Sleep is a vital part of our everyday lives, and sadly not enough Americans are getting a good night’s rest. In fact, insufficient sleep has become a public health epidemic. When you don’t get enough sleep you’re not only more prone to health problems but also more likely to be involved in accidents. Find out how much sleep you should be getting and whether your nightly sleep routine is measuring up.
How Much Sleep Should I be Getting?
This is an important question that most individuals don’t even think about; however, it’s important that you get the recommended amount of sleep in order to function at your fullest. The National Institute of Health recommends that children sleep about 10 hours a day, while teens need about 9 to 10 hours. Adults need closer to 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day. However, most of us aren’t getting that many hours of sleep each night, which can make for a less productive and exhausting day. Sleep quality can also be compounded if you also are experiencing a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night.
What is Sleep Medicine?
For those patients who aren’t sleeping well or experiencing symptoms of a restless night we recommend coming in for a sleep study to evaluate your overall health and to focus on pinpointing and diagnosing a possible sleep disorder. One of our sleep medicine specialists will talk you through all the steps of the study during your initial interview.
The sleep study itself, also referred to as a polysomnogram, will look at how each patient sleeps and pinpoint patterns of both normal and abnormal sleeping patterns. The majority of sleep studies are conducted at night, when a patient is most likely to be sleeping. However, for patients who keep odd hours (e.g. night shift workers), we can also accommodate daytime sleep studies, as well.
Sleep studies are painless and only require us to place sensors on certain parts of the body to help monitor vital signs such as heart rate, respiration and brain waves. Through these sensors we are able to record and monitor your body’s activities while you sleep. Once the study is complete, we will sit down and discuss any abnormalities we might have detected and then create a treatment plan to help you get a better night’s sleep.