Generally, a sleep problem is any issue that prevents patients from experiencing healthy, restorative sleep. There are over 100 unique sleep disorders, but they can be grouped into four broad types: trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, problems staying awake during the day, problems maintaining a normal sleep schedule, and sleep-disruptive behaviors. Many sleep problems can be treated by a mental health professional.
Common symptoms of a sleep problem, like insomnia, may include feeling tired on a regular basis, sleepiness during the day, irritability, restlessness at night, waking up at odd hours, and problems concentrating or remembering information. Symptoms of a more severe sleep disorder, such as narcolepsy, may include falling asleep during daytime activities, fainting, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis, the brief inability to move while falling asleep or waking up.
Sleep disorders are diverse and sleep problems can have many origins. Common causes of sleep problems like insomnia include stress, poor sleeping environment, mental conditions such as anxiety or depression, some medications, drug or alcohol abuse, and health issues such as asthma, pain, and heartburn. Some sleep conditions may be inherited or caused by injuries to the brain. Regardless of the cause of a sleep problem, patients that suspect or are experiencing symptoms of a sleep disorder should seek medical attention, as many sleep problems are treatable.
Diagnosis of sleep problems often depends on the specific symptoms being experienced, but generally will require a visit with a mental health professional. Common sleep disorders like insomnia can often be diagnosed with an interview, while rarer or more complex sleep disorders may require observation at a sleep clinic.
Treatments for sleep problems vary depending on the specific problem and its severity. Treatments often include medication, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes. Dr. Kamal works with patients to properly diagnose sleep disorders and provide effective treatments to restore a good night’s sleep.
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