Falling asleep anytime you sit down, or waking up after a full night’s sleep and still feeling tired? In addition, are you experiencing issues with body aches, poor concentration, headaches and weight gain? The answer to these problems may not be your thyroid, stress at the job or your sinuses, but may be the result of inadequate sleep.
Sleep apnea is a disorder when little or no breathing occurs for a few seconds to minutes, several times, while sleeping. Most people who have it do not have any awareness of not breathing while asleep. The decrease in oxygen in the brain associated with sleep apnea can lead to irritability, problems with concentration, memory and learning. Inadequate sleep impacts your metabolism, increases blood pressure and raises blood sugar. Poor sleep does not allow your body to repair damage, fight infection, store energy or make new cells.
Most adults require six to eight hours of sleep to feel refreshed and alert. A few tips that can improve your sleep and overall health:
- Stop all stimulants at least one hour before bed. E.G., coffee, tea, soda, exercise
- Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. E.G., no TV, computer, texting
- Mind relaxation by writing down to-do lists or concerns prior to bed, to power down the brain before sleep
- See your primary care physician for possible sleep apnea evaluation
Dr. Falana Carter is a physician at the MPCP Arundel Mills site.