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Why Can’t I Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

In order to survive, we, need food, water, oxygen…and sleep! With up to one-third of our lives spent asleep, a good night’s rest is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being.

Sleep plays a vital role a good health, helping to protect your physical and mental health, quality of life, and safety, and yet millions ask every day, “Why don’t I sleep well?” For many of us, making those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority can be difficult, racking up a “sleep debt” and relying on stimulants like coffee/energy drinks, alarm clocks, and external lights to get us up and keep us awake.

So are you getting enough sleep? Sleep needs vary across ages and only a doctor can give you a firm answer on how many hours you need a night. But for most patients, they need more and better sleep for their health, but allergies, allergic rhinitis or an underlying sleep disorder may be preventing this. For example, surveys conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reveal that at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders and 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more. Sleep Disorders that shorten sleep time or disrupt sleep can place you at a higher risk for weight gain, depression, high blood pressure, changes in blood sugar, heart disease, stroke, and fatigue-related accidents.

Depending on your symptoms, it may help you to gather information about your sleep behaviors. An easy step you can do at home is to keep a sleep log. Record how many hours you sleep each night, how often you awaken during the night and for how long, how long it takes you to fall asleep, how rested you feel upon awakening, and how sleepy you feel during the day. Also note any symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as loud snoring, snorting or gasping, morning headaches, tingling in the limbs, and jerking of the limbs during sleep.

Another way to determine if you have a sleep disorder is to conduct a sleep study. A sleep study is a non-invasive, painless diagnostic test that can be performed in a sleep lab, doctor’s office or in your own home, depending on your health history and insurance coverage. A sleep study can provide an objective look at an entire night’s rest and evaluate snoring, breathing, arousals, movements, and other indicators of sleepiness or awakeness.

If you are suffering from a sleep problem, the first step is to meet with your family physician, or schedule an appointment at BreatheAmerica. Take our Sleep Disorder Quiz to learn more about your symptoms and available solutions.