Maybe that 5th cup of coffee is a sign of a bigger problem?

March 12, 2019

Let’s face it, most of us will commonly hit an afternoon slump where coffee or some tasty caffeinated beverage helps get us over the hump.  And, there are times in our lives where we constantly feel tired due to working late nights, caring for a newborn, cramming for finals or a multitude of other activities. BUT, if you are noticing more times than not, your overwhelming feeling of tiredness is not going away, or you have abnormal sleep patterns or consistently lack sleep, you might be dealing with a sleep disorder.

The CDC estimates that more than 1/3rd American adults don’t get the sleep they need.

What are the warning signs of a sleep disorder?

What should I do if I think I have a sleep disorder?

If you can identify with some or many of the items listed above, start journaling and becoming aware of your experiences.  Keep a log of everything you are going through and then schedule an appointment to see your doctor.  The more you can arm yourself with information, the better your doctor can work with you to diagnose your problem.  Depending on your situation, a sleep study might also be necessary.  These studies are done through sleep labs which observe your heart, brain and breathing functions during sleep.  They can help determine if you are suffering from a sleep disorder.

A staggering 40 million people are estimated to suffer from some sort of long-term sleep disorder as reported by the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

What are the most common sleep disorders?

Believe it or not, but there are over 70 different sleep disorders!  Luckily, they are grouped into three categories: lack of sleep, disturbed sleep, and excessive sleep.  The most common disorders are:

Suffering from a sleep disorder can really put your health at risk.  Being well rested helps support your body’s ability to fight sickness, promote healthy cell growth, think clearly, physically function effectively and overall alertness.  It is important to not ignore your tiredness.  Untreated sleep disorders can lead to more serious health issues like high blood pressure, depression, stroke, and heart attacks.

Remember, knowledge is power and for most sleep disorders, they can be easily managed once they are properly diagnosed.