According to a health survey for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 7–19 percent of adults in the United States reported not getting enough rest or sleep every day” (source). Four out of 10 adults report accidentally falling asleep during the day at least once a month. Some 50-70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders.
By all accounts, the United States faces a sleep crisis. Patients throughout the Nashville area turn to Dr. Jon Tumen at St. Thomas Medical Group. Dr. Tumen is triple board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonology Diseases and Clinical Polysomnography/Sleep Disorders Medicine.
Why Does Sleep Health Matter?
The quantity and quality of sleep we get each night has a tremendous impact on all aspects of our lives, from physical health and safety to emotional well-being. Poor quality sleep can lead to…
- Road accidents. Driving while drowsy can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol.
- Increased risk of chronic health conditions. Sleep deprivation is associated with increased risk for a number of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. Failure to get adequate sleep can also increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
- Depression. Studies have found a strong link between insomnia and depression/anxiety.
- Memory loss. Our bodies use sleep to reset. During sleep, the brain consolidates memory, transferring short-term memory into long-term memory storage. Failure to get enough sleep can prevent this process, causing long-term memory problems.
- Weight gain. Several studies have found a correlation between obesity and lack of quality sleep.
Failure to get a recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night can result in many adverse outcomes. If you’re having trouble meeting your sleep requirements, talking to a sleep specialist may help.
How Can a Sleep Doctor Help?
Sleep specialists like Dr. Tumen are able to help many Nashvillians struggling with sleep through polysomnography, a type of sleep study used to diagnose sleep disorders. This test allows a physician to record your sleep patterns and make recommendations for improving sleep health.
What You Can Do For Yourself TONIGHT
While polysomnography may be recommended for ongoing sleep health problems, you may be able to get a better rest tonight by trying some of these tips recommended by sleep doctors:
- Avoid caffeine – not just at night – but for the entire day, as caffeine can have long-lasting effects.
- Keep the bedroom quiet and cool.
- Get in the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
- Avoid screens in the hour before bed. The artificial light can make it difficult to go to sleep.
- Avoid nicotine and alcohol in the hours leading up to bed time.