I have worked with hundreds of people to improve and restore their sleep. Often there are some early warning signs of a sleep disorder like insomnia that people miss because they don't realize how much they are related to sleep. Here are the top 3 signs of a sleep disorder I have seen in my clients and the research that often go missed.
1. You're always hungry
Even a slight amount of sleep loss or deprivation can wreak havoc on your metabolism and levels of hunger. Most of my patients and clients don't realize they are constantly hungry or unable to lose weight despite diet and exercise because sleep deprivation has rewired your brain. Sleep loss leads to concentrations of a hormone that makes you feel hungry while suppressing a companion hormone that usually tells you when you are full. The result? You never fell full not matter how much you eat.
"Sleep loss leads to concentrations of a hormone that makes you feel hungry while suppressing a companion hormone that usually tells you when you are full. The result? You never fell full not matter how much you eat.
2. You use some form of marijuana more then 4 times a week before bed
The most common sleep aid I find among most of my clients is not ZZquil or Ambien. It's weed. Many people I work worth don't realize they have relied on the intoxication effect of a vape pen or an edible with marijuana in it as a substitute for their actual sleep drive. The result? Many people find they have created a dependence on smoking before bed 4 or more times a week in order to fall alseep. In reality marijuana is a low grade stimulant that actually speeds up one's heart rate and dehydrates you making it harder to fall and stay asleep despite its pleasant sensations.
3. You nod off when you sit for more than a minute
One of the most tell tale signs of a significant sleep disorder which most New Yorker's miss is nodding off when you are sitting for more than a minute. We are all used to seeing people drifting off on the train during the morning commute but you might not realize what you are seeing is the body going into survival mode due to sleep deprivation.
Yes. When you notice yourself drifting off after meal, sitting at your desk, or on the train, and you feel like you need a big cup of coffee to wake up, that means you are seriously sleep deprived. Continuing to pump your body full of caffeine to get through your day or taking naps throughout the day to catch up will only lead to worse insomnia down the road. What you are seeing is an emergency flare being put out by your body saying "Red Alert! Sleep levels are dangerously low and all non vital systems are being turned off." This kind of pattern, where you are falling asleep when you sit still or become bored throughout your day, is the single best sign that you need to reach out for sleep support ASAP.