It’s estimated that only 65% of adults in America get enough quality sleep each night.
Since sleeplessness and low-quality sleep are so common, you may wonder if it’s really that big of a deal.
After all, everyone feels tired sometimes, right?
How can you tell if your sleep pattern represents an actual sleep disorder or is just a normal part of life?
A few key warning signs can help you determine whether you should seek professional help for your sleep problems.
Warning Signs of a Sleep Disorder
There are several different varieties of disordered sleep, and the symptoms can vary depending on the specific disorder.
However, some general warning signs may indicate the need for further evaluation by a sleep specialist:
- Do you routinely have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep?
- Do you often feel tired during the day, even after a full night’s sleep?
- Do you usually need frequent or long naps during the day?
- Do you fall asleep at inappropriate times?
- Do you have difficulty concentrating or focusing during the day?
- Do you find yourself feeling irritable or anxious during the day?
- Do you need stimulants such as caffeine to get through the day?
- Do you snore loudly, or has your partner complained about your snoring?
- Do you ever wake up gasping or short of breath?
The most important criteria to remember is how your sleep problems are impacting your quality of life.
If you find that your sleep difficulties are causing problems at work, school, or in your personal life, it’s essential to seek professional help.
Why Is Healthy Sleep So Important?
Getting enough quality sleep is essential for your physical, mental, and emotional health. During sleep, your body can rest and heal from the stress of the day.
If you’re not getting enough quality sleep, your body won’t be able to function at its best.
You may find yourself struggling to concentrate, focus, or remember things. You may have difficulty controlling your emotions and may be more prone to accidents or injuries.
Disordered sleep can also negatively affect your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Chronic sleep issues are also associated with an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
If you’re having difficulty sleeping, don’t wait to get help. Your doctor or sleep specialist can evaluate your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment to help you get the healthy sleep you need and deserve.
In the meantime, consider making lifestyle changes to improve your sleep quality.
- Stick to a regular schedule and avoid napping during the day.
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool, and create an environment that promotes relaxation.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
- Practice meditation or other relaxation techniques to help you relieve stress.
- Be physically active during the day and minimize using electronic screens in the evening.
Make the extra effort to prioritize healthy sleep, and you’ll be sure to reap the rewards. If you neglect your sleep, you may deal with much worse consequences than just being tired.