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When to see a doctor

Poor sleep may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and so it’s important to know when to seek help from a doctor if you are experiencing long term sleep difficulty. Your doctor may run some blood tests or give you a quick questionnaire if you are experiencing poor sleep to find out if there is an underlying problem.

If you experience any of the following, you should speak to your GP as they may be signs of a sleep disorder:

  • Lack of energy or exhaustion even after getting enough sleep
  • Physically enacting your dreams out
  • Falling asleep during conversations or meals
  • Collapsing when you laugh or experience strong emotions
  • Your family members are regularly disturbed by your snoring
  • Signs of sleep walking

Some common medical conditions that can lead to poor sleep are:

  • Iron deficiency anaemia, B12 or folate deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Coeliac disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Overweight or obese
  • Underweight
  • Cancer treatments

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