Sleep Disorders

What are Sleep Concerns?

Our bodies are machines that need to be recharged daily. Our brain and organs need time to rest and reboot. We know this, but often it is hard to get a good night of sleep. We fit in work, kids, meetings, school, errands, and business travel. We also worry we might miss a text, email, or one of the many important social media posts. It is no wonder that we cannot turn our minds off at night to rest. The constant thinking, planning, and stressing will lead to tossing and turning all night long.

How Can I Improve My Sleep?

How Can I Improve My Sleep?

A full night of sleep helps us recover from the day’s activities

It helps us to recharge the cells in our bodies and enhance our immune system. We all know how great it feels when we get a good night of sleep.

But how do we get this coveted sleep?

Sleep Hygiene: 101

  1. Try to stick to a regular sleep/wake schedule
  2. Minimize caffeine intake and avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime
  3. Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
  4. Do not smoke, especially near bedtime or if you wake up during the night
  5. Minimize television, cell phone, and computer screen usage before you sleep
  6. Regulate temperature in room
  7. Get regular exercise

What Happens When I Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

While a lack of sleep one night can just be a minor inconvenience, extended periods of not getting enough sleep can lead to much larger health concerns, including:
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Decreased libido
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Fogginess
  • Impaired problem solving
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased accidents

How Many Hours of Sleep Do We Need?

It is recommended for adults aged 26-64 to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Some people can function well on less sleep, while some need more. These hours consist of two different sleep cycles, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM). Both phases are extremely vital!

NREM: This phase of sleep typically occupies 75-80% of total sleep each night. Many of the health benefits of sleep take place during NREM sleep—tissue growth and repair occurs, energy is restored, and hormones essential for growth, and development are released. 

REM: This phase of sleep typically occupies 20-25% of total sleep each night. REM sleep, when dreaming occurs, is essential to our minds for processing and consolidating emotions, memories, and stress. It’s also thought to be vital for learning, stimulating the brain regions used in learning and developing new skills.