Right Amount Of Sleep

Having the right amount of sleep differs from one person to another but one thing is true in us all, sleep is essential to good health, both physical and mental. There have been many studies showing the adverse effects of poor sleep. The one we think of first is general alertness.

According to studies it has been shown that there is a direct correlation between accidents, lost productivity and decease in our immune system when we lack appropriate sleep. Sleep affects our everyday health. Studies suggest an increased risk for diabetes, weight gain due to increased appetite, impaired development in children, and increased anxiety and depression to name a few.

“There are many reasons for our poor sleep,” says Dr. Ahmad, “many are self afflicted, meaning that in our busy schedules we put rest at the bottom of our To Do List. There is no other animal, other then the human that deprives itself of sleep.”

In most cases, by talking to your physician, there are simple solutions to our everyday sleep problems. Changes in diet, medications you are taking or learning stress reduction techniques may improve your sleep and quality of life.

Improve Your Sleep Patterns

There are a few things you can do to improve your sleep patterns that are not caused by an underlying medical problem. First, it is important to know how much sleep you need to function well in the day. For most people, one needs to sleep at least 8 hours a day to feel refreshed in the morning.

For those who have a difficult time sleeping, a few simple lifestyle adjustments may be all you need. Try sleeping in a cool dark room, set a sleep schedule for yourself, avoid exercising during four hours before bedtime, and let your room be its own sanctuary and finally, no email checking in the night. Exercise during daytime hours promotes a good night sleep. In addition, no caffeine after mid day, and learning to put your stress away at the same time each night helps your sleep too.

There are a few sleep disorders that may require more intensive treatment and may have a severe effect on your quality of life and health. Such disturbances may be manifested by excessive snoring called sleep apnea.

This is a serious medical condition. This disorder involves repeated collapse of the upper airway, which causes the sleeping person to wake many times in the course of sleep to catch their breath. Usually other family members will also experience sleep interruption because of loud or continual snoring by the affected person. People who suffer from sleep apnea often experience daytime drowsiness, poor performance, poor concentration and depression.

Another is called restless leg syndrome. People who experience this come to my office explaining unpleasant sensations in their legs. Other complaints may include involuntary movements of your limbs. These movements happen while you are asleep and most are unaware of this unless reported by a sleeping mate or evidence of a restless night when your blankets and sheets are disheveled.

There are many other possibilities for poor sleep. But with the appropriate evaluation and diagnosis, you can improve the quality of your sleep and daytime performances.

Treatments To Improve Your Quality Of Life With Better Sleep

“There are treatments to prevent these conditions and improve your quality of life with better sleep,” says Dr. Ahmad. “These may include changes in your diet, weight reduction, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, medication and lastly surgery.” Diagnosing this and other sleep disorders can be begin with a simple physician consult to evaluation through a sleep clinic such as the one at Lehigh Regional Medical Center.

When simple lifestyle changes do not work, it is time to visit your physician. Remember that sleep is a very important part of maintenance of your good health.

Ready to get a better night’s sleep?
Contact us today or call (239) 437-6670.

* Information from article published in the health & fitness section of the Lehigh Acres News Star, dated September 22, 2004.