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Talking to your doctor about your sleep issues

Many people think that sleep trouble is a normal part of aging. It's not.

Understanding how sleep and overall health are connected

Quality sleep is vital to your overall health, but it tends to be an afterthought during visits with your doctor. Talk to your doctor about your sleep concerns and how you feel during the next day. He or she may be able to pinpoint other things contributing to your sleeplessness.

 

Be sure to talk to your doctor about the quality of your sleep, how you feel the next day after a night of poor sleep. Also let your physician know if you are taking supplements or medications for your sleep. Discuss how well it helps you to fall asleep, stay asleep and how you feel the next day.

Sleeplessness is not a natural part of aging

Life changes as we get older, but sleep is one thing that should stay about the same. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that people over the age of 65 get 7-8 hours of restful sleep every night.*

 

In some cases, people experience sleep issues due to specific events or circumstances. When these can be anticipated it is helpful to be proactive with your sleep rather than reactive—your doctor can also help you in planning for this.

 

*Public Health Agency of Canada. Sleep Infographic

Prioritize a conversation with your doctor

Persistent sleeplessness can cause disruptions to both your night and day. Left untreated, it can have serious (and avoidable) health risks. Your doctor needs to know about your sleep issues - don't make the common mistake of thinking that it's not a big deal!

Be prepared with specific questions & answers

Lack of quality sleep affects each person in a different way. When you talk to your doctor, being as specific as possible will go a long way towards ensuring you get the proper treatment. Use our self-assessment tool to get familiar with topics and questions, related to poor sleep. 

Here are some ideas to help you start the conversation with your doctor, and ways to be prepared for the questions he or she may ask you in return.

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Share the results of your self-assessment

If you haven’t already done so, take the self-assessment. This self-assessment is designed to take a close look at the ways that sleep issues may be disrupting your life. Your doctor can use this to help determine the right treatment for you.

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 Download the Doctor Discussion Guide

Speaking with your doctor about sleep issues is an overlooked but incredibly important step to getting proper treatment. 

This helpful guide gets into the details of how to get the most out of a conversation with your doctor. We have included sample questions, answers you might hear, how to bring up sleeplessness, information on treatment options, and much more.

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