Many of us shrug off daytime fatigue and nighttime snoring as “normal” and never think to do anything about either the cause or the effect of the fatigue or snoring. So what are the symptoms that indicate you have sleep issues for which you probably need professional help?
- Snoring or brief pauses in breathing during your sleep
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Excessive tiredness during the day
- A need to move your legs at rest or an uncomfortable feeling in the legs at night
All of these symptoms most likely indicate you’re not getting proper sleep. During the night you experience two types of sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Both are essential, but REM is the phase that helps put your mental and physical state on reset. Most of the night is spent in NREM, but without REM your brain doesn’t recharge and release emotions and feelings that need dealing with.
Insomnia, an inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep, is the most common sleep problem in the U.S. Snoring is also extremely common, and sleep apnea — characterized by a repeated cessation of breathing during the sleep cycle — poses a serious health risk and can even lead to stroke. Those with uncomfortable leg sensations at night might have restless leg syndrome, which makes their sleep experience uncomfortable and robs them of needed rejuvenation.
The point is that sleep is an essential component of health, both mental and physical, and if you show any of the symptoms listed above, it’s time to seek professional help and treatment. Don’t hesitate but consult a sleep professional at the earliest possible time.