Being tired all the time may not be a symptom of not getting enough sleep. It may be a sign you have a sleep disorder.
Sleep disorders affect millions of Americans every year and to spread awareness, the Bay area held its first ever “Sleep Walk,” Saturday on St. Pete Beach.
Lauren Saslow says she always wondered why she felt tired all the time until she went to a sleep physician who diagnosed her with Narcolepsy.
“I could sleep 10 or more hours and still wake up exhausted,” said Saslow.
Doctor’s didn’t know what was wrong with her.
“They have you cough, they listen to your chest, they look into your eyes and ears and I have never in all my life asked me how I was sleeping,” said Saslow.
Julie Flygare was also diagnosed later in life with Narcolepsy. As a way to bring awareness to the disorder, she started a national organization called “Project Sleep.”
“No one sees it on my face, and often when people learn I have a sleep disorder, they think it’s a joke and not really that big of a deal," said Flygare. "I really try to educate people.”
About 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. Bay area Sleep Physician Scott Perrino says sleep disorders can be a nightmare.
“If you don’t get regular sleep, it's an inflammatory process and it affects the immune system,” said Perrino.
This can lead to other problems like heart disease, stroke, depression, or anxiety.
“Its really inspiring to see this many people coming out [to Sleep Walk],” said Saslow.
With the relaxing sound of the ocean by their side, the group walked a mile and a half.