Sleep Care

Tips for Better Sleep

Did you know that when you get enough sleep, your immune system is better, and you live longer?  “Research studies have proven this,” said Bayhealth Physician Michel Samaha, MD, FCCP. “Unfortunately, getting enough sleep can be difficult, as insomnia and a condition called obstructive sleep apnea are becoming more prevalent.”

According to Dr. Samaha, the average adult requires about seven hours of sleep each night. In recognition of Sleep Awareness Week, here are some tips from Dr. Samaha on how to help ensure you get a good night’s sleep.

 When it comes to sleep apnea, “the good news is the test for diagnosing [it] is much easier and more reliable than it used to be and treatment is more readily available,” says Dr. Samaha. If you find you’re waking yourself up trying to catch your breath, or your partner tells you that you stop breathing in your sleep, or you’re experiencing daytime fatigue and drowsiness, Dr. Samaha says, “You should go see your doctor. He or she may refer you to a sleep specialist who can test you for sleep apnea.”

As for other sleep disorders, there are many treatments available. “Take insomnia, for example. In addition to medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves training the brain to sleep at night, is the treatment of choice. Light therapy is helpful for treating sleep problems that relate to circadian rhythm disorders, such as delayed sleep phase syndrome which a lot of teenagers have.”

Lifestyle changes can also help you sleep better. Dr. Samaha suggests avoiding coffee and other caffeinated beverages and not working out late in the day if you are having trouble sleeping. “I also recommend avoiding daytime naps because they can interfere with your ability to sleep at night,” he said.

To find a physician in your area, visit Bayhealth's Find a Doctor page or call 1-866-BAY-DOCS (3627).

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