JUST BECAUSE I'M TIRED, I SHOULD SEE A DOCTOR?
Many people are uncertain whether they feel tired during the day because their bedtime is too short, or whether they have sleep disorder and are in need of medical treatment.
Simply looking for a specialist for tiredness seems exaggerated. And even if they consult their doctor for other complaints, they are uncomfortable reporting their supposedly fatigue. For example, about 60% of all patients suffering from insomnia hide their sleep symptoms at the doctor's visits.
If you are unsure as to whether your symptoms require medical attention, the following recommendation applies from a sleep medicine standpoint:
- If you suffer from increased fatigue for more than three to four weeks for no apparent reason
- If you have to take few "microsleeps" during the day
TIRED EVERY DAY?
The new studies show that between 10 to 15 percent of people suffer "constantly" or "frequently" from increased daytime tiredness or even daytime sleepiness, which means they sleep for a short time against their will in the middle of the day.
This everyday tiredness can have many causes that are not primarily SLEEP & APNEA DISORDER. They include:
Poor sleep hygiene
- Evening use of devices with a high proportion of blue light (PC, smartphone, tablet)
- Excessive consumption of coffee, nicotine or alcohol
- Uncomfortable bed
- Extended naps during day
- Noise (road, tram, etc.)
- Unappropriated bedroom temperatures
- Insufficient darkening of the bedroom
- Lack of exercise during day
Irregular sleep phases
- shift work
- traveling and staying in other time zones (jetlag)
Organic or psychiatric disorders
- Hormonal disorders
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Neurological disorders
- Depression etc.
INCREASED RISK OF ACCIDENTS?
No matter what is causing the increased daytime fatigue and drowsiness it should be taken seriously because it can have serious consequences. This symptom is remarkably common – almost 7 percent of all employees fall asleep at least once a month unintentionally at the workplace, and in the spare time even 23 percent.
Sudden and unintentional nod only for a few seconds will increases persons accident risk many times over. Studies show that about 10 to 20 percent of all road accidents, and around 30 to 50 percent of all heavy truck accidents are attributed to short-term drifting drivers. Involuntary falling asleep correlates with the circadian rhythm. Most accidents occur between 2:00 and 5:00 in the morning and 15:00 and 16:00 in the afternoon.
WHEN TO SEE SLEEP DOCTOR?
You should have a sleep medical exam if you suffer from increased fatigue for more than three to four weeks for no apparent reason or nod against your will for a short time during the day ("microsleep").
Studies show that the accident risk "microsleep" does not have to be preceded by tiredness. Many are totally unexpected. Therefore, even if you do not feel daytime tiredness or drowsiness, you should in any case have a sleep medical exam (for the purpose of clarifying potential daytime sleepiness and limited responsiveness), if you:
- Cover more than 25,000 km per year by car
- Or in the following industries:
· in passenger transport
· "danger profession" (eg. as a worker on wood, metal or plastic
processing machines, steel workers
· as truck driver, pilot, crane, excavator or train driver, ship captain or pilo
· in the surveillance area (eg. power station, signal box, tower, radar)
· in a working area with increased danger of falling (eg. roofers, architects
They will take care of you
MEET THE TEAM
PETER JFM LOHUIS, MD PHD
BORIS FILIPOVIĆ, MD PHD
BORIS ŠIMUNJAK, MD PHD
MARINA MILOŠEVIĆ, MD
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