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Sleep

If you have trouble sleeping, you are not alone.  Sleep issues are common and affect almost everyone at one time or another.  Lack of sleep can lead to health issues such as depression, high blood pressure and muscle pain.  The normal amount of sleep needed by adults ranges between seven and nine hours, with most adults needing eight hours of sleep every night.

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Types of Sleep Disorders

The most common sleep disorders include insomnia, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.  

  • Insomnia is the inability to fall or stay asleep.  Symptoms of insomnia include trouble falling asleep, waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep, waking up too early and feeling tired when you wake up in the morning.  
  • Restless leg syndrome is a common pain that is felt in the legs when they are at rest, making it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Narcolepsy occurs when someone is excessively tired during the daytime.  If the urge to sleep is overwhelming, people may have a “sleep episode” that can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.
  • Sleep apnea is interrupted sleep in which a person has one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep.  Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes of periodic gasping or "snorting" noises or momentarily suspension of breathing.

Healthy Sleep Tips

  • Reserve the bedroom for sleep - Remove the television and computer from your bedroom.  If you associate your sleeping environment with work or other activities, you may find it harder to fall asleep at bedtime.
  • Keep the temperature cool  - The ideal room to sleep in is cool, dark and quiet.  The temperature should be kept below 68°F as becoming too warm can interfere with sleep.
  • Create a sleep schedule -  Establish and maintain a regular schedule.  Go to bed and get up about the same time every day.  
  • Don’t eat and drink - Avoid caffeine within six to eight hours of bedtime and avoid heavy meals close to bedtime.  A light snack is a better option and can help you sleep.
  • Exercise - Get some exercise every day, but not within three or four hours of bedtime.  
  • Quit smoking - Nicotine is a stimulant and can keep you from falling asleep.

If you have difficulty sleeping despite home treatment, symptoms of sleeplessness persist for more than three nights a week for a month or more or if other symptoms present like difficulty breathing or chest pain occur, contact your physician for a medical evaluation.

Get Diagnosed or Treated for a Sleeping Disorder

Located in the Rush-Copley Heart Institute, Midwest Center for Sleeping Disorders offers a full range of services to diagnose and treat sleeping disorders from snoring to insomnia. Learn more by visiting midsleep.com or calling 630-375-9499.