Monday, May 23, 2016

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep



Sleep—it’s as vital to our health as a nutritious diet and regular exercise.  However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly one-third of American adults aren’t getting even the minimum amount of sleep they need to be alert the next day.

Most sleep experts recommend that adults obtain seven to nine hours of sleep each night, depending on their own individual need.  Are you getting the ZZZs that you need?  If not, try the following tips to help you perform your best every day.

  • Keep a regular schedule.  Even on the weekends, when there is temptation to sleep in, it’s important that you go to sleep each night and wake up each morning at nearly the same time.

  • Avoid sleep-disturbing products such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.  Coffee, tea, or sodas may contain caffeine, which is a stimulant, and should be avoided at least six to eight hours before bedtime.  Nicotine is also a stimulant—besides the risk for heart disease and cancer, smoking before bed makes it more difficult to fall asleep.  Many people also think of alcohol as a sleep aid.  While it may make you drowsy, it can actually cause nighttime awakenings and disrupt sleep. 

  • Create a sleep-friendly environment that includes a cool, quiet, and dark room where you will not be disturbed.  Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, earplugs or other devices to help block out light and noise.

If you continue to have sleep problems, start a sleep diary to note the symptoms you are experiencing and share that diary and other concerns you may have with your doctor.  There may be an underlying medical cause of your sleep problem and you will want to be properly diagnosed.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Good morning, here is some information on sleep apnea that affects some 26 million Americans including children.  Please remember to complete your surveys and give us feedback on the SleepHealth App and Study at http://talk.sleeptember.org/

What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.   Left untreated, sleep apnea increases one’s risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and other medical conditions. 

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs in all age groups and both sexes, but there are a number of factors that increase your risk, including:

·       A family history of sleep apnea
·       Having a small upper airway (large tongue, tonsils or uvula)
·       Being overweight
·       Having a recessed chin, small jaw or a large overbite
·       A large neck size (17 inches or greater)
·       Smoking and alcohol use
·       Being age 40 or older
·       Ethnicity (African-Americans, Pacific-Islanders and Hispanics) 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
 
·       Loud snoring
·       Morning headaches and nausea
·       Gasping or choking while sleeping
·       Loss of sex drive/impotence
·       Excessive daytime sleepiness
·       Irritability and/or feelings of depression
·       Frequent nighttime urination
·       Concentration and memory problems


Have a great and restful weekend.

The SleepHealth Study Team