Sunday, March 21, 2010

“The Nation of Walking Zombies” – Sleep Deprivation in America

In the first of a four-part series, “The Science of Sleep,” New York 1 reports that sleep deprivation, exhaustion and insomnia are common problems in New York and across America.

Many people think that their addiction to caffeine is normal, but if you constantly wake up feeling unrefreshed and are excessively sleepy throughout the day, you are probably not getting the sleep you need.

Last month, Prevention and msn
listed five signs that you might be sleep deprived. These signs also may indicate that you have a sleep disorder.

More than 70 million people in the U.S. have a sleep disorder. According to AASM member Dr. Carl Bazil, sleep disorders often go unnoticed by patients and doctors: “Sleep problems are the most underdiagnosed of any medical illness.”

The International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Second Edition documents 81 sleep disorders. Common sleep problems include i
nsomnia, obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. Sleep disorders can have a negative impact on physical and mental health if left untreated.

There are steps you can take to improve your sleep on your own:

  • Wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
  • Avoid naps if you can during the day.
  • Don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon.
  • Don’t read, write, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone, or surf the web in bed.
  • Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and a little bit cool.

Find more tips about good sleep hygiene at Sleep Contact an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center if improvements in your sleep habits do not resolve your sleep problem.

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