September 14, 2017
This past month of travels reminded me that as much excitement that I absorb through my adventures, it is vital to sleep properly. I know for myself that if I do not sleep appropriately, I feel groggy, my concentration and focus wanes and I enjoy my work and travels less. I know in regards to my patients that sleep is a less common topic that we providers discuss as opposed to diet and weight loss. Here are my two cents for your improved health.
- Average US adult sleep 6 hrs 57 min
- 20% of US adults average less than 6 hours sleep per night
- 60 million US adults report frequent difficulty sleeping
- Estimated indirect costs from insomnia due to loss productivity $60 million annually
- Short duration and disrupted sleep correlates:
- elevated BMI and 2X fold risk in obesity
- cardiovascular events
- decreased alertness and cognitive processing speeds, impaired memory and emotional distress.
- major depression and bipolar and PTSD
What to do?
- Maintain a regular sleep routine. Go to bed relatively the same time every night.
- Avoid stimulating distractions before bed. This includes exposure to TV, smartphones, physical activity, and alcohol.
- Maintain regular physical activity (150 mins of moderate activity per week) and outdoor sunlight exposure.
- Avoid eating after dinner, snacking, and caffeinated beverages before bed.
- Avoid high sodium foods during dinner, but also in general.
- Maintain a dark and cool room environment.
- Maintain a good stress reduction practice. Practice breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery or slow music before bedtime.
Tell me your sleeping patterns and habits.
- National Sleep Foundation 2002.
- J Clin Sleep Med 2007; 3(5): 519-528
- Carmelli et al. 2000.
- Spiegel et al. 2005.
- Cappuccio et al. 2008.
- Eur J Endo 2008; 159:S59-S66.
- J Clin Endo Met, 2004; 89(11): 5762-5771.
- JCSM 2007; 3(5):519-528.
- Circa Res 2009;105: 1047-1061.
- Sleep 2007; 30:1659-1666.
- Sleep 2009;32(1):19-26.
- Sleep 2012;35(1):61-68
- Egger G, Lifestyle Medicine 2011.
- J of Behavioral Med 2006 29:223-227.
- Neubauer, 2005.