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Do I Have A Sleep Disorder

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Sleep disorders can interrupt your sleep, affecting your overall health and quality of life. Some common sleep disorders include:


It takes the average person about 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep. For people with insomnia, it may take much longer. Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Symptoms of insomnia include:

  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Waking up too early
  • Always feeling tired and sleepy during the day
  • Irritability, depression and/or anxiety
  • Trouble with focus and memory

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when a person repeatedly stops breathing while asleep. There are a few different types, of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is when breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. Central Sleep Apnea is when the brain fails to properly control breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common than central sleep apnea.  The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Snoring
  • Gasping for air while sleeping
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • High blood pressure


Narcolepsy is a serious condition that makes it difficult for people to stay awake for long periods of time. They may fall asleep while doing normal everyday activities. Other symptoms include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty staying alert and focused
  • Cataplexy (sudden muscle weakness, slurred speech, etc.)
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Changes in REM sleep
  • Hallucinations

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Leg Syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease, is a nervous system disorder. RLS tends to worsen at night and interrupt sleep. Symptoms include:

  • An irresistible urge to move the legs during sleep
  • Leg discomfort, such as a feeling of pins and needles.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder refers to a group of conditions characterized by sleep out of synch with a person’s natural rhythm or what is considered a healthy sleep cycle. When a person’s sleep-wake cycle is impaired, they may experience:

  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Decreased cognitive ability
  • Poor coordination
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Nonrestorative sleep

Test Your Symptoms Today

If your symptoms are similar to any of those listed, there’s a chance you could have a sleep disorder. To help you decide if you should seek treatment, consider:

  • Keeping a log of your sleep patterns and symptoms.
  • If you sleep with someone else in the room, ask them about your snoring, breathing and movement.

Speak with your doctor to discuss if a sleep study is right for you.