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Sleep disorders not only keep you awake at night, they also can affect how you feel during the day. If you’re having trouble staying awake during the day or feel groggy on a regular basis, these could be early sleep disorder symptoms. Being able to tell the difference between occasional sleep problems and a real sleep disorder helps you determine whether to seek treatment. 

Common Early Sleep Disorder Symptoms

woman wide awake, lying in bed with alarm clock The earliest signs that you have a sleep problem are typically fairly obvious. You might notice that you have trouble getting to sleep most nights or that you’re excessively tired throughout the day. A strong urge for frequent naps may indicate that your sleep quality needs improvement. More subtle signs of a sleep disorder include irritability, depression, anxiety or a reduced ability to concentrate. 

While an occasional sleepless night might not affect your health long-term, regular sleep problems can affect your everyday activities, damage your relationships and cause work performance issues. Sleep deprivation can also cause other health problems over time. Getting treatment from a sleep specialist at Respacare can help get sleep patterns back to normal so you can rest soundly through the night and wake up refreshed and ready to face the day.

Determining The Causes Of Sleep Problems

Sleep problems don’t have a single cause. Stress, night shift work and underlying medical issues can all affect sleep patterns. Sleep apnea, a breathing problem that interrupts your sleep, could be the cause of your symptoms.

In some cases, the symptoms themselves can give you clues as to the underlying causes of sleep issues. If your inability to get restful sleep is accompanied by signs of nasal congestion and eye irritation, you might want to get tested for allergies that could be keeping you awake. Asthma and other pulmonary disorders might also affect your sleep.

Sleep testing, which monitors your sleep patterns throughout the night while you’re in your own bed at home, can help determine the possible cause of your sleep problems. Wakefulness tests and sleep latency tests measure your alertness and tiredness during the day to see if sleep issues are preventing you from functioning normally.

Types Of Sleep Disorders And Their Symptoms

There are a few different types of sleep disorders, and symptoms might differ based on the specific problem you’re experiencing. Insomnia, an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, is fairly common. It may not be a major problem if insomnia is short-term and has a known cause, such as jet lag or temporary stress before a big event. Chronic insomnia that occurs multiple times over the course of a month or longer generally requires treatment to get your sleep patterns back to normal.

Narcolepsy, which causes a feeling of extreme tiredness during the day and may make you unexpectedly fall asleep when you should be awake, is another major sleep disorder.

Some sleep disorders are associated with abnormal movements at night. Restless leg syndrome can cause leg tingling and an uncontrollable urge to move your lower extremities at night, which can interrupt your sleep. Snoring, teeth grinding and other unconscious nighttime behaviors might also prevent good sleep.

Developing A Treatment Plan For Sleep Disorders

Because sleep disorders vary, you need an individual treatment plan based on the specific causes and the precise symptoms you experience.

With two convenient locations in Bridgewater and Flemington, New Jersey, Respacare makes it easy to get treatment for a wide range of sleep and breathing problems. Give Respacare a call at 732-356-9950 to set up an appointment for sleep testing.

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