Sleep is something that most individuals take for granted. Most people will think that they had a relatively good nights sleep even though they may have residual sleepiness during the day and may take naps (intentional or unintentional) or rely on the use of over-the-counter medications to remain awake. Many people drink coffee (or tea) as a regular routine in the morning as a way to “get moving “ and if they miss their morning coffee they are very irritable, fatigued, and lethargic for the day. Most individuals don’t realize it but coffee does have a substantial amount of caffeine (a natural stimulant) that is used as a motivator to keep us going throughout the day. And many individuals realize that they cannot drink coffee within a few hours of going to bed because it will lead to them having issues of falling asleep.
Many individuals are seldomly asked about the quantity or quality of their nightly sleep routine. Sleep is something that is commonly assumed by most individuals and most physicians and therefore never really asked by a physician to a patient. Only when a patient brings up to a physician that they are either not sleeping well, frequently tired, fell asleep driving, or other issue that has impacted their quality of life will they mention into a physician.
There are currently over 70 recognized sleep disorders that are classified by the American Academy of sleep medicine. Most individuals would have heard of narcolepsy, a condition where a patient “falls asleep” very frequently and inappropriate times, or more commonly, most people joke about their snoring and how bad or loud it is.
Sleep disorders are something that should be taken seriously, and if a patient feels that they are suffering from some type of sleep disorder, they should either seek consultation with their primary care physician or a board-certified sleep specialist.