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*Please note that this information is intended for general knowledge and is not an adequate substitution for medical counseling or treatment.*
Identifying Potential Sleep Troubles
There are many different kinds of sleep disorders which can present with various symptoms. However, one common symptom is fatigue. If you find you are excessively tired throughout the day despite sleeping all night, this may be a sign that your sleep is being impaired. Other symptoms include difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, impaired concentration, irritability, and low mood. If you are unsure whether your symptoms are indicative of a sleep disorder or not, here are two tests you can perform to get more information:
The Maas Robbins Alertness Questionnaire can help to identify excessive sleepiness. If you answer “True” to four or more of the questions, you may be moderately to severely sleep-deprived and should consider seeking medical attention
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale can also help you determine the level of your sleepiness. If you score more than 10 points, you may have excessive sleepiness and should consider seeking medical attention.
Seeking the Help of a Professional
If you performed the above sleep scales and have determined that you may have a sleep disorder, the next thing you should do is seek the advice of a medical professional. You can make an appointment with your family physician, or you can go to a sleep clinic for further testing.
However, not all sleep clinics are created equal. Search in your area for an accredited sleep clinic. These clinics are required to meet the standards set by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and can offer high quality care.
Tracking Your Sleep
If you have decided to seek the help of a professional, you may want to consider tracking your sleep before your first appointment. What time are you going to bed? How many times did you wake up at night? What time did you wake up? Did you have to nap during the day? If so, how long? Writing down your sleep habits in a journal may help to provide you with helpful information about your sleep quality and length. Find tracking by hand too tedious? The Beddit is an accurate sleep monitor which attaches to your mattress and sends your sleep information directly to your phone!
Sleep deprivation and sleep disorder can have serious effects on your health, happiness, and productivity. If you are suffering from a sleep disorder, it is vital that you get appropriate treatment to help reduce its severity and its risk to your health. For more sleep information and news, be sure to follow us on Facebook and regularly visit our blog.