The Chamber Review March/April 2019 - Page 36

SLEEPING YOUR WAY TO BETTER HEALTH

By Linda Pauls, MD, Family Medicine Physician, Kaiser Permanente Fresno

Finding enough hours in the day to get things done is not always easy, and for some that can mean cutting back on the number of hours they sleep.

But did you know that not getting enough sleep is bad for your health? Sleep can affect hormone levels, mood and even your weight. Lack of sleep can lead to elevated blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels and depression.

Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Children should get anywhere between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night.

The key is making sure you feel refreshed when you wake up. If not, then you probably need more sleep.

I stress the importance of getting enough sleep to my patients because I know how critical sleep can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Everyone has a few nights of restless sleep now and then. Life’s everyday stressors can keep you up at night. Worries about your job, relationship and money can make it difficult to sleep.

I tell my patients who are feeling down during the holidays that there are some ways to manage some of

I stress the importance of getting enough sleep to my patients because I know how critical sleep can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Everyone has a few nights of restless sleep now and then. Life’s everyday stressors can keep you up at night. Worries about your job, relationship and money can make it difficult to sleep.

Medical conditions also can disrupt sleep including:

•Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is breathing that stops during sleep. People with sleep apnea often have problems sleeping well through the night.

•Restless leg syndrome. Aching, twitching or discomfort in the toes, knees or ankles can disturb your sleep.

Chronic pain. Back problems or arthritis can lead to sleep deprivation.

Mental health issues. People with anxiety, depression and mania can also have difficulty sleeping.

Medicines and other substances. Antidepressants, cold medicines, steroids, alcohol and caffeine can also make it difficult to sleep.