Do You Think You Have a Sleep Disorder?

     At various points in our lives, all of us suffer from a lack of sleep that can be corrected by making sure we have the opportunity to get enough sleep. But, if you are spending enough time in bed and still wake up tired or feel very sleepy during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. See “Common Signs of a Sleep Disorder”.
     One of the best ways you can tell whether you are getting enough good-quality sleep, and whether you have signs of a sleep disorder, is by keeping a sleep diary. Use this diary to record the quality and quantity of your sleep; your use of medications, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages; your exercise patterns; and how sleepy you feel during the day. After a week or so, look over this information to see how many hours of sleep or nighttime awakenings one night are linked to your being tired the next day. This information will give you a sense of how much uninterrupted sleep you need to avoid daytime sleepiness. You also can use the diary to see some of the patterns or practices that may keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.
     You may have a sleep disorder and should see your doctor if your sleep diary reveals any of the following:
          You consistently take more than 30 minutes each night to fall asleep.
          You consistently awaken more than a few times or for long periods of time each night.
          You take frequent naps.
          You often feel sleepy during the day—or you fall asleep at inappropriate times during the day.