This weekend you moved your clocks back one hour and, if you listened to the public service announcements, replaced the batteries in your smoke detectors. Hopefully, you slept well knowing you had fresh batteries in the smoke detectors and your alarm went off at the right time and you made it into work and ready for a productive week. But what if you still feel tired and don’t feel refreshed when the alarm rings. Or your focus and concentration is “off” at work. Maybe you lightly doze off at the red light waiting for it to turn green. Daylight savings is a good time for a self-evaluation of your sleep. Sleep disorders are one of the most common undiagnosed health problems in our society and the consequences of untreated sleep disorders can be costly. Long term, untreated sleep disorders lead to health problems such as cancer, heart disease, memory loss, depression, and diabetes. Short term, untreated sleep disorders can be deadly on an individual basis or in large scale disasters. Screening for a sleep disorder can be simple.
One test that physicians use is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) which can be self-administered by clicking on the following link. Online EPWORTH SLEEPINESS SCALE test. What was your score?
If you scored 10 or higher, please consult your physician about your sleep or schedule an appointment to visit a sleep specialist in your area. Don’t expect your family physician to address your sleep during routine check-ups unless you specifically ask. Find a board certified sleep medicine specialist in your area and schedule an appointment.
If you are in or near the Kansas city area, you can request an appointment online at the Rowe Neurology Institute’s Sleep Center.
Don’t forget to forward this test to someone you know that snores or is chronically tired… and remind them to change their batteries.