In honor of our new Sleep Specialist—Jagat Shetty, M.D.—starting today, we wanted today’s post to focus on those precious zzz’s, sleep. Welcome to the team Dr. Shetty!
Did you know over 1/3 of Americans are reportedly not getting enough sleep at night? Are you?
The average adult should seek to get somewhere between 7-9 hours a night. However, conditions such as insomnia and sleep apnea, stress and a number of environmental factors keep many from resting for this full amount of time. We’ve all had nights where REM cycles have proved elusive—and suffered the consequences the next day. For many who suffer insomnia or other sleep conditions that dragging, ever-tired feeling is everyday reality. No one likes to be tired; fatigue has been proven to cause or worsen several conditions including: depression, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
But how can we get more sleep, and keep ourselves healthy? For some, prescription drugs are necessary—but for others, a change of diet and routine could help. Here are some tips for a better night’s sleep:
- Avoid caffeine, soda and other drinks or food items that may keep you from falling asleep
- Get exercise- studies have cited long-term exercise as an effective tool for those looking to get more sleep
- Instead of watching TV before bed, read a book or magazine. The excess light may trick your brain into thinking it’s daylight—and make it harder to sleep
- Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Bodies typically like routine rest patterns
- Set the temperature in your room so it is not too hot, or too cold. This helps your body spend less time regulating your temperature and more time relaxing into sleep
If you think your sleep problems are severe enough to require mediation, make an appointment and discuss the matter with your doctor. If you claims are warranted, they might suggest a sleep study or prescribe a sleep aid. If you’re unsure whether or not your symptoms merit a visit to your doctor, record your sleep patterns in a diary for up to 10 days. If you see that you’re not getting enough sleep, are getting interrupted sleep or continue to be fatigued regardless of your sleep hours—it may be time to seek medical advice.