What To Do If You Think You Have a Sleep Disorder

Last updated: June 17, 2019

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.

A sleep disorder is a problem that affects a person’s ability to sleep or causes sleepiness throughout the day. There are also disorders that prevent a person from staying asleep. A sleep disorder may be a result of a physical or psychological problem. It can affect anyone; a person of any age or gender can develop a sleep disorder.

What are the common signs of a sleep disorder?

A person might have a sleep disorder if they experience any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Regularly experience difficulty going to sleep.
  • Regularly experience difficulty staying asleep.
  • Experience tiredness or fatigue during the day. This happens even if that person was able to sleep for at least seven hours the night before.
  • Reduced or impaired ability to perform daytime activities
  • Snoring loudly while sleeping
  • Shortness of breath or stops in breathing during sleep

There are also warning signs that a person has a sleep disorder. These are signs that manifest while the person is awake and performing regular daytime activities. These include:

  • Falling asleep while driving a car or operating a machine
  • Difficulty staying awake while performing passive activities. Passive activities include watching television or reading a book.
  • Encountering performance issues at work or at school
  • Unable to focus or concentrate at work or at school
  • Often unable to remember simple details
  • Slowed response times
  • Experiences an urge to take a nap during the day

When should a person go to a doctor for a sleep disorder?

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.

A patient who suspects that he has a sleep disorder should see a doctor. It’s especially important if the suspected disorder starts affecting his personal or professional life. This is to ensure that a medical professional can properly diagnose the suspected sleep disorder. Early detection of a sleep disorder can also help prevent it from getting worse.

Before going to a sleep doctor it will be best to read up on the possible symptoms of a sleep disorder. There are a lot of sleep disorders. Some signs are common among several sleep disorders. There are also signs limited to just one sleep disorder. It is important to know more about these symptoms. This will allow the patient to familiarize himself with symptoms that he should look for. Knowing these symptoms can also help a patient discount other disorders which may be causing the symptoms he is experiencing.

Keeping a sleep diary is another thing that a patient can do prior to going to a doctor. A sleep diary is a log that a patient keeps for about 2 weeks. The patient can use the log to take note of his sleeping patterns. In keeping a sleep diary, a patient should try to be as accurate as possible. It is also important to take note of the symptoms in as much detail as a patient can remember. This is to ensure that the doctor will not confuse one symptom for another.

A patient can provide the data collected in the sleep diary to the doctor. The sleep diary can eliminate a lengthy interview and can also help the doctor properly diagnose a sleep disorder. In turn, a proper diagnosis can help a doctor formulate an effective treatment plan. This treatment plan can hopefully help the patient get better as quickly as possible.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.

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