It is wonderful to celebrate the holiday season by giving to others, but be sure to take a minute to evaluate what you need in your life, too. Many people struggle to get consistent nights of restful sleep and there can be many contributing factors. This year, give yourself the gift of sleep!
Dr. Karl Doghramji, Medical Director of the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center notes that having proper sleep hygiene is vital to getting restful sleep. Things you do throughout the day, and not just at bed time, can have an effect on your sleep.
Things to do:
- Awake at the same time every morning
- Increase exposure to bright light during the day
- Establish a daily activity routine
- Create a comfortable sleep environment
Things to Avoid:
- Drinking alcohol or caffeine
- Engaging with nicotine or other stimulants
- Exercising within three hours of bedtime
- Eating heavy meals within three hours of bedtime
Additionally, there are more than 200,000 cases of sleep apnea each year. Typical symptoms are patients who snore or gasp for air during sleep. The effects of sleep apnea can go way beyond poor sleep and can have major risk of other medical problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
There is a more systematic way to determine if you are suffering from sleep apnea through a catchy questionnaire suggested by Dr. Maurits Boon, physician in Jefferson’s Department of Otolaryngology, called “STOP BANG.” Having three or more applicable points below puts someone at a moderate risk of sleep apnea, while four or more is a high risk.
T: Tired during the Day
O: Observed pauses or gasping
P: Treated for high blood pressure
B: Body mass index greater than 35
A: Age over 50
N: Neck size greater than 16 inches for females and 17 inches for males
G: Gender – male
Patients interested in learning more about a sleep evaluation or scheduling an appointment can call 1-800-Jeff-NOW.