The Centers forDisease Control and Prevention recently conducted a study linking chronicdisease development in patients who receive either too little or too muchsleep. This information was alsobacked-up by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), who encouragespatients suffering from these chronic conditions to speak with their doctor toevaluate sleep patterns and quality.
Too little sleep isdefined as six hours or less, with too much being defined as ten hours or morein a twenty-four hour period. Diseaseslinked to either too little or too much sleep included obesity, heart disease,diabetes, and anxiety in adults 45 and older.
“It’s critical thatadults aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night to receive the healthbenefits of sleep, but this is especially true for those battling a chroniccondition,” Dr. M.Safwan Badr of the AASM. Common sleep illnesses, such as insomnia and sleep apnea, occurfrequently with these conditions and can affect a person’s ability to sleep, aswell as their sleep quality.
For those looking toimprove both sleep quality and quantity, experts suggest reducing caffeineintake before bed, and those who really struggle should avoid it after theirnoon meal. Remember that sources ofcaffeine can include tea, chocolate, and certain medicines. Another suggestion is to watch pre-bedtimemeals or snacks. Heavy foods can upsetthe stomach, and some foods stimulate the body for energy making it harder tofall asleep and stay asleep.
Also, contrary topopular belief, that nightcap may actually hinder sleep by causing the personto wake up in the middle of the night. Heavy consumption of alcohol can also lead to vivid dreams, which canmake on awake the next morning feeling groggy and unrested.
Another importantsuggestion, which can be applicable for any life change, is to establish a setroutine. Falling asleep at the same timeeach night, and waking up the same time each morning, can help the body findits circadian rhythm; which, overtime, will aid in sleep quantity and quality.
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