Should I see a doctor about my poor sleep?

Trouble sleeping is a surefire way to leave you drained, grumpy and unproductive, but when does a bad night’s sleep become a real problem?

One in seven Britons with dangerously little sleep survives less than five hours a night, according to a study by DirectLine Group, and nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of UK adults don’t get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

“If poor sleep is affecting your mental health, causing excessive daytime sleepiness or insomnia, it’s important to take action to address the issue before it becomes more manageable or negatively impacts your daily routine,” says Dr. Elisabeth Honinx, neuropsychologist and researcher at health tech company Moonbird.

Signs You’re Not Getting Enough

You may not know that sleep disorders are harmful to your mental health.

“Signs that sleep has been disrupted or not sleeping can affect your mental health, such as: B. moodiness and irritability, snapping at people during the day and lack of concentration,” says Dr. Suhail Hussain, personal physician and private doctor for home visits. In fact, he says, “Sleep and mental health are closely linked, and poor sleep is often a sign of depression rather than the reverse.”

Even if your mental health isn’t struggling too much, you may need to talk to your doctor if you’re lying awake with insomnia or feeling fatigued during the day.

“Signs of long-term insomnia include poor concentration, swollen, red eyes, a disheveled appearance, and falling down throughout the day, which can lead to possible accidents,” says Hussain.

Likewise, you should not wake up too often at night.

“Waking up more than twice during the night could be harmful to your health,” explains Hussain.

“You need good quality sleep that encompasses all four stages of the sleep cycle, including rapid eye movement sleep. Each sleep cycle should be around 90 minutes.”

Take matters into your own hands

Check out what you can do before you go to the doctor.

“First evaluate your habits. This requires examining the factors that may be contributing to your poor sleep quality, such as: B. Your sleeping environment, the timing and duration of your sleep, and any activities or substances that might disrupt it,” says Honinx.

“I suggest that you create and stick to a regular sleep schedule, including on weekends, and develop a relaxing bedtime routine, such as: B. taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises.”

“It’s also very important to create a comfortable sleeping environment that’s dark, cool, and quiet, so I recommend investing in blackout curtains, a sound machine, or even a humidifier to give you the best chance of falling asleep,” she explains .

Talk to your GP about any health concerns

“If you feel like your insomnia is being caused by an underlying condition such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome or depression, or the symptoms are becoming unmanageable, it is best to speak to a doctor as you may need medical intervention . ‘ Honinx explains.

A doctor may be able to provide all kinds of help.

“This can be as simple as light therapy, where you expose yourself to natural daylight to regulate your circadian rhythm, or more intensive therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps you change negative thought patterns and develop healthy sleeping habits.”

However, it’s important to “work on creating a healthy sleep environment and improving your sleep hygiene before asking your doctor for advice on more effective sleep methods,” says Honinx. Should I see a doctor about my poor sleep?

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