A good night’s sleep is vital to our health as our body takes care of important things like healing our heart and blood vessels.
We all feel tired at times, but persistent trouble sleeping can put you at increased risk for heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
So how do you know when it’s appropriate and necessary to see a doctor for fatigue or other sleep-related issues?
It’s World Sleep Day, and if it’s been a while since you’ve had a good night’s sleep because of your sleeping habits, it may be time to seek medical help, he says daily record.
Here family doctors share five signs and five symptoms that should never be ignored.
It may seem harmless, but heavy snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea.
“This is an often overlooked cause of poor sleep, which is responsible for chronic fatigue during the day and even traffic accidents when sufferers fall asleep at the wheel,” says GP Dr. Claire Morrison, Medical Advisor for MedExpress (medexpress.co. UK).
“It’s caused by the throat repeatedly closing up during sleep, causing oxygen levels to drop and causing frequent awakenings. It is most common in overweight people who have thick necks.”
Other signs include waking up with a dry mouth and/or headache, and feeling very tired and irritable during the day, she says.
Or your partner may notice long pauses between breaths when you’re sleeping, and then a gasping or choking sound when breathing resumes. While mild cases don’t always need treatment, in extreme cases sleep apnea can be dangerous – the NHS notes a higher risk of having a stroke and serious accident due to fatigue.
Constant extreme tiredness
It could be a sign of anemia, says Dr. Ross Perry, GP and Medical Director of Cosmedics (cosmedics.co.uk). “Other symptoms [of anaemia] These include lack of energy, sallow skin, headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, cold hands and feet, and brittle nails.”
Extreme fatigue can also be a key sign of undiagnosed or undertreated thyroid disease, he adds. The condition occurs as a result of a decrease in thyroid hormone production. “You may be sleeping more than usual, but you still feel completely exhausted. Sometimes you fall asleep very quickly during the day or at night. You may find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning.
“Extreme tiredness [also] could be a symptom of celiac disease, and for some it may be the only symptom,” says Perry. “The intestinal damage caused by celiac disease leads to poorer absorption of essential nutrients involved in energy metabolism, including iron, folic acid and vitamin B12.”
This is a nervous system condition associated with an uncomfortable “tingling or hissing” sensation in the legs that is relieved only by constantly moving the legs, Morrison says. “It tends to be worse in the evenings and at night, sometimes making it impossible to sleep properly. It can also affect the arms.”
It’s thought to be caused by a lack of the brain chemical dopamine, she explains, and it can be triggered by a number of underlying causes — so it’s important to figure out what. It can occur during pregnancy or at any age for no apparent reason, although women are twice as likely to be affected as men and it is also more common in middle age. But “iron deficiency, kidney dysfunction, diabetes, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia or Parkinson’s disease” can also trigger restless legs.
“Medications that make the condition worse include antihistamines, anti-nausea medications, and antidepressants, so let your doctor know about your symptoms before getting a prescription,” says Morrison.
A complete loss of interest in sex
“[For men] Low testosterone is another common problem associated with fatigue, and one of the hallmarks of low testosterone in men is chronic fatigue—the kind of fatigue that doesn’t improve after a break,” explains Perry.
It may be part of the normal aging process — testosterone levels likely decline in all men as they age (“typically about 1% to 2% per year after age 40,” Perry says), so interest in sex can easily decrease . “However, it is not normal for testosterone levels to become so low that fatigue interferes with daily activities or that interest in sex is completely lost. So visit your GP,” he adds.
Mental health problems affecting sleep
It goes without saying that it’s worth speaking to your GP if you’re struggling, but many mental illnesses can cause sleep problems, so it’s not uncommon for problems to surface at night.
“There is a strong link between sleep and mental health, and poor sleep can make mental illness worse, so tackling sleep issues early is very important,” says Morrison. “Mental health problems that commonly interfere with sleep include depression, anxiety, stress, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.”
Signs of mental illness include low mood, excessive worrying, tearfulness, irritability, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, trouble concentrating, intrusive thoughts, loss of zest for life, loss of appetite and/or binge eating, she adds.
“You may benefit from talk therapy such as ‘cognitive behavioral therapy’ and/or medication, but make sure your doctor is aware of the insomnia as some antidepressants can help promote sleep while others can and do best make it worse be avoided if possible.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sleep-symptoms-see-your-gp-26505822 Sleep symptoms immediately to the family doctor - including signs on the legs