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Good Night, Sleep Tight
Dim the lights, lower the shades, breathe deeply, and slide under the covers. It's bedtime. But as your body begins to relax, your mind starts to race. Did you get everything done today? What's in store for tomorrow?
Meanwhile, your eyes get adjusted to the dark. Before you know it, you are wide-awake. Sleep? No way — there's too much to think about.
Insomnia, trouble falling asleep, or trouble sleeping is a growing problem in the United States. Studies show that many Americans don't get enough sleep because of stress, anxiety, and bad sleep habits. Sure, a presentation or an interview the next day can make you toss and turn. But if insomnia lasts more than a week, or if you often experience daytime sleepiness, call your doctor. In most cases, you can put your sleeplessness to rest with good sleep habits.
How much is enough?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Adolescents should get 8.5 to 9.25 hours, and younger children should get 10 to 11 hours or more each night, depending on their age. But individual sleep needs can vary. How do you know if you're getting enough sleep? Listen to your body. Falling asleep at a symphony or at the movies isn't necessarily a sign that the event is boring. It's a sign that you're not getting enough sleep.
Don't skip sleep
With increasing activities, many people stay awake into the early hours of the morning. Most people think that sleep is easy to give up. They don't realize the negative effects that cutting down on sleep can have. In addition to feeling sleepy during the day, lack of sleep can cause memory and concentration problems, slower reflexes, and difficulty getting along with others. In some cases, lack of sleep can be deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that drowsy drivers cause hundreds of thousands of car crashes each year, many resulting in injuries or even death.
If you need help getting to sleep at night, check out the following tips. And the next time you snuggle between the sheets, enjoy a sound, refreshing sleep.
Tips for getting sound sleep
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine for 6 hours before bedtime.
Don't exercise too close to your bedtime. It is best if you finish exercising at least four hours before going to sleep. Exercise raises your body's temperature, which can prevent or delay sleep. In the evening, your body temperature naturally drops, which triggers a sleepy feeling.
Clear your mind of the day's stress. Take a few minutes to talk about the day, or try making lists to help clear your mind. That way, when you get into bed, you will be able to focus on dozing, not doing. Deep breathing or relaxation exercises may help lull your body to sleep. If you can't sleep, get up and do something that's not very stimulating until you feel sleepy.
Control your exposure to light. Darkness is a cue for your body to sleep. Use night-lights if you need to go to the bathroom or if you often wake up during the night. Bright lights can interrupt the body's natural sleep pattern.
Turn alarm clocks toward the wall. Waking up in the middle of the night and checking the time may increase anxiety and prevent you from getting back to sleep.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Your body will respond well to a consistent cycle.
Make sure that your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature, with little noise or other distractions.
Talk with your doctor before you resort to using any kind of sleep aids. Avoid over-the-counter sleep medications. These can contain antihistamines to bring on sleep, but can make you feel groggy in the morning and slow down your thinking. This is especially true in older adults.
Make Your Dreams Come True at the Broward Health Coral Springs Sleep Disorders Center
A good night's sleep is essential to maintaining good health. Make your dreams come true by finding a sleep solution with our experienced and specialized team. Accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the Sleep Disorders Center offers a comprehensive program that is dedicated to the evaluation, diagnosis and treatments of sleep disorders for adults and children. With new state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and computer monitoring equipment, the center is staffed by physicians specializing in sleep medicine and registered polysomnographic technologists who are highly trained in identifying and treating sleep disorders.
Polysomnography is a painless sleep study used to evaluate whether or not a person has a sleep disorder. It requires that the patient sleep overnight. A technologist monitors the patient from a separate control room throughout the night to ensure safety. Testing lasts for a period of 6 to 8 hours. Several electrodes and monitoring devices are attached to the patient to record brain waves, eye movements, chin muscle activity, heart rate and rhythm, breathing, leg movements, snoring, oxygen levels and body position with an infrared camera located in the patient's room. Once testing is completed the patient is free to go home or to work. All patients are invited to attend a sleep center orientation/walkthrough before their appointment to get a better idea of what to expect prior to their overnight stay.
The Pillar Procedure is a treatment for patients diagnosed with snoring and mild sleep apnea. It is an outpatient procedure that can be performed within 30 minutes. A local anesthetic is used to numb the soft palate in order to insert three polyester implants into the soft palate. Over time the implants help to stiffen the soft palate and decrease the vibration which can cause snoring and mild sleep apnea. It is not recommended for patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. For this reason, patients should have an overnight sleep study done in order to determine if they will benefit from this procedure.
The Sleep Disorders Center offers home sleep study testing for patients who are 18 years of age and older without serious medical conditions. Our sleep panel physicians are trained in sleep medicine and are supported by a professional staff of registered polysomnographic technologists. Learn more »
Treatment and Follow up
Once an accurate diagnosis is made, a treatment plan is designed. Depending on the sleep disorder, treatment could involve a number of approaches including medication or a change from existing medication, medical equipment to use at home, psychological counseling or surgery.
The complete analysis is performed by registered polysomnographic technologists and the interpretation of the sleep study is performed by the sleep panel doctors. A comprehensive sleep report with diagnosis and recommendations will be sent to your primary care physician and/or specialist.
Spacious and beautifully decorated patient rooms provide a spa-like feel making for a comfortable sleeping environment – all while patients are monitored. Each of the four private rooms have a fully functional bathroom equipped with a shower, comfortable bedding with a plush pillow top mattress in both full and queen size, flat panel television, ceiling fan, sound-proof insulation, and individual climate temperature controls. There is also a room designed especially for children where parents are offered sleep accommodations if they wish.
There are over 80 different types of sleep disorders that affect more than 40 million Americans. Below are a few of the most common sleep disorders:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS)
A breathing disorder that is common in people who are overweight and occurs when there is a complete blockage of the upper airway. The signs and symptoms may be excessive daytime sleepiness, choking or gasping for air, morning headaches, mood swings, feelings of irritability, memory loss and trouble concentrating.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
A neurological disorder which causes extreme discomfort in the legs. Complaints may be a tingling, prickling or creepy-crawling sensation that is experienced while awake. The discomfort usually subsides with walking or running.
Periodic Leg Movement Syndrome (PLMS)
An involuntary disorder consisting of repeated leg twitches, kicking and jerking which can lead to complaints of excessive day time sleepiness, restless sleep and frequent awakenings. The person may be unaware of their leg activity. Uremia, anemia, diabetes, pregnancy, and taking or withdrawing from certain medications may cause this disorder.
Abnormal limb and/or body movement behaviors that occur during deep sleep and may cause injury to the person or anyone around them. They are commonly seen in both children and adults and are described as sleepwalking, sleep talking, bruxism, night- mares, night-terrors, confusional arousals, and REM behavior sleep disorder.
The inability to easily fall asleep or remain asleep due to stress, anxiety, depression or poor sleep habits. The complaint may be the inability to fully function when awake and daytime sleepiness. Central Sleep Apnea When the impulse to breathe is blocked resulting in no airflow and no chest or abdominal movement. This may occur in people with a heart condition and in people with a neuromuscular disease.
A genetic disorder of uncontrollable sleep attacks usually noticeable during the teen or young adult years. Symptoms are excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, sudden loss of muscle tone when emotional, hallucinating, and the inability to move upon awakening.
Scheduling an Appointment
If you are concerned about your sleep or if your bed partner has made comments to you about snoring or other sleep related problems, consult your physician or a sleep specialist for a referral to the Sleep Disorders Center. Please contact us at 954-344-7431 if you have any questions.
The Sleep Disorders Center is located on the second floor (Suite 260) of the 2901 Medical Arts in the Springs building, on Coral Hills Drive east of Broward Health Coral Springs.