When To See A Doctor For Sleep Problems

When To See A Doctor For Sleep Problems


If you suffer from insomnia or repeated bouts of disturbed sleep, keeping a track of your sleeping habits by maintaining a sleep diary is your first step towards insomnia treatment.

In today’s society, sleeping problems and disorders have become a common occurrence. While for some they may be linked to chronic psychological problems, but for many, increased amounts of depression and anxiety, a stressful and hectic lifestyle, increased use of social media and technology before bed time and migraines may be the root cause of the problem.

In this blog, we will be discussing on how to recognize any unfamiliar happenings in your normal sleep cycle, and what are the signs you should consult your doctor for:

What Is A Sleep Disorder?

A sleep disorder is broadly classified as a physical or psychological impairment that hinders the patient’s ability to sleep or results in frequent bouts of sleepiness during odd times of the day. Now, it’s totally normal to experience sleep problems from time to time. You might be anxious because of a difficult presentation or an upcoming exam. If you witness sleep problems on a daily basis for more than 3 weeks, you might be suffering from a sleep disorder. You could be suffering from a possible sleep disorder if you suffer from the following:

  • You find it difficult to fall asleep almost every night.
  • You suffer from low quality sleep i.e. you wake up feeling tired and sluggish even though you slept for 7 hours the previous night
  • You feel affected by the low-quality sleep you are getting. Routine mundane tasks wear you out.
  • You feel tired and unmotivated every single day.
  • Your partner has told you that you have been snoring loudly than usual and you sometimes feel limp, lifeless and seem to stop breathing in the middle of your sleep.

These are some of the common signs you should look out for. Most of these signs signify a possible sleep disorder. While discussing individual subtypes of sleep disorder is beyond the scope of this article, you should do your research or schedule a good sleep doctor for a possible diagnosis.

Danger Signs to Look Out For

Below are some of the danger signs in patients suffering from sleep disorders. If you seem to notice even a few of them, we recommend scheduling a consultation with your sleep doctor immediately:

  • Do you find it difficult keeping your eyes wide open while driving?
  • Are you struggling to stay awake while stationary, such as reading a book or watching a movie?
  • Are you finding it difficult to concentrate on your academics or office tasks at work? Are you suffering from a lack of focus?
  • Have you been told by peers, colleagues or teachers about your sudden lack of performance at school or home?
  • Have you been told by others that you look noticeably tired today?
  • Do you have difficulty memorizing things? Whether its routine tasks, your academic syllabus or some task at the office?
  • Are you suffering from delayed responses? Do you feel like you are not able to answer back questions or queries as rapidly as you could a few months ago?
  • Do you feel like your emotions are suddenly all over the place? Whether it’s sadness, guilt, rage or happiness…you tend to experience an insane amount of it every single day?
  • Do you feel the need to nap every day? Is the time duration of your steadily increasing every day?

If you witness any of these signs, we recommend keeping a weekly record of your sleep patterns and visit your doctor. It is important to note this could be an independent sleeping disorder or might be a result of some other disease.

What to Expect When I Visit a Sleep Specialist?

The sleep doctor will ask you questions and possibly give you prescription drugs. You can also expect to undergo a diagnostic test called polysomnogram test. During this test, you are let asleep with electrodes attached to your body for detecting the root cause of the sleep problem.

How Are Sleep Disorders Treated?

Most of the time, behavioral therapies give relief to sleep disorder patients. In some cases, sleep specialists MD prescribe medication for sleep apnea, insomnia and other sleep disorders. However, in some other cases, surgeries are performed.

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