Because so many people “burn the candle at both ends” and have large sleep debts, sleep problems are common. Side effects from medications or treatments and stress and worry can also cause sleep problems. For women, hormone changes during pregnancy, menopause, and the menstrual cycle can cause sleep problems.
Sleep experts say that if you feel sleepy during the day, even when doing something boring, you haven’t had enough sleep. If you usually fall asleep within 5 minutes of lying down, you probably have a severe sleep debt, maybe even a sleep disorder. Very short periods of sleep throughout the day (sometimes you may not even know that you are sleeping) are also another sign of a sleep disorder. To learn about the signs for the most common sleep disorders, read the sleep disorder-related topics (sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome, and insomnia) on this site. Talk with your health care provider if you are having a problem with sleep or think that you may have a sleep disorder.