Many of us struggle to fall asleep, some finding it more troublesome than others.
Our sleep habits can be put down to different lifestyle factors, including an increase in consumption of coffee or daily stressful situations.
According to research, one in five people around the world consider themselves ‘sleep strugglers’.
While struggling to sleep is not always something to be concerned about, there are certain signs that it’s maybe time to take it seriously.
One sleep expert has revealed the three symptoms that you need to look out for in your sleep habits which might be signs you need to consult a doctor.
Frequent trouble sleeping
According to sleep expert Dr Daisy Mae, how long you’re sleeping might be a problem.
While we all have nights where we find it hard to sleep due to factors like noise around us, hot weather or just overthinking, if this happens too often it might be worth looking into.
She explained: “If you find that you’ve been really struggling with getting to sleep or staying asleep for four weeks or more, then this is when it’s time to get some additional help from your doctor, who can advise best practices or maybe even refer you elsewhere.”
Fatigue in the daytime
We all need a minimum amount of sleep to function properly every day. Most adults need seven to nine hours of good quality sleep each night.
So if you notice that you’re excessively tired during the daytime, unable to concentrate in the day and feeling low in energy, grumpy and irritable, these are signs that you are not getting enough sleep.
Dr Daisy Mae said: “A good night’s sleep is vital to help prevent obesity, memory loss, and heart disease, so it’s best to get it sorted.”
No hack, trick or lifestyle change helps
When we struggle to sleep,. we’re often given plenty of advice from people and the Internet on ways to overcome the insomnia.
Chances are you’ll try most, if not all, of these tricks too.
You’ve tried everything from changing your pillow and mattress to cutting down caffeine and alcohol, keeping your phone away before bed and even herbal remedies and counting sheep. And still had no luck dozing off.
Dr Mae says: “If you feel as though you’re at your last resort, and you couldn’t possibly do anything else to help your sleep, then head to your doctor.”
What to do before heading to the doctor for sleep issues
Before you consult your doctor about your sleep issue, make sure you’ve collected as much information about your sleeping patterns as possible.
Try and keep a sleep diary. Note down any naps you might take, your wake up times in the morning and at night, and what time you go to bed every night.
You can add other details like how many coffees you drink in a day, what you ate for dinner and anything that might be stressing you out.
Also list any herbal remedies you may have tried and knowledge you have of your tendencies to snore, sleep talk or experience sleep paralysis.
All this information will help your doctor assess your sleep situation better and give you the best care possible.
Dr Mae added: “Don’t just attend your appointment telling your doctor that you ‘struggle sleeping’, actually tell them the problem. The more information you give, the more likely you will find a solution to your sleeping problem.”