The more you know about your sleep disorder, the better you can take charge of it. Along with talking to your doctor, you can find extra information and support on the internet through nonprofit groups, online communities, and blogs.
Resources like these can help you learn about your sleep disorder, get tips for better shut-eye, and meet other people who understand what you’re going through.
Even though blogs and online communities can offer emotional support and fresh points of view, they’re not meant for medical advice. You also want to be cautious about the content you view. Ask yourself questions like these when you check out an internet resource:
- Who runs this site or app?
- Does it make claims that seem too good to be true?
- Is it trying to sell you something?
- Is the information up to date, doctor-reviewed, and based on science?
These nonprofit groups offer support and information about some common sleep disorders:
- National Sleep Foundation
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Sleep Education:
- American Sleep Apnea Association
- Narcolepsy Network
- Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation
- Circadian Sleep Disorders Network
Certain sleep disorders can raise your chances of getting other health problems. Here are a couple of nonprofit sites for related conditions:
Some nonprofits have medically reviewed blogs that offer tips for living better and news about sleep disorders. Plus, plenty of people with sleep disorders share their personal stories in written or video blogs. These can be eye-opening and helpful, but you shouldn't use them for medical advice. Stick to your treatment plan, and talk to your doctor before you try any supplement or over-the-counter remedy that a blogger recommends.
Some of the nonprofits listed above are on one or more social media platforms. You can check their homepage or "About Us" and "Contact Us" sections for links to their social media accounts.
Facebook. This site has lots of groups that connect you with other people who have sleep disorders, from insomnia to sleep apnea and more. Many of the groups are private, but usually all you have to do to join one is answer a few questions about yourself.
Reddit. This site is made up of online communities where you can meet people who share your interests. To find a forum about your sleep disorder, enter its name in the search bar at the top. You can join a forum to trade messages with people in it. But you don’t have to join one if you simply want to read what members are posting.
Popular hashtags. You can search for ones like #sleepdisorder, #insomnia, #restlesslegssyndrome, #sleepapnea, and #narcolepsy on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
When you’re on social media, chances are you’re going to run into some information that isn’t fact-based or reliable. Take a few steps to make sure you’re getting quality info:
- Check the source. A social media account that belongs to a reputable organization often has a bio that includes a link to the organization’s official website. Or, you could just visit that website to find correct links to its social networking sites.
- Rely on verified accounts. Some social networking platforms use a symbol to show that an account has been verified, meaning it is what it claims to be.
- Read carefully. As you scan a social media account’s posts, check to see if they stay on topic and are low on spammed junk content.