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Signs of a Sleep Disorder

Trouble waking up in the morning and a persistent feeling of grogginess throughout the day is usually the sign of poor sleep. Other indicators are trouble getting to sleep, sleeping through the night, or even waking up too early. Repeated interruption of sleep throughout the night prevents you from cycling normally through REM and NREM sleep. This has serious detrimental effects to your overall health. You may not be aware of these interruptions; however, you will likely notice the side effects of disrupted sleep. If you experience tiredness and trouble sleeping for more than a week or two, a sleep health evaluation can help determine the root cause and a course of treatment to restore rest.

  • Daytime Tiredness

    With healthy and proper sleep, you should wake up refreshed with energy that lasts throughout the day. A feeling of fatigue, tiredness, or lack of energy during the day usually indicates that either the sleep has been disrupted or there is a problem with the brain function that is required to maintain daytime alertness.

    Daytime tiredness is indicated by feelings of fatigue throughout the day, lack of energy, lack of attention and interest in work and school, lack of interesting in socialization and relations with your spouse, family, and friends. Physically, you may look haggard, tired, and have dark circles under your eyes.

    Daytime tiredness typically indicates that there is something wrong with your health during sleep, such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or other disruptive conditions. Daytime tiredness can also be the result of the nervous system's inability to maintain energy or alertness during the day. This can lead to poor productivity at work, problems with memory and concentration, difficulty operating machinery and/or driving, poor learning and academic performance, depression, difficulty relating to others, emotional instability and irritability.

  • Difficulty Waking Up

    A "good" or normal sleep will result in waking up in the morning refreshed and alert. The individual then remains alert and energetic throughout the day. While some people may feel groggy for a brief period in the morning, this should quickly give way to full alertness, for the duration of the day. With full, proper sleep, one wakes up on their own without difficulty or a sense of fatigue. Often, diseases of sleep such as sleep apnea, periodic movement in sleep, severe and persistent sleep deprivation, or phase delay may also cause morning tiredness. Morning tiredness is manifested as grogginess or impaired alertness upon awakening that persists throughout the day.

  • Interrupted Sleep

    Interrupted sleep is most easily identified by patients and bed partners. It can be indicated by multiple awakenings at night, prolonged waking periods at night, waking up too early in the morning, a feeling that one has not slept enough, or excessive movements like tossing and turning at night.

    An average person will have 2 or 3 brief awakenings at night at most. More frequent awakenings or longer periods of staying awake indicate interrupted sleep.

    If you wake up tired even though you do not remember waking up at night, chances are that your sleep was interrupted. A bed partner may notice interrupted sleep even though the individual experiencing it may not be aware, especially if it involves movements such as rolling, kicking, or twitching at night.