Sleep, A Key to Better Health

May 23, 2016 12:00 PM

While healthcare professionals stress the value of getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, for many people this is an elusive goal. Rotating work shifts, multiple jobs, anxiety about money or children, along with other problems often result in less than ideal sleep patterns. The result can be daytime sleepiness, inefficiencies at work, headaches, and a host of chronic conditions that are made worse by lack of sleep. Sleep problems take several forms including:

  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Waking several times during the night
  • Chronic snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which there are periods of decreased airflow during sleep. Risk factors for this condition include obesity, diabetes, or smoking. OSA can contribute to many dangerous medical conditions including hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias. There are effective treatments for most sleep problems as well as OSA.

Experts recommend that getting a good night’s sleep often depends on controlling your sleep environment. Make sure the room is dark and as quiet as possible. Evidence is mounting that our electronic screens such as TV, computers, or e-book readers emit wavelengths of light that can keep us awake. Stop watching screens an hour or two before bedtime. Limit caffeine intake before bed. Many people find that drinking coffee, tea, or soda after late afternoon can cause problems with falling asleep.

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or if your partner complains about your excessive snoring, call: 855.385.HEAL (4325) for one of our physicians with expertise in sleep disorders. Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep.


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