Your doctor might not detect a sleep problem during a routine office visit because you're awake. Thus, you should let your doctor know if you or a family member/sleep partner thinks you might have a sleep problem.
For example, talk with your doctor if you:
Your doctor might be able to diagnose a sleep disorder based on your sleep schedule and habits. However, he or she also might need the results from sleep studies and other medical tests to diagnose a sleep disorder.
Sleep studies often are used to diagnose sleep-related breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea. Signs of these disorders include loud snoring, gasping, or choking sounds while you sleep or pauses in breathing during sleep.
Other common signs and symptoms of sleep disorders include the following:
Many of the same signs and symptoms of sleep disorders can occur in infants and children. If your child snores or has other signs or symptoms of sleep problems, talk with his or her doctor.
If you've had a sleep disorder for a long time, you may not notice how it affects your daily routine. Using a sleep diary, such as the one found in "Your Guide to Healthy Sleep," might be helpful.
Your doctor will work with you to decide whether you need a sleep study. A sleep study allows your doctor to observe sleep patterns and diagnose a sleep disorder, which can then be treated.
If you have or have had one of these conditions, ask your doctor whether it would be helpful to have a sleep study.
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