Sleep is important for our physical and emotional heath. Sleep can help us stay healthy by keeping our immune system strong, stabilizing our mood and feeling less stressed.
Understanding how lack of sleep affects your health can allow you to make healthier decisions. Major sleep disorders include:
· Insomnia, (inability to initiate or maintain sleep)
· Narcolepsy,(excessive daytime sleepiness)
· Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), (aches and pains throughout the legs)
· Sleep Apnea (snoring or noises, that interrupt breathing and sleep)
If you have such a condition, it is important to have treatment from your healthcare provider.
Occasionally we all experience some sleep difficulty due to any number of factors:
· Family strife
· Job-related problems
· Over consuming: food, alcohol or caffeine
· Financial concerns
· Illness or injury
· Changes in the family (i.e. new baby, moving, a loss)
These factors may impact our thoughts and feelings, thus interrupting our ability to fall asleep or to stay asleep. The fatigue from lack of sleep makes it hard to get up to go to work and then concentrate at work. This may result in drinking caffeine or eating sweets to get “energy” which at the end of the day impacts your ability to fall asleep.
There are things you can do to promote regular sleep:
1. Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
2. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and a relaxing environment which is neither too hot nor too cold.
3. Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other "gadgets" from the bedroom.
4. Avoid large meals before bedtime.
If your sleep problems persist or if they interfere with how you feel or function during the day, you may want to consult a physician, preferably one familiar with assessing and treating sleep disorders. Consider keeping a diary of your sleep habits for about ten days to discuss at the visit. If your sleep disturbance is of concern and you would like to speak to someone about this, please feel free to contact the EASE office: 800-882-1341.