Do You Have A Sleep Disorder? Answer These 5 Questions To Find Out

Don’t hit the snooze button on your sleeping probs. DrLullaby’s founder, Lisa Medalie, PsyD, DBSM contributes to this Women’s Health article, explaining what different sleeping conditions and disorders are and ways to identify them. Do I have difficulty falling/staying asleep on a daily basis? “Six to 10 percent of the population has chronic insomnia, which involves taking 30 minutes or more to fall asleep and/or return to sleep, three or more nights per week for at least three months,” says Lisa Medalie, PsyD, C.B.S.M., behavioral sleep medicine specialist at The University of Chicago. “Those experiencing it often develop ‘conditioned arousal,’ which means they spend so much time feeling anxious and frustrated in bed that their bed begins to cue that state of anxiety or frustration. They become preoccupied trying to compensate for their sleep loss—spending more time in bed, napping, etc.—and make extensive effort to do whatever is possible to sleep. Unfortunately, the harder they try, the less likely they are to sleep.” Am I making unusual movements in my sleep? We’re not talking your typical tossing and turning here. We’re talking bucking bronco–level leg kicks and full-body flailing. If you’re sleeping and are suddenly hit with a tingling sensation or numbness in your legs that can only be temporarily relieved by moving your stems wildly about, Medalie says this could be a big, waving red flag that you have restless legs syndrome, or RLS. The condition is technically categorized as a movement disorder, but the continuous need to shift the position of your legs while lying in bed in order to stave off the uncomfortable sensations deals a huge blow to your sleep sched. Do I make gasping, choking, or snorting sounds while I sleep? Aside from being absolutely terrifying for both you and your sleeping partner, OSA can cause other significant health problems, like hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and stroke, according to Medalie. “Sleep apnea is also often associated with weight gain and heart failure in women after menopause, which is when 25 percent of women develop sleep apnea,” she says. Because the condition requires long-term management, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says the most successful treatment options for OSA include wearing a specialized mouthpiece, using a breathing device during sleep, or getting surgery.