May is Better Sleep Month

The key to success with anything is knowing which metrics to watch – and it is no different when we are talking about your health…

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a silent killer and has taken way too many people during their sleep.  Heart attacks or simply stopping breathing during the night are claiming way too many people and health care is only just now beginning to take notice.   In addition, every night that you survive poor sleep is another day of your body being starved for oxygen and having to operate in a panic or scramble mode.  This wreaks havoc with the rest of the body and Sleep and Airway issues are seen as a root cause for many disease processes such as heart attack or stroke or diabetes or obesity and the list goes on!  The issues aren’t confined to old fat men and it’s time to face this silent killer head on!

The quality and quantity of sleep can be affected by so many things, and this is as applicable to young fit women and older men and everyone in between!  Tools like proper sleep hygiene and creating a daily pattern of getting enough sleep are vitally important to getting good quality sleep.  Unfortunately, it isn’t just a matter of if you feel like you sleep through the night.

Some things to be aware of:

It should take about 15 minutes to fall asleep – if you need 30 minutes a night to quiet your mind, or if you are generally asleep before your head hits the pillow, there may be an issue!

When you wake up from 8 hours of sleep, you should feel rested and ready to go!  If you are ‘not a morning person’ it’s probably because of a poor quality of sleep at night!

Daytime drowsiness is a big warning sign that you are not getting the right quality or quantity of sleep.  If you are tired in the afternoon or fall asleep in front of the TV nightly, it is very likely that you aren’t getting quality sleep.

You should have dreams nightly – if you can’t remember the last time you had a dream, it is very likely that you aren’t getting the right quality of sleep.

Snoring isn’t always an issue – it’s actually about 50/50 when talking about all snoring as a whole.  Half the time there is a deeper problem that should be addressed.  However, loud snoring is almost always associated with significant health risks – so if your bed partner wakes you up due to snoring, it is a cry for help!

The body has several stages of sleep that you will drift in and out of and these all serve a specific function.  Memory assimilation and hormone/weight regulation are managed during specific times during the various stages of sleep.  If you don’t sleep well enough and long enough, your body isn’t as effective in regulating and healing itself.

Fortunately, there are convenient sleep-screening tools that are a part of how we screen our patients.  If any of these issues apply to your or your partner, please ask us for more information.  Among the most important services we provide is to help you improve the quality of life you enjoy – and often a simple sleep screening can get you on the way to better sleep and a better life!

We are looking forward to seeing you at your next visit – and if any of this sounds like it may be about you, let’s take a look and help make sure you can get a good night’s sleep!

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