannot move when you first wake up.

Keep in mind that children can have some of these same signs when they have a sleep disorder, but they often do not show signs of excessive daytime sleepiness. Instead they may seem overactive and have difficulty focusing or doing their best in school.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Services, National Institutes of Health. Your Guide to Healthy Sleep