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Sleep Basics

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A third of US adults report that they get less than the recommended amount of 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep is not a luxury, it is something people need for good health. Sleep-related difficulties affect many people, however, these disorders can be diagnosed and treated, bringing relief to those who suffer from them.

Types of Sleep Disorders

The following are some of the major sleep disorders:

  • Insomnia - Insomnia is characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep. It may also take the form of early morning awakening in which the individual awakens several hours early and is unable to resume sleeping.
  • Narcolepsy - Excessive daytime sleepiness combined with sudden muscle weakness. Episodes of narcolepsy have been described as “sleep attacks” and may occur in unusual circumstances, such as walking and other forms of physical activity.
  • Restless Legs Syndrome - RLS is characterized by an unpleasant “creeping” sensation, often feeling like it is originating in the lower legs, but often associated with aches and pains throughout the legs.
  • Sleep Apnea - Snoring may be more than just an annoying habit – it may be a sign of sleep apnea. Persons with sleep apnea characteristically make periodic gasping or “snorting” noises, during which their sleep is momentarily interrupted.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the sleep disorders listed above, it is important to receive an evaluation by a healthcare provider.

What are the consequences of not getting enough sleep?

Not getting enough sleep is associated with an increased risk for a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Depression

Tips for Better Sleep

Good sleep habits, sometimes referred to as “sleep hygiene”, can help you get a good night’s sleep. Causes of insufficient sleep include lifestyle, like inconsistent bedtimes and using technology late at night, and occupational factors, like shift work or long work hours. In addition, some medical conditions, medications, and sleep disorders like sleep apnea affect how long and how well you sleep.

Some habits that can improve your sleep health:

  • 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 smartphones from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

What Should I Do If I Can't Sleep?

It’s important to practice good sleep hygiene, but if your sleep problems persist or if they interfere with how you feel or function during the day, you should seek evaluation and treatment.

Sleep Diagnostic Center

The Sleep Diagnostic Center, a service of Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, is designed to identify disorders that prevent you from getting restful sleep. Our physicians are specially trained in sleep medicine and assisted by registered polysomnographic technologists who monitor you while you sleep with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.

For more info call 620-665-1124
For scheduling info call 620-665-2347

2701 N. Main, Suite F, Hutchinson, KS 67502