The Dangers of Insufficient Sleep
How Much Are Those Sleepless Nights Hurting You
Sufficient sleep is essential for our overall wellbeing. It is recommended to have at least seven hours of sleep per night for those 18 to 64 years old. Nearly 1/3 of adults reports less than 6 hours of sleep a night. Shortened sleep periods can lead to cardiovascular disease, obesity and other health consequences.
Factors that contribute to interruptions in sleep patterns:
-Shift work interrupting regular sleep times
-Obstructive sleep apnea
-Disruption of regular circadian rhythm from school, work, or family obligations
-Medications or illicit drug use
-Habitual short sleepers. (This can be a normal variant.)
Keeping a sleep diary can be helpful to monitor and assist in developing better sleeping patterns. A sleep diary can include time to bed, time to sleep, number of times waking up at night, number of times getting out of bed at night and number of daytime naps.
Actigraphy can measure sleep time and sleep quality. This is not always required. An actigraphy monitor is usually worn on your wrist. This records movements and estimates sleep parameters.
Ways to improve sleep time:
-Stick to a regular schedule
-Have a regular bedtime routine
-Avoid naps in the afternoon
-Maintain a comfortable sleep environment
-Avoid tobacco, caffeinated beverages, energy drinks and heavy meals at night
-Do not use electronics before bedtime
A sleep medicine specialist can address problems if modifying activities does not improve sleep patterns. If you are experiencing concerning symptoms and worry habitual lack of sleep may be manifesting in emergency medical concerns, a doctor board certified in emergency medicine is always ready for you at Lonestar 24 HR ER in New Braunfels, TX.
MedicalNewsToday.com, “Could getting enough sleep help with weight loss?” Timothy Huzar, Feb 10, 2022.