Experiencing difficulty in sleeping for any great length of time may well indicate that you suffer from a common sleep disorder.
Today more than 35 million Americans reportedly suffer from a chronic sleep disorder (sleeping difficulty that lasts for more than one month) and as many as 30 million more suffer from a shorter term or "transient" sleep disorder (sleeping difficulty that lasts for less than four weeks).
Commonly triggered by upcoming events (such as important meetings or interviews), jet lag, or a passing illness (like a cold or flu), a mild sleep disorder presents relatively little difficulty in terms of its management and, if left to its own devices, will often pass quite quickly. This said, many simple steps can be taken to both reduce effects of mild insomnia and to speed its passing.
A persistent sleep disorder however will rarely disappear of its own accord and may well require pro-active treatment. Prolonged sleep disorders include conditions such as chronic insomnia, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea and narcolepsy.
Difficulty in getting to sleep, staying asleep, waking through night (and being unable to get back to sleep), or waking too early in morning, when experienced for any length of time (and certainly for more than four or five weeks), warrants a diagnosis. You should also begin exploring natural sleep remedies that can help you get a better night's sleep, not to mention assisting you in effectively managing your problem.
The most commonly diagnosed sleep disorder, insomnia, also represents one of easiest problems to treat. Simple lifestyle adjustments, structured relaxation or meditation, or a variety of herbal and natural sleep remedies will often provide a cure.
Like insomnia, sleep apnea is another sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans each year. The most dangerous of all sleep disorders, sleep apnea occurs when air flow through windpipe is temporarily obstructed during sleep, often due to relaxation or collapse of surrounding muscles. Sleep apnea is most commonly associated with snoring, although snoring alone is not necessarily indicative of sleep apnea.
Narcolepsy, a sleep disorder marked by uncontrolled "mini sleeps" during day (even when sufferer otherwise appears completely alert), is sometimes confused with sleep apnea; however, these represent two very different conditions.