Sleep is essential for overall body functions and mental health.
Looking at all the signs might prevent side effects from sleep problems.
The following list includes some of these signs that might indicate the presence of a sleep disorder.
- Consistently taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep
- Perpetual fatigue and irritability during the day, even after getting seven or eight hours of sleep a night
- Waking up several times in the middle of the night and remaining awake, sometimes for hours
- Frequent and long naps during the day
- Difficulty concentrating at work or school
- Falling asleep at inappropriate times, mostly when sitting still while watching television or reading
- Waking up too early in the morning
- Loud snoring, breathing or gasping noises while you sleep
- An irresistible urge to move your legs, or a tingling or crawling feeling in the legs, particularly at bedtime
- Requiring a stimulant such as caffeine to keep you awake during the day
How to diagnose a sleep disorder?
There are 2 phases or ways to have an idea about the possibility of a sleep disorder.
There is common sense and looking at the signs mentioned just before.
If you tick too many of these signs there is a chance there is a sleep disorder.
1. Start with a Self-diagnosis
What is the source of your sleep problems?
You might want to start a sleep journal, recording the number of hours you’re actually sleeping and sometimes this perceptual so whatever time you are actually aware of when you have slept.
Understanding the source of your sleep problems is starting a sleep journal. Every day, record how many hours you slept the night before, the quality of the sleep, and any other factors that could have affected your sleep. Factors may include alcohol and caffeine consumption, exercise, and naps. Also, record how you felt in the morning after awaking and throughout the day.
After a few weeks, examine your sleep journal closely for any patterns of behaviour. The journal should reveal any habits that could be interfering with your sleep. You can then make adjustments and cut out any activity that might have interfered with a sound night’s sleep. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and findings.
2. Medical diagnosis
Armed with your sleep journal, you should have no problem answering questions about your sleep habits at a doctor’s appointment. Your doctor might ask you about:
- caffeine intake
- lifestyle disruptions that could be affecting your sleep
- If your doctor feels it necessary, they might refer you to a “sleep lab” where a specialist will observe your heart, brain function, and breathing during sleep. Neurological and cardiovascular
- activity during your sleep might hold the answer to why you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep.
Obstructive sleep apnea and snoring
In Australia, in 2010 the prevalence of sleep disorders was 8.9% (Obstructive sleep apnea[OSA] 4.7%, insomnia 3% and restless leg syndrome [RLS]1.22%)2 . There is a link between sleep problems and chronic pain, heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, depression, and much more.
Most importantly it is related to feeling tired, and to having disgruntled spouse/ family members when snoring is involved.
Dr Karen McCloy at McCloy Dental has years of experience treating obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. She has completed a Masters of Science in Medicine in Sleep Medicine from Sydney University and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Oventus and an exciting new brand of the mandibular appliance for sleep apnea.
She works as part of a multidisciplinary team including sleep physicians, General Practitioners, physiotherapists, cognitive-behavioural therapists and many more to ensure that you receive the best possible care.
Come and see us at McCloy Dental to learn more about how dental treatment can help you with sleep problems.