What else might interfere with your sleep?
- Conditions like depression, mania or hypomania (bipolar disorder) and anxiety can interfere with your sleep. If you think you may have one or more of these conditions, see a mental health professional.
- Alcohol – vets sometimes use alcohol to help them sleep, but it can backfire and make you more awake.
- Sleep Apnea – If there is any chance you might have this problem, ask your physician about it! Some giveaways are very loud snoring, or if your partner reports that you sound like you stopped breathing. Sometimes people start breathing again with a loud snort and your partner may report hearing that.
- Mild traumatic brain injury from an explosion, car accident or other accident where your head was shaken up or struck.
- Other sleep disorders that can be diagnosed by a sleep center at the VA or a university.
Bottom Line: talk to your doctor about your sleep problems. Tell him or her how long you have had the problem, and what it’s like for you. If you keep a sleep log (time you went to bed, how long it took you to fall asleep if that’s a problem, how long you slept, what you think woke you, what you did, what time you got up, when you took any medications), it will help your health care provider help you better.
Ask them to please pay attention to the problem. They may suggest medication – if they do, be sure you understand how to take it, and make sure your physician knows what other medications you are taking. If you do not want to take medication for sleep, discuss it with them. Perhaps they can refer you to a therapist. There are even therapists who are certified in helping people with sleep problems.