Getting adequate amounts of quality sleep is essential for our health. It allows our bodies to recharge and provides additional benefits including:
- Improving memory and concentration
- Strengthening the immune system
- Reducing stress
- Lowering the risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes
Consequently, not getting enough quality sleep can have a negative effect on our health. A lack of quality sleep can result in:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Increased stress
- An increased risk of developing health conditions such as diabetes
- An increased risk of developing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
Thankfully, our body tells us when we are depriving ourselves of quality sleep so that we can make improvements. Signs of poor-quality sleep include:
- Taking 30 minutes or more to fall asleep
- Feeling sleepy or tired, even after getting enough sleep
- Waking up often throughout the night and lying awake for several minutes
- Having trouble concentrating during the day
- Experiencing hunger more often
- Experiencing symptoms of a sleep disorder such as snoring or gasping for air
- Having dark circles or bags under the eyes
Improving sleep quality can be achieved by making simple changes to our lifestyles. Here are a few recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Remove electronic devices such as TVs, computers, and phones from the bedroom.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
- Don’t use tobacco.
- Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
If you are having difficulty falling and staying asleep for an extended period, speak with your doctor to explore possible causes. Your physician may recommend that you see a sleep specialist who can diagnose and treat a variety of sleep disorders.
To schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.