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Why Can’t I Sleep?

If you have a hard time falling or staying asleep at night, you are not alone. Some estimates show that 10% to 30% of adults live with chronic insomnia. As many as 95% of Americans report an episode of insomnia at some point during their lives. That’s a whole lot of people asking themselves, “Why can’t I sleep?” Unfortunately, the answer to the age-old question is not an easy one. 

Multiple factors can play a role in not getting enough zzz’s, leaving us with complaints of daytime fatigue, lack of energy, irritability, reduced work performance, and difficulty concentrating. If you feel these daytime impairments after having repeated difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, you may be dealing with insomnia.

Factors that keep us awake can be physiological, environmental, or psychological. Some of these common factors include:

  • Consuming substances that negatively affect sleep. Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and some medications. Diet pills and cold medicines are often the culprits. If you are unsure if something you are taking is affecting your sleep—ask your provider.
  • Physical pain and discomfort can make it harder to fall and remain asleep. Frequent trips to the bathroom, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome are other medical conditions that disrupt sleep. However, your medical provider can treat those conditions. 
  • Depression, anxiety, and excessive worry can keep our minds from turning off at night. Replaying the day’s events and worrying about possible coming events are shared with people having insomnia related to mental health conditions. Treating underlying mental health issues will often resolve issues with insomnia.
  • Unhealthy lifestyles and sleep habits we are unaware of may also hinder a good night’s sleep. These habits can include going to bed at a different time each night or napping during the day. Screen devices like computers, televisions, and cell phones can also cause sleep problems. Too much light, too many blankets, and too much noise are all environmental factors that can disrupt our sleep.

So now what? We know what it feels like not to sleep and what might be causing it, but how do we fix it? It is often our first inclination to want to take a medication or pill that will put us to sleep. However, the most beneficial way to improve restful, restorative sleep is to work on sleep hygiene. 

Sleep hygiene refers to daily activities and habits that are consistent with or promote the maintenance of good quality sleep and full daytime alertness:

  • Develop regular sleep habits. This means keeping a regular sleep and wake time, sleeping as much as needed to feel refreshed the following day, but not spending more time in bed than needed.
  • Avoid staying in bed in the morning to catch up on sleep.
  • Avoid daytime naps. If rest is necessary, keep it short (less than 1 hour) and avoid napping after 3 pm.
  • Do not read, write, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone, or play cards in bed.
  • Avoid caffeine after lunch; avoid alcohol within 6 hours of bedtime; avoid nicotine before bedtime.
  • Avoid sleeping pills, particularly over-the-counter remedies.
  • Create a bedtime routine (dim lights, take a bath, listen to soft music, read a book).
  • Keep the bedroom dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Exercise daily (but not later than 6 pm to 7 pm).
  • Do not force yourself to sleep. If you cannot fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes, get up and do something relaxing until sleepy (e.g., read a book in a dimly lit room, watch a non-stimulating TV program). Avoid watching the clock or worrying about the perceived consequences of not getting enough sleep.

Sleep hygiene is not always easy, and you shouldn’t expect to see results quickly.  You may have to make new habits and break old ones, which will take time. 

If you have questions about treating insomnia, start working on your sleep hygiene and make an appointment to see one of our providers at Canyon View Medical Group.

Did Someone Say They Hate Running?

Whenever I am asked to help someone start a running program or train for their first race, I like to share one of my favorite anecdotal tales:

“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up and knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up and knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are the lion or the gazelle when the sun comes up, you better start running.” 

Let’s be honest…running isn’t always fun. I am a runner, and truth told, I can remember a time or two when it was downright miserable. However, there is something about waking early when most of the world is asleep, lacing up my shoes in time to feel the cool morning air, and hearing the sounds of nature coming to life around me. My love for running wasn’t immediate and I certainly wasn’t good at running the day I started. For most people, it takes time and effort to reap the benefits running can provide. I have spent many years figuring out what keeps me motivated while trying to find a balance in how hard I can push my body without injury. What works for me, may not work for you. Maybe running is not your thing. No worries, you are not alone.

Whether it be running, walking, swimming, cycling, or any other moderate-intensity workout, according to the CDC, nearly 80% of Americans do not meet the goal of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. 

A recent poll asked Americans why they did not exercise. Surprisingly, “I don’t like to exercise” came in behind “I don’t have time” and “I’m too tired.” Albeit, “I’d rather watch Netflix,” was not too far down the list. 

It’s not that we all haven’t heard we need to exercise to be healthy, but it appears exercise is not on the top of most of our to-do lists. If you find yourself somewhere in the “I hate exercise and I’d rather watch Netflix category,” here are a few things that might help:

What’s your thing?

Running happens to be my thing, but running might not be your thing. What is your thing? Finding an exercise that you enjoy is key. 

Did you like to Roger Rabbit, do the Twist, or dance the Samba back in the day? Try Zumba.

Were you on the swim team in high school, need a low impact sport, or just like doing your hair twice daily? Maybe aqua aerobics, or better yet aqua Zumba may be your jam. 

Perhaps having an outfit (you call a kit) that looks like you are a member of a racing team, sounds like fun–try cycling. 

Are you motivated by competition? Try signing up for a 5K or a mini-triathlon.

Schedule it.

Make exercise a priority. Make it part of your everyday routine. It can take a while for a new behavior to become a habit, so give yourself time to get into a regular routine. One way is to try to be active around the same time each day. Another way is to schedule a weekly class or schedule a repeating exercise date with your friends. You are much less likely to cancel on a friend than to cancel on yourself. Once it becomes a habit, you will miss it when you are unable to exercise. Jim Ryun, the first high school athlete to run a sub-4:00 mile, said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

Never give up. Keep trying.

If you tried running, and you really did hate it, then try something else. If you have had an injury in the past, and are afraid of being hurt again, try swimming, walking, or the elliptical. Just because you haven’t liked or done well with keeping an exercise routine in the past, does not mean it will not stick this time. 

Thomas Edison said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

If you miss a day or a workout, don’t worry; hit it again the next day. If what you are doing isn’t working for you, try a different workout, try a different time of day, or try finding new friends. 

If 150 minutes of exercise a week sounds overwhelming in the beginning, break it up. Try 30 minutes, five days a week, or 50 minutes three days a week. It also works to do ten minutes here and ten minutes there, just make it count, it all adds up. 

The benefits of exercise include stress reduction, better sleep, improved mood, and sharpened focus. These benefits are almost immediate and can be felt right away. The longer-term benefits of reducing your risk for type II diabetes and some types of cancer, controlling your blood pressure, and maintaining a healthy weight will over time, help you to live a longer, healthier life. 

The key to establishing and reaping the rewards of exercise is finding that thing you enjoy (or at least don’t hate), doing it with people you like, making it a habit, never giving up, and remembering, someone, somewhere, once said, “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.”

Keeping “Heart Healthy”

February is appropriately named Heart Health Month. I often associate this month with Valentine’s and thoughts of love toward my wife and family. What better way to show your love for those closest to you than to do things to stay healthy?

Did you know that the number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease? What is your personal risk for heart attack? You can find out how likely you are to have a heart attack in the next 10 years by going to http://www.cvriskcalculator.com/ with these three numbers: 1) your total cholesterol, 2) your good HDL cholesterol, and 3) your blood pressure. With this information, you can easily do the calculation yourself. If you don’t know these numbers and have had these tests done, you are able to access your results via your patient portal. If you don’t remember how to access your patient portal, call our office. We can help to get you access or give you results from a previous test. If you haven’t had these tests recently, visit your doctor right away to get tested.

The recommended goal is to have a risk factor under 7.5%. If you have a percentage above that, it is recommended that you intervene with medication and/or changes in lifestyle and diet.

Here are ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack:

  • Controlling blood pressure: The goal is to be under 140/90. Controlling blood pressure is a great way to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
  • Control your cholesterol: Finding out what your cholesterol numbers are is the first step. The next thing is to act on those numbers.
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking dramatically increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. Smoking is also a leading cause of cancer.
  • Diabetes: Controlling weight and increasing exercise are the best ways to prevent diabetes. Diabetes doubles your risk for heart attack, and experts recommend that everyone that has diabetes be on a statin.
  • Exercise regularly: The goal is to have at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Not only do you reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, but you also improve your physical and mental well-being.

Other general ways to improve your health include:

  • Adequate sleep: The recommended amount is 7-9 hours per night.
  • Don’t smoke: If you want to stop smoking, the state of Utah provides a free cessation program with counseling. You can reach them at 1-800-Quit-Now.
  • Manage stress: Stress is linked to heart disease because it raises your blood pressure. Stress can even be a “trigger” to heart attacks. Positive ways to manage stress can be exercising, journaling, meditating, drawing, and listening to music. Find something you enjoy that brings you peace and stick with that!
  • Have a healthy diet: What we put in our bodies has a major effect on our heart health. Try to eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, limit alcohol, and drink plenty of water. Keeping processed foods to a minimum will make your heart happier in the long run.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease because of other heart-related factors like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Implementing a healthy diet with a moderate exercise schedule can greatly reduce your risk of becoming overweight or obese. Try to have a body mass index between 20 to 25. If you are curious as to what your BMI is, click on the link for a BMI calculator: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

During February show your love for your family and yourself by keeping “heart-healthy.”

Back to School Bedtime Routines (Part 2)

Learn how to be a role model for children in developing a healthy sleep routine. Learn the techniques to help your children benefit from the example you set.

Back to School Bedtime Routines (Part 1)

Establishing a regular sleep routine is important for your family during the school year. Kristen Wright, FNP talks about how to create a successful bedtime routine that helps the whole family.

A Better Night’s Sleep

We all know the feeling of hearing the alarm go off after a long night of counting sheep. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining health and enjoying life.  There is no magic recipe for getting the perfect night’s sleep, but there are several basic practices that can help increase the chances of getting a long, restful night’s rest.

The amount of sleep needed varies depending on the individual and the age group. Babies generally need 16 hours of sleep each day, teens should get 9 hours and it’s recommended that adults sleep 7-8 hours each night. These numbers may vary and it’s important that you FEEL like you are rested after each night’s sleep. Signs of a good night’s rest may include:

  • Waking up when the alarm sounds
  • Clear thinking
  • More energy
  • Less worry or stress (or maybe better able to handle the challenges of life)

Better sleep does mean a better life! What are some basic things that all of us can do to better our night’s rest? The answer is Sleep Hygiene. Sleep Hygiene is a lot like personal hygiene. It includes the basic things that we should do every day (like brushing our teeth and taking an occasional shower) that will keep us on track to getting a solid night’s sleep every night. I won’t list all the aspects of Sleep Hygiene but a few of my favorites are listed below.

  1. Scheduled Bedtime and Wake time. We all remember getting told to get to bed, but somewhere along the way we forget the wisdom of our mothers and we start thinking other things are more important. Going to bed at the same time every night and waking up the same time every morning might be challenging at first, but once the habit is created, sleep will improve.
  2. No screen time. The blue light that comes from our TVs, phones, tablets, etc. can keep you awake, so do your best to decrease usage and do not use them in the bedroom!
  3. Get up as soon as your alarm goes off.

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for the enjoyment of life. I believe we are here to enjoy the time we have, and by doing the small things to achieve a better night’s sleep, I have no doubt you will feel better and enjoy life more!

Sources:

https://www.sleepassociation.org/patients-general-public/insomnia/sleep-hygiene-tips/

http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs/Info-sleep%20hygiene.pdf

Prep for Trek and other outdoor adventures…for leaders, parents & youth

Whether you are excited about your outdoor adventure or dreading it, preparation will help make this a more positive experience. Having the proper gear, knowing how to avoid health complications and a great attitude are vital to making this a memorable and enhancing experience.  Here are a few health highlights that will help as you plan your adventure!

1. SHOES:

Don’t count on your old comfy shoes to be good enough.  They may be too worn down, even if they don’t appear to “look old” from the outside.

Even though these shoes look “okay”, take a look at the tread on the bottom. 

You can see the wear on the soles. 

This means the cushions and support on the inside have also been well worn.

Good shoes for this type of excursion include:

a. A firm sole is more suitable for rocks and uneven surfaces. Avoid lightweight and flexible soles that bend easily.

Firm sole option best.

This is a great running shoe but not great for Trek.

b. A wide base of support creates less chance of twisting an ankle or getting rocks down in your shoes. Consider higher shoes/boots for weak ankles or rougher terrain.

c. Make sure there is adequate room in the toe box to lessen the chance of rubbing on the sides of your feet or jamming the toes into the end of the shoe, especially when going downhill.

d. Choose an appropriate upper covering. Engineered mesh uppers are great for running and water events but allow sand and dirt into the shoe, potentially causing irritation and skin problems on the feet.

The thin, porous upper on the shoe on the left allow too much dirt and sand to enter the shoe.

e. If new shoes were purchased, PLEASE WEAR THEM before going on TREK to break them in! It’s best to go on actual hikes (ideally 30 to 40 miles) or break in your shoes on uneven surfaces (rocks or slopes, rather than a smooth road or paved river trail) since this is more likely to simulate the TREK terrain.  (Most higher quality brands that sell running shoes, for example, offer a 30-day return or exchange because they recognize that it takes more than 3 to 5 miles to evaluate if the shoes are a good fit for your feet.)

f. Keen, Columbia and Merrell are good brands.

g. Bring 2 to 3 pairs of shoes and waterproof them!

2. SOCKS:

a. Avoid 100% cotton.

b. Two thin layers are acceptable (liner sock made of synthetic materials or knee-high nylon with a thin wool sock on top) or a polyblend sock will lessen the chance of friction and blisters.

c. “SmartWool” is a good brand. These socks will cost a little more but the comfort and protection are very beneficial.

d. Be aware of wet conditions. Wet socks and shoes increase the risk of friction and skin breakdown.  Consider bringing bread bags or small garbage bags along to wear over socks and under shoes to keep feet dry.

e. Be sure to have an adequate number of socks!

3. FEET:

a. Trim toenails two to three days before TREK. This way they can grow out a little if they are accidentally clipped too short.

b. Ideally, feet should be inspected a couple of months before going on TREK for any conditions that need to be addressed before hiking (ie. warts, tinea (infections), ingrown toenails, inflammatory conditions, etc.) Check feet again the weekend before TREK to be aware of any problematic spots.

4. CLOTHING:

a. Dress in moisture-wicking layers. It may be very cold at night so multiple layers, ie: T-shirt or Under Armour cold gear, a pullover, thicker flannel shirt, raincoat, and larger jacket, etc.

b. Avoid going to bed wearing the clothes that you wore in the day. They are likely to be wet and cold.

c. Be prepared for abrupt weather changes and potentially severe weather.

d. Try on clothing now, so adjustments that need to be made, can be made (taking in or out, hemming a seam up or letting it down, etc.) Try not to worry about like clothing.  Of course, it is going to be different from what we are accustomed to wearing!

e. Remember to bring some kind of leather gloves for pulling the handcart (to prevent slivers.)

f. CHAFFING

  • Consider wearing a sports bra or proper underwear to provide adequate support and prevent excess skin rubbing and irritation.
  • Use some kind of anti-chaffing product if needed where skin rubs together (examples are not limited to, but include: Body Glide, Gold Bond Powder, Monkey Butt, etc.)
  • Underclothing, such as yoga pants, compression shorts, Under Armour tights, athletic leggings, hiking pants, etc. may be helpful in preventing chaffing.

5. SLEEPING:

a. Cold-rated sleeping bag. (A six-pound fill is rated for zero degree weather while a three-pound fill is good for 60 degrees.) An additional thin liner or fleece blanket inside the sleeping bag will add extra warmth.  (A fleece liner is also easy to launder.)   A small pillow, adequate pad for cushion and tarp to layer on the bottom are important.  The general rule of thumb in keeping warm at night is to have twice as much bedding under you as compared to on top of you.  If you are concerned about being cold, a rip-stop nylon poncho thrown on top of these layers will retain more heat.  FYI, there are no government regulations to control manufacturer’s claims on sleeping bag warmth ratings.  Expect 10 to 20 degrees less than stated by the manufacturer. (If a bag is rated for 40 degrees, you may only be comfortable in it when the temperature is actually 50 degrees.) Some good sleeping cushion brands include (but are not limited to) Big Agnes and thinner Klymit pads.

b. Change underclothing at bedtime, when the temperature is warmer vs. in the morning.

c. Avoid sleeping with your nose and mouth under the sleeping bag. The breathing contains a great deal of moisture and that may cause dampness to collect in the bag.

d. A hat, liner and wool gloves, warm wool socks, Long Johns and instant hot packs may also be helpful.

Look for sales and coupons.  There are numerous products online and

local sporting goods stores that will carry these supplies.  

(ie:  REI, backcountry.com, North Face, Recreation Outlet in AF)

6. HYDRATION:

a. Adequate hydration is essential for a safe TREK experience. Hydration doesn’t mean drinking lots of water at the end of a long, hot day of walking, however.  Two to 3 days before TREK, all participants should be hydrating adequately.  Cross country runners have learned one of the keys to optimal performance is drinking water two to three days before a race. Without adequate fluid in the body, the body cannot cool down well or mobilize the necessary nutrients and electrolytes needed by the muscles.  Feeling thirsty or having a moderate to strong yellow color at any point during the days before TREK means that more fluids are needed.

b. Be aware of the early symptoms of dehydration. They include headache, dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps, pale face, and cool, clammy skin, nausea, etc.  Address hydration issues NOW!  It is much better to take care of minor complaints and conditions before they become major ones!

c. Higher elevations require more water for several reasons.

  • Typically it is cooler in higher elevations and cooler air holds less moisture.
  • Higher altitude also means lower air pressure. This results in more rapid evaporation of moisture from the skin surface and from your lungs.
  • As the body acclimates to the higher altitude, urination is more frequent.
  • Because higher altitudes contain lower oxygen levels, the body compensates by breathing faster and increasing the heart rate. There is more water lost with rapid breathing.

At 6000 feet above sea level, you exhale and perspire twice as much moisture as you do at sea level.

Over the course of a day, that is a lot of water and can make a difference of a quart or more a day.

At higher altitudes, it gets even more pronounced.

d. The general guideline while trekking is 32 ounces of water every hour. To give an example… One red Solo cup holds about 16 ounces.  If you walk for about 8 hours in a day, this means about 16 Solo cups in 8 hours of walking or 2 gallons in a day (which doesn’t include the other 16 hours in a day!)  Even if participants are not pulling a handcart or don’t “feel thirsty”, drinking is a MUST!  If a person is severely dehydrated, the stomach cannot absorb fluid quickly enough to compensate, therefore PREVENTION is key!

7. HYGIENE:

a. On some TREKs or if backpacking in the outdoors, all the water available to each group must be hauled in, therefore, excess water for bathing may not be available. Wet wipes are a suitable option.  Some youth and women are prone to bladder infections if hygiene or hydration is not adequate.  Skin irritation may also be a problem. If these are repetitive problems, a visit to a health care provider before TREK can help give women the education or medication they need in order to avoid and treat these concerns.

b. If you are prone to razor burn, a rash or folliculitis with shaving, shave 3 days before TREK to avoid painful conditions or infection.

8. MEDICAL CONDITIONS:

a. Any chronic or high-risk condition should be addressed with a health care provider before going on TREK. It should be specifically brought up that the individual may be required to walk up to 10 miles per day in potentially hot or cooler conditions.  It will not be a paved pathway, like our beautiful River Trail!

b. Individuals should verify adequate amounts of medication for the TREK. Most health care providers will have same-day appointments or give a refill until an appointment can be made. If medication is taken on a regular basis, this is not the time to stop.

c. A health care team will be made aware of medications and conditions of all who are going on TREK but please talk to the person in charge of medical needs for any specific concerns.

d. The Medical Team on TREK will probably be trekking with the youth and touch bases with individuals and families throughout the event. The Medical Team is usually clearly identified.  They will be mindful of evaluating hydration and “hot spots” on feet, as well as other potential physical or health-related problems.

e. Usually, each Ma & Pa will have a simple first aid kit. They will help with youth who need to take medications daily and have the Medical Team support and backup available.  First Aid Kit suggestions to each family are….antiseptic wipes, moleskin, bandaids, antibiotic ointment, hand wipes, scissors, tweezers, baby powder/Gold Bond, feminine products, sunscreen, bug repellant (40% DEET), duct tape, safety pins, and sanitizer, lip balm, burn ointment, anti-chaffing stick, anti-itch cream, garbage bags, basic sewing kit.

The most common health conditions that occur are dependent on the location, climate, altitude, duration of the experience, preparation, etc.  Frequently, blisters, sunburn, excessive winds or temperature extremes and mosquitoes are problematic.

Preparation is the key! (physical & mental)

When trekking, you shouldn’t be “aware” of a specific spot on your foot.  If you notice a “hot spot” or a place that you are continually aware of, follow this treatment:

  • Clean foot with a wet wipe and allow to air out and dry.
  • Apply Nexcare Absolute Waterproof tape to the area affected.

If there is an actual fluid-filled blister, follow this treatment:

  • Clean foot with a wet wipe and allow to air out and dry.
  • Puncture the side of the blister with a sterile needle and gently milk the fluid out.
  • Apply 2 layers of NuSkin or liquid band-aid, allowing it to dry thoroughly after each application.
  • Apply Nexcare Absolute Waterproof tape to the area affected.

Attitude is Everything!

* This is meant to supplement the specific information you will be given from those who have organized your specific TREK.

The Power of Sleep

Considering how important sleep is to our proper functioning as human beings it is interesting how easy it is for our sleep cycles to be disrupted, either by circumstances outside our control or more commonly by our own choices. While some view sleep as a necessary nuisance it is clear that good sleep patterns contribute to improved school/work performance, help us maintain a healthier weight, and give us time for mental and physical restoration.

When it comes to school or the workplace sleep deprivation often manifests as decreased attention span and difficulty in task completion.  You may notice these are similar symptoms that we associate with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). At times academic struggles can be linked directly back to poor sleep routines and once those bad habits are corrected there is a corresponding improvement in school.  During my time as a Medical Officer for the Navy if there is one thing that I learned, and learned well, it was that the effectiveness of at Sailor or Marine declines rapidly once they become sleep deprived and at times you needed to order them to get some sleep to ensure that they were ready to complete the mission.  As a parent, I’ve also found this same principle frequently holds true for my own children as well.

Another interesting correlation is that the more sleep deprived you become the more likely you are to be overweight. One interesting study by Janice F. Bell, Ph.D., MPH, of the University of Washington conducted in between 1997 and 2002 found that children who did not get adequate nighttime sleep between the ages of zero to 4 years were 33%more likely to be obese than children who had adequate sleep. These effects were slightly more noticeable in those aged 5 to 13 years who were 36% more likely to be obese.  People often ask me why would inadequate sleep lead to this weight gain?  While the complex answer involves the changes that occur to hormone release, the more straight-forward answer is that when we are tired we eat more to try to increase our energy levels. Any good weight maintenance or weight loss plan should begin with ensuring adequate sleep is occurring.

One final thing to consider is that sleep is essential to the restoration of both mind and body.  I frequently talk with teenagers who have always been good students but begin struggling in their very busy lives as they are involved with multiple after school activities and part-time jobs.  The primary concern they present with is that “I just feel tired.”  Parents are often concerned this reflects a thyroid problem or some other chronic disease, but once I ask a few questions it becomes clear that the real problem is they are only getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night.  While a person can compensate for a while with decreased sleep, eventually they will become rundown because it is during sleep that the body rebuilds muscle and the brain organizes all the information and stimuli that it has received during the day.  When you or your child begin to feel to run down a good first step is to double your efforts to get adequate sleep.

Some general guideline on sleep amounts are listed below:

  • Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

If your attempts to improve your child’s sleep patterns have been unsuccessful and you would like to discuss it further, all of the Pediatricians here at Canyon View Pediatrics are ready to help.

Links:

American Academy of Pediatrics Sleep Recommendations

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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