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You Might Have a Sleep Disorder If… 

You might have a sleep disorder if... you can't sleep.

Well, that was a short article!

Just kidding.

The effects of chronic sleep loss

I was reading an article from the CDC (in particular one on occupational safety) on not sleeping — as in, all the horrible effects of chronic sleep loss.

Apparently, having a whole lot of extra time to ponder my existence isn’t a perk. I guess there are no perks to chronic sleep loss. Not even when I finish a book in 1 day. Or finish a painting in 1 night. While I can be productive because I can’t sleep, I am definitely not so productive dragging my butt through the day.

"So how do we know we have a sleep disorder?" you may in fact be wondering. Well, you may be wondering this if you didn’t have RLS and it feels like fire ants have invaded your skin and you must kick them out.

How do I know if I have a sleep disorder?

According to the CDC page on sleep disorders and occupational safety, there might be a few signs that indicate you should see a doctor or sleep specialist before performing any of your occupational duties:1

1. It takes you longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep

Um, wait, half an hour? That seems fictional to me. How am I going to fit in my existential crisis before I sleep? How am I going to ponder that thing I should have said to that person 2 years ago? How am I going to just give up on sleep and read an entire book or binge Netflix? When am I going to fit that in?

2. You consistently wake up several times or for long periods of time

I always found it the weirdest, most curious thing that people could sleep right through the night. Close eyes — boom — morning. Isn’t that weird? Not to feel the passage of time through the night? *Blink* Morning! I find that so peculiar. I am not sure sleep works like that in my brain. Not that I ever recall.

3. You take frequent naps

Actually, I don’t so much as take a nap as the nap takes me. Sometimes at randomly inappropriate times. This is because of the insanity that is daytime sleepiness. I really think choosing to take a nap is way better than starting to fall asleep while my dentist is IN MY MOUTH.

4. You often feel sleepy, especially at inappropriate times

I repeat: falling asleep while the dentist is in your mouth is Not Cool. If I am even remotely comfortable — sitting down, inclined — my brain thinks, "Hey, we are totally going to nap here. Like now." It is most like half-sleep all the time. Or half-awake, depending on how you look at it. And there is that time of day after lunch when it is nice and warm out when my brain is in permanent sleepy mode.

Talk to your doctor about sleep disorder signs

So, now we know — aside from those who already know — some things that might indicate that you have a sleep disorder.

But, of course, if you do not know, you definitely have to see your doctor about that. Because there are all sorts of sleep issues out there.

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