Do I have a sleep problem?
Do you ever feel drowsy or “zone out” in the middle of your day? Do you find waking up difficult, especially on Mondays? Do you tend to doze off when watching television or sitting in church or meetings? Do you find yourself needing a nap most days? Do you fall asleep within five minutes of lying down? If any of these questions is answered “Yes” by you, a sleep problem is likely. Imagine what better sleep could mean to you.
How much sleep do I need?
The need for sleep is biological. The specific amount of sleep needed may vary between individuals. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night, at least six of which are uninterrupted. Infants generally require about sixteen hours a day, and teenagers need about nine hours on average. To determine the amount of sleep you need, sleep until you wake up, on your own, and feel rested. This holds true for children and teens as well. We can train ourselves to sleep less, but not to need less sleep.
What if I can’t sleep?
Lack of adequate sleep can affect us in many ways. Some studies suggest that sleep deprivation affects the immune system. Lacking sleep is associated with drowsiness, trouble concentrating, memory difficulties, physical inadequacies, and eventually, hallucinations and mood swings. Insufficient sleep can affect mood, attention, and behavior in teenagers and children. Sleep also coincides with the release of the growth hormone. “Beauty sleep” may be more of a reality than we know.
What is a sleep disorder?
Sleep disorders include sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome. Insomnia (trouble sleeping) affects about 30 percent of adults and is one of the biggest contributors to anxiety. Insomnia has many causes including physical and mental conditions and stress. It affects people of all ages and can become a chronic problem.
How do you treat a sleep disorder?
Sadly, most people who suffer with a sleep disorder don’t realize they have one, or that it can be treated. Sleep disorders don’t disappear without treatment. Treatment may be behavioral, pharmacological, surgical, or a combination. Such treatments may include a psychologist, dentist, and/or a physician. Untreated sleep disorders may have serious negative effects, worsening quality of life, school and work performance, and relationships. Worse, untreated sleep disorders can be dangerous, leading to accidents and declining health. (top)
***As with any psychological disorder, do not consider information found on the internet sufficient in managing your condition. The internet can be used to find treatment from a healthcare professional. If you need help, please call Dr. Austin at 972-986-0150, or if an emergency, always call 911.