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National Sleep Awareness Week

2/27/2015

SMH Celebrates National Sleep Awareness Week

This year, National Sleep Awareness Week takes place March 2–8, one week before Americans lose an hour of sleep to daylight savings time. It is an opportunity for us to stop and think about our sleep habits, realize how much they impact our well-being, and take a step towards improving them. The week begins with the release of the National Sleep Foundation's (NSF) Sleep in America poll, and ends with the return to Daylight Saving time. In years past, the polls have addressed Sleep in the Modern Family, Transportation Workers and Sleep, and Adult Sleep Habits, among others.

The Sleep Disorders Center at Saline Memorial Hospital has been improving the sleep quality of Saline county residents for over 15 years, and joins the NSF in promoting healthy sleep and improved overall health. A good night’s sleep is the foundation of a healthy body and mind, but it is not all about the amount of sleep that you get, but also the quality of sleep. As an adult, you may be sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours per night, but one or more sleep disorders may be interfering with the quality of sleep you are really getting. These sleep disorders may include sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, or any of the other 80 disorders disturbing your slumber.

The National Sleep Foundation's mission is to improve health, safety, and well-being through sleep awareness and education, and to encourage individuals to seek help and not be afraid to speak up. The foundation has found that 37% of adults admit to sleeping less than 7 hours, and that many Americans freely admit they drive when they are sleepy. This week is dedicated to raising awareness of the potential safety dangers associated with drowsy driving, as well as sharing advice and tips for better sleep.

One of the issues addressed frequently by the NSF is sleep deprivation as it pertains to health and safety. Countless studies have proven that sleeping less than 6 hours, whatever the reason, leads to:

  • A nearly 50% higher chance of heart disease or heart attack
  • Increasing your chance of stroke by 400%
  • A 30% higher chance of becoming obese
  • a four times greater risk of an automobile accident
  • having insulin resistance (a risk factor for diabetes), and has been linked to osteoporosis, cancer and a considerably shortened life span

And if the reason for decreased sleep or decreased quality of sleep is sleep apnea (a disorder in which you stop breathing repeatedly in your sleep usually associated with snoring), add twice as likely to have high blood pressure to the list above.

If you would like more information on how to get a better night’s sleep, or if you suspect you may have a sleep disorder that is disrupting your sleep and health, please contact Saline Memorial Hospital. You can call the Sleep Disorders Center at (501) 776-6197, or visit us at www.salinememorial.org. And please, have a good night and sweet dreams!  

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