Sleep should be a time for refreshment and rebuilding. But when you don’t sleep well, it can affect both your physical and mental well being. Loss of sleep or poor quality sleep can impact your daytime performance and mood, and may create hormonal imbalances, weight gain and problems with your overall health. Serious sleep disorders may also increase risk factors for everything from heart problems to type 2 diabetes.

Sleep problems, including snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and restless legs syndrome are common, and are estimated to affect more than 70 million Americans.

Common symptoms of sleep problems:

  • Daytime Sleepiness
  • Memory Loss
  • Morning Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety or Depression
  • Inability to Concentrate
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Impotence

Night-time problems may include:

  • Difficulty Falling Asleep or Staying Asleep
  • Snoring
  • Restless Sleep Restless Legs
  • Cessation of Breathing While Sleeping (Apnea)
  • Feeling Fatigued Despite Sleep

If you suspect that you may have a sleep disorder, discuss your symptoms with your primary care doctor. He or she can perform a physical exam and help you identify the difficulties you are having with sleep. Keeping a sleep diary for two weeks may be helpful to your doctor. Some illnesses can cause disturbed sleep, so your doctor may order tests to rule out other conditions.

If your doctor suspects that you have a sleep disorder, he or she may refer you to a sleep disorder clinic. A sleep specialist will review your symptoms and may suggest that you undergo a sleep study.