If you’re getting too little or poor sleep, it could actually signal something significant about your health. In fact, certain sleep habits, even some that are relatively common, could be signs of an underlying medical condition.
If you wake up in the night soaking wet in sweat, it can be a signal of various conditions that you might want to get checked out by a medical professional. Hormonal fluctuations are a common cause, particularly if you’ve recently started taking medication that can affect your levels of estrogen. Infections and fevers, certain medications and chronic low blood sugar can also cause night sweating.
The occasional nightmare is extremely common, but having them regularly, especially if they cause distress or disrupt your daily life, can be a signal of something else. Repetitive nightmares might be caused by things like stress, trauma, medication side effects, or substance withdrawal.
Snoring is usually a sign of a cold or a blocked nose, but it can also be a symptom of a dangerous condition called sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea experience blocked airways while asleep, meaning that they might stop breathing for 10 seconds or more. Sleep apnea can also be a symptom of diabetes or another underlying health condition.
Sometimes insomnia can be linked to other, more severe health conditions. Insomnia can be triggered by medications, chronic pain, conditions like Parkinson’s, depression, heartburn and many other illnesses.
Nocturia is the medical term for needing to urinate a lot at night, to the point where it disrupts your sleep. The condition can be a signal that the body can’t manage its fluids properly, which can occur in people with diabetes, during pregnancy, in response to certain medications, or when you have a urinary tract infection.
Sleepwalking is common, particularly among children. But if you still sleepwalk as an adult, it’s possible that your brain is responding to an infection, fever, sedatives, stress or anxiety.