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How Much Sleep Do I Need?

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness and fatigue is a very common complaint from more than 25% of people. There are many different causes but the large majority are related to how we sleep.  

Sleep Disorders include insufficient sleep, sleep-related breathing disorders, sleep-related movement disorders, and sleep-wake cycle disorders.  

How you feel during the day often depends on how much you sleep.  Different ages require different amounts of sleep. Sleep times for different ages: Newborns (16-18 hours), preschool-aged children (11-12 hours), school-aged children (at least 10 hours), teenagers (9-10 hours), and adults ( 7-8 hours).  

Rearranging your schedule to allow you to get the recommended number of hours of sleep can have a positive impact on how you feel and your overall health.

Sleep-related breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea are very common and easily treatable disorders.  If you have three or more of the following symptoms below you are at high risk for sleep apnea.

  1. Do you SNORE loudly (louder than talking or loud enough to be heard through closed doors)?
  2. Do you often feel TIRED, fatigued, or sleepy during the daytime?
  3. Has anyone OBSERVED you stop breathing during your sleep?
  4. Do you have or are you being treated for high blood PRESSURE?
  5. BMI of more than 35? (overweight and obesity)
  6. AGE over 50 years old?
  7. NECK circumference > 15.75 inches?
  8. Male GENDER?

Please talk to your doctor and they can order a sleep study that you take home for several nights, or refer you to a sleep specialist.  Treating sleep apnea includes exercise, weight loss, dental devices, and CPAP machines.  CPAP machines are very quiet and much more comfortable than older ones with which you may be familiar.  

Lastly, sleep-related movement disorders such as restless leg syndrome can cause people to not get proper sleep.  Leg discomfort, and typically an urge to move, that occurs with rest, abates with movement, and worsens in the evening, or the history from a sleep partner of limb movements during sleep can signal a sleep-related movement disorder.  There are many other causes of poor sleep. Please make an appointment to talk to your doctor about these or any other sleeping problems.  

Additional Information –  http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Sleep/

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