Sleep disorders are common. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 50 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder at some time in their lives. These disorders have a significant impact on the daytime functioning, quality of life, and health of the sufferer. For example, research data has shown that people with insomnia report more problems with attention, concentration, and memory than healthy individuals, are more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety, and are at greater risk for cardiovascular illness.
Those who suffer from sleep apnea, a sleep-related breathing disorder, are at greater risk for high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats), stroke, and death. The significant health consequences of sleep disorders have led experts to agree that these problems warrant medical attention.
The Top Ten Telltale Signs
There are some signs that can help determine if you or a loved one suffer from a sleep disorder.
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Fitful or disturbed sleep
- Sleep that is not restful or refreshing, or generally poor quality sleep
- Loud snoring (especially if overweight)
- Difficulty breathing during sleep, or snorting, gasping, or choking during sleep
- Daytime fatigue or sleepiness, or frequent daytime napping
- Impaired daytime functioning, such as impairments in attention, concentration, memory, or the ability to stay focused on a task
- Moodiness or irritability
- Dry mouth, sore throat, mental fogginess, or headaches upon awakening
- Unusual movements during sleep