2017-04-20 / Healthy Living

You deserve a good night’s sleep

JUPITER MEDICAL CENTER

HOW MUCH QUALITY SLEEP SHOULD AN ADULT get? Experts recommend seven to nine hours a night, but most adults fall slightly short – averaging 6.9 hours. More than 70 million American adults have a sleep problem. About 40 million suffer from a chronic sleep disorder. Sleep disorders may result in any of the following: daytime sleepiness, snoring, apnea (or pauses in breathing during sleep), leg jerks , an inability to sit still, chronic fatigue, lack of concentration, memory problems, confusion, sleep walking, nightmares, headaches, nocturnal events and seizures, elevated blood pressure, obesity, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and insomnia.

When sleep-related disorders go undiagnosed and untreated, they can lead to a decline in overall health and wellness. A good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining good health and well-being.

Jupiter Medical Center’s Sleep Center can help you get the sleep you deserve. For more than 20 years, the Medical Center’s Sleep Center has been focused on diagnosing, evaluating and treating sleep-related disorders with a commitment to help every patient achieve restful sleep.

If you are among the millions of Americans who have trouble sleeping, here are seven habits of highly efficient sleepers that can help get you on the right track:

• Habit One: Manage daily stress, reduce tension and unwind your mind

Learn and practice techniques like yoga or “The Relaxation Response” by cardiologist Herbert Benson to help prevent over-activation of the central nervous system’s “fight or flight” stress response.

• Habit Two: Control Your Stimuli

Reserve your bedroom for rest and romance only. Make it a haven for sleep. Keep it cool (65 degrees), quiet (or soft calming sounds) and very dark. Remove phone, computer and books from your bedroom. Remove the TV or turn the brightness and volume down and put it on a sleep timer. Turn your alarm clock around so you don’t watch the clock. Listen to soft, calming sounds and if you can’t fall asleep within 20-30 minutes, go to another room and do something nonstimulating until you feel sleepy and then return to bed.

• Habit Three: Develop a nightly relaxation ritual

Turn off your mind and train your brain to expect sleep at about the same time every day. Consistency is key – perform relaxation ritual activities at the same time, in the same order, every night, night after night and on the weekends.

• Habit Four: Prepare your environment

Eliminate bright lights. Dim lights three to four hours before bedtime, dim night lights in the bathroom, get the most comfortable mattress and pillows you can afford, block out ambient noise using a white noise generator if necessary, put out animals, remove clutter and try aromatherapy (research shows lavender works best).

• Habit Five: Watch your internal clock (or Circadian Rhythm)

Expose yourself to bright light at the same time every day when your day starts for about 30 minutes, go for a walk in the sun or have breakfast on a sunlit patio, get out of bed and start your day at the same time every day, regardless of how little you have slept. If you work at night and must drive home when the sun is out, wear the darkest sunglasses available that will still allow you to drive safely and wear them until you are inside.

• Habit Six: Develop an exercise habit

Exercise every day – this can include walking and stretching. Studies show that exercise benefits sleep including increases in deep sleep (Delta) and with sleep consolidation. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

• Habit Seven: Assess your sleep

Keep a sleep diary. Share with your doctor if you experience: snoring, which can be a sign of sleep apnea, a potentially deadly sleep disorder; any chronic sleep problem associated with daytime sleepiness; discomfort in the extremities, particularly the legs, that interferes with falling asleep or wakes you up at night; and/or chronic insomnia lasting longer than six months.

To schedule an evaluation or sleep assessment, schedule a tour or if you have questions, please contact Jupiter Medical Center’s Sleep Center at (561) 744-4478. ¦

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