Everybody wants a perfect night's sleep. But if you haven't had one in a while, or you're experiencing strange issues in the course of your ZZZZs, it could be a signal of something more significant than just not wearing earplugs while the next door neighbor plays techno at 2 a.m.. Your sleep can tell your doctor a lot about your state of health, and certain sleep habits could be signs of an underlying medical condition. From night sweats to insomnia and snoring, many relatively common sleep conditions (and some rarer ones) might actually be subtle signs of a health issue, and it's worth paying attention to them.
Disordered sleep is considered normal when your body's circadian rhythm — the natural sequence of hormonal cycling that tells you when to be sleepy and when to wake up — gets disrupted. That tends to happen most radically with jet lag, but can also occur when your schedule changes rapidly or you start having sleep issues. Sleep is also revealing more about human health every year; sleep studies can be an insight into sides of your body and behavior you didn't even realize could be assessed. We can't read dreams just yet, but we can use certain sleep conditions to identify health problems — and that's definitely worth paying attention to your nightly rest.