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Sleeping Not as EZ-Z-Z As It Should Be? Talk to the professionals at NOCHS’ Center for Sleep Disorders

Anyone who has spent the night staring at the clock, tossing and turning, knows that sleeplessness can ruin the whole next day. Nothing replaces a good night’s sleep. So if you’re not getting your Zs, maybe it’s time to talk to the professionals.

Sleeplessness can quickly turn into a nasty downward spiral. You don’t sleep well one night, so you’re tired during the day. After dinner, you crash on the couch to watch TV and fall asleep. Oops! Now you’re not ready for bed at the usual time…so you stay up for a while. Then you get up at the regular time, but you’re really tired now because you’ve had less sleep than you need. And because you haven’t been functioning at 100 percent during the day, your brain circles endlessly on all the things you didn’t get done. Pretty soon, you’re exhausted, irritable and maybe even sick.

Some of our sleep challenges are habit related. For example, if you go to bed at irregular times, it’s hard for your body to develop a routine. If you spend a lot of time on the computer or phone right before bed, your brain struggles to shut down. If you take naps — especially later in the day — you may have difficulty falling asleep at your normal time. Stress can also keep your brain wired and prevent you from sleeping naturally.

Other sleep disorders have a medical cause. The most common sleep-related medical problem is low oxygen. You might have sleep apnea or an oxygen disorder that interrupts your REM sleep, which is the most important for memory, learning and mood. If you’re not getting enough REM sleep, you’re not going to feel rested.

The Center for Sleep Disorders at NOCHS can help you identify the cause(s) of your sleeplessness. Our Medical Director is board certified in sleep, pulmonology and intensive care, so we can cover all the bases! We may recommend a sleep study to analyze how much and what kind of sleep you get during a typical night. We will also ask a lot of questions to help identify potential habit changes that would contribute to better sleep.

Despite what you hear in advertising, a good night’s sleep involves a lot more than the right mattress and pillow! Since sleep is essential for your mental and physical health, don’t ignore the warning signs. Repetitive nights of poor sleep are not healthy. Our Center for Sleep Disorders is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We can help you identify the cause of your sleeplessness, develop new habits and retrain your body. Talk to your primary care physician about a referral if you’re ready to make a change!

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