For many people, a good night’s sleep is just a dream.
“As a society we have many bad habits that affect sleep,” says Antonio Reyes, M.D., a pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross, Georgia. “Poor sleep is triggered by, among other things, an irregular sleep schedule and light exposure from things such as cellphones and laptops. Many people also extend their work activities into bedtime. Texting, e-mailing and working on a computer at night can aggravate sleep problems.”
Feeling tired is one sign that you’re not sleeping enough or sleeping well. Other signs include restless sleep, breathing problems during sleep, seizures and waking up with chest pain.
Missing out on sleep can lead to a host of problems, including a lower stress threshold, increased blood pressure, difficulties with memory and concentration, and increased appetite.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to sleep easier. To improve your chance of getting a good night’s rest, Dr. Reyes suggests: If you’re having sleep problems, a sleep specialist can help you determine why and work with you on solutions.