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Sleep Awareness Month: A Good Night’s Rest Will Make Your Day

March 05, 2018

March is National Sleep Awareness Month, which places emphasis on the importance of sleep. Sleep plays a vital part in a person’s health. If a person does not receive enough sleep, or even too much, it can have negative effects on his/her mind, body, and overall wellness. Lack of sleep can cause the beginning of many health problems. Feeling sleepy, sluggish, and lethargic each day can cause stress during a person’s day, create poor food choices, lack of motivation, lack of exercise, a negative mood, and so on, creating a domino effect of health issues in the future, and overall dis-ease.

How Long to Sleep: It is suggested by most that a person generally needs 8 hours of sleep. 8 hours is not always a one-size-fits-all for every person, so it is important to find the right amount of sleep that works best for you. The average person goes through five 90 minute sleep cycles, alternating between sleep (non-REM), and deep sleep (REM). To feel alert and attentive during your day, it is best to wake during the non-REM sleep cycle. If you wake in the middle of REM, you can feel groggy and sluggish during the day.

Tips to Falling to Sleep: If you have difficulty falling asleep: 1). Make sure to stay away from electronics that emit artificial light, such as your cell phone, TV, tablet, and laptop. The artificial light tricks your mind into believing it is daytime. This can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which leads to poor sleep. 2). Keep your room dark and quiet. Getting rid of sources of light and noise can greatly improve your ability to get a good night’s rest. 3). Try using “white noise,” such as a fan or a sound-machine, which can drown out sudden noises. 4). Avoid caffeine before bed. Caffeine is a stimulant and will prevent you from easily falling asleep.

“If a person experiences poor sleep, he or she may have a Sleep Disorder, which is something we can help them diagnose.” Mary Marner, Director of Respiratory Therapy and the Sleep Disorder Lab at Hermann Hospital.

Possible Sleep Disorders: It is important to note that poor sleep may be a sign of a Sleep Disorder, which a Sleep Study can help determine. A Sleep Study may be right for you if you have experienced any of the following symptoms: Sleep Apnea—a temporary suspension of breathing during sleep, snoring, weight issues/obesity, twitching & Jerking of limbs/Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), heart and breathing problems, problems focusing and/or concentrating, lack of motivation, headaches, and extreme tiredness. A Sleep Study looks into in the disorders that affect your sleep and can diagnose sleep problems to help avoid the health issues that sleep deprivation can cause.

Sleep Studies & Accredited Sleep Disorder Lab at Hermann Hospital:  Hermann Area District Hospital specializes in Sleep Studies with its own accredited Sleep Studies Lab onsite. We are also able to do Home Sleep testing in certain circumstances. To learn more, contact Hermann Hospital’s Respiratory Care Department by calling (573) 486 - 2145.