Common sleep disorders can have a significant impact on your health. It’s more than just disrupted sleep. If left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.

“The risks associated with leaving sleep disorders untreated can be serious,” said Silvana Juarez, sleep study manager at Hereford Regional Medical Center. “It’s not just about getting good sleep, it’s about preventing poor sleep from becoming something much, much worse.”

Common sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome (RLS) can lead to serious health issues. Even seemingly minor sleep disorders such as snoring and teeth grinding can have significant long-term effects on one’s health if they aren’t treated.

Some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Difficulty Falling Asleep: Persistent trouble getting to sleep despite feeling tired.

  • Difficulty Staying Asleep: Waking up a lot during the night, with difficulty getting back to sleep.

  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Feeling excessively tired or run down during the day, even after a full night’s sleep.

  • Loud Snoring: Snoring loudly isn’t just annoying to your partner. It can be a sign of a sleep apnea.

  • Gasping or Choking During Sleep: Another potential indicator of sleep apnea.

  • Restless Legs: Uncomfortable sensations in the legs, often relieved by movement, which can disrupt sleep.

  • Sleepwalking: Engaging in activities like walking or eating while asleep.

  • Nightmares or Night Terrors: Intense, frightening dreams that can cause you to wake up in a state of panic.

  • Frequent Waking to Urinate: May be a symptom of nocturia, which can disrupt sleep.

  • Difficulty Concentrating: Impaired cognitive function, memory problems, and difficulty focusing during the day.

  • Irritability and Mood Changes: Increased emotional sensitivity and mood swings.

  • Decreased Performance at Work or School: Impaired productivity and having more accidents.

  • Excessive Movement During Sleep: Kicking, flailing, or moving excessively during sleep, which can disrupt both your sleep and your partner’s.

  • Sudden Muscle Weakness (Cataplexy): A sudden loss of muscle control, often triggered by strong emotions, associated with narcolepsy.

  • Hallucinations When Falling Asleep or Waking Up: Vivid, often disturbing sensory experiences when transitioning between sleep and wakefulness.

  • Inability to Stay Awake in Situational Settings: Falling asleep unintentionally, such as during meetings or while driving.

  • Changes in Breathing Patterns: Irregular or abnormal breathing during sleep, which can be a sign of sleep-related breathing disorders.

These symptoms can vary in severity and don’t always mean you have a sleep disorder. Consulting a healthcare professional or sleep specialist for a proper evaluation and diagnosis is essential. Timely intervention can lead to effective treatment and improved sleep quality.

A comprehensive sleep study with Hereford Regional Medical Center can diagnose more than 80 different sleep disorders, helping our community avoid serious health problems due to an untreated sleep disorder.

Schedule an appointment with the Hereford Health Clinic today and ask your doctor about a sleep study at HRMC.

Click to learn more