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Sleep is important for restoring physical and mental health. It refreshes the mind and repairs the body. Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can cause fatigue, poor concentration and memory, mood disturbance’s, impaired judgement and reaction time, and poor physical coordination. The benefits of good sleep can affect our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. The National Sleep Foundation offers some tips for improving one’s sleep hygiene: Avoid spicy foods, carbonated beverages or coffee in the evening, limit naps to 30 minutes a day, aerobic exercise, adequate light exposure, sunlight during the day with darkness at night, comfortable sleep environment that include mattress, pillows and bedding that are comfortable and sound machines and fans also help.

Are you tired during the day, even after you slept all night? Has anyone told you, you snore or make chocking noises while you sleep? If yes, then you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This is a common sleep disorder. If one has this, they may also suffer from morning headaches, day time sleepiness or high blood pressure.

Insomnia is another sleep disorder that occurs when you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Anyone can have insomnia but it is more common in older adults, women, people under stress and people with certain medical and mental health problems. Sleep hygiene may help.

Sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices and habits that help promote a good night sleep. Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both physical and mental health. Some sleep hygiene practices include not spending  too much or too little time in bed, establishing a regular relaxing bed time routine to include a warm shower, reading a book or light stretches and creating a pleasant sleep environment.

If you suffer sleep issues that you cannot improve it is important to reach out to your health care provider to have a discussion about possible causes and solutions.

Article written by Peggy Thompson, ECHN Sleep Lab Technician

ECHN Sleep Disorders Center: 860.647.6881

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