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Could You Have a Sleeping Disorder?

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Are you one of the eighteen million people in this country suffering from a sleep disorder? Even more disturbing is the fact that up to 4% of persons suffering from sleep disorders are undiagnosed. How can you tell if you have a sleep disorder? Here are some signs you may be experiencing significant sleep problems that require professional evaluation. 1.You have trouble going to sleep at night. While this is a common complaint among the normal population, if the problem persists it may signal the presence of a sleep disorder. 2.You have trouble maintaining sleep. Do you wake up frequently in the night and have trouble returning to sleep? This may be a sign of a more serious sleep disorder such as sleep apnea where you stop breathing for brief periods during the night. 3. You experience recurrent early morning awakening. This can be a sign of depression or a sign of a more serious sleep disorder. You doctor should be able to help you determine the cause and get you on a proper course of treatment. 4. You snore consistently during the night. Snoring can be another sign of sleep apnea. Not every person who snores regularly has sleep apnea, although it's present in almost all persons diagnosed with sleep apnea. Does your partner notice that you stop breathing for short spells when you snore? This is further support for the diagnosis of sleep apnea. Now's a good time to schedule an appointment with your doctor to rule out a sleep disorder. 5. You're consistently tired during the day. Even though you may think you're sleeping well at night, constant daytime fatigue may suggest otherwise. This may be one of the first signs of an undiagnosed sleep disorder. 6. You exhibit atypical behaviors during sleep. These unusual behaviors may include periods of appearing not to breathe while sleeping which can be a sign of sleep apnea, and sleep walking, commonly known as somnambulism. Have your partner watch you when you sleep for a few days and make note of any abnormal behaviors. These should be reported to your doctor when you seek your evaluation for a possible sleep disorder. If you experience any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor for further evaluation. He may suggest a sleep study to further evaluate the potential for sleep disorder and get you on the path to a better night's sleep. If you have a sleep disorder, you're not alone and there are a variety of effective treatment options available to help you get a restful night's sleep!

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