Research has shown that adequate sleep is essential to proper functioning.
Research has shown that adequate sleep is essential to proper functioning. Poor sleep health can lead to weight gain, increased stress, poor memory and judgment. It has also been linked to serious conditions, like heart disease, and stroke. Adults aged 26 to 65 should consistently get seven to nine hours of sleep each evening to avoid going into sleep debt.*
What Is Sleep Debt?
Sleep debt occurs when you begin to accumulate too many hours of lost sleep over an extended period of time. Loss of sleep can occur due to time changes, illness, and awakenings from environmental factors, among other causes.
If you need to “catch up” on sleep debt, a slow and steady approach to improving your sleep hygiene is best, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Pay down your sleep debt by going to bed earlier each night. Other tips include always sleeping in a cool, dark room with the television turned off, eliminate caffeine after lunchtime, avoid long naps (no longer than 30 minutes.) Regular exercise is also important, but avoid vigorous exercise after 7 p.m.*
Could I Have a Sleep Disorder?
Paying attention to your symptoms is important. Does your partner consistently tell you that your snoring is keeping him or her awake at night? Are you feeling fatigued and depressed during the day, even after you’ve done the work to improve your sleep hygiene? If so, you could be experiencing a sleep disorder. Talk to your physician about a sleep study.
What Is a Sleep Study?
Lakewood Ranch Medical Center (LWRMC) offers an advanced sleep center for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.
During a sleep study specialized technicians take a variety of measurements of the sleeping patient’s heart, breathing and brain activity to help detect the nature of the sleep problem. The data is then compiled, organized and sent to a sleep medicine physician for review, diagnosis and recommended treatment options.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common disorders. It’s estimated that as many as 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea (or want of breath).
If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device may be recommended. A CPAP device is a mask worn during sleep that blows a steady stream of air, thereby, helping to keep the patient’s airway open.
Other sleep disorders treated at the LWRMC Sleep Center include restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, parasomnias, including sleepwalking, night terrors and nocturnal eating disorders, hypersomnia and narcolepsy.
For more information on Sleep Center Services at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, please call Ryan Philpot, director of respiratory care services, 941.782.2416.
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*Source: National Sleep Foundation