Answer these questions so you can identify poor sleep patterns or symptoms and seek treatment.
Check out your sleep patterns
Most people know that sleep is an important part of good health. But not everyone is as well versed on how to get those coveted Z’s. People who get less sleep are more likely to develop obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. People who sleep less don’t live as long as people who sleep more too. Do you know how to get more sleep? See if you can answer the following questions correctly. If you recognize unhealthy sleep patterns or have further questions, be sure to follow up with your doctor.
Is Snoring A Health Risk?
Possibly. Up to 60% of the population has a partially narrowed airway that causes snoring. Snoring alone doesn’t pose a health risk, but it can signal other health problems. For example, snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea – pauses in breathing during sleep caused by a frequently closed airway. Warning signs include non-restful sleep; gasping for breath during sleep; waking up with a headache, dry mouth, or sore throat; or increased blood pressure. Sleep apnea puts people at risk for a stroke and requires treatment.
Are Daytime Naps Helpful?
Sometimes. Daytime naps can help people feel rested, especially if they have a hard time sleeping at night. But getting too much sleep in the day or napping too close to bedtime may actually hinder nighttime sleep. What’s the solution? Take a nap in the midafternoon, but don’t sleep longer than 40 minutes.
Snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea – pauses in breathing during sleep caused by a frequently closed airway. Warning signs include non-restful sleep; gasping for breath during sleep; waking up with a headache, dry mouth, or sore throat; or increased blood pressure.
Otherwise, it can interfere with your ability to go to sleep later. But if you feel so sleepy you can’t drive, take a nap immediately.
Do We Need Less Sleep As We Age?
No, that’s a myth. We actually need about the same amount of sleep throughout adulthood. What does change is our ability to get continuous sleep and to reach deeper sleep stages. Sleep becomes more fragmented, and it takes a little longer to get the same amount of sleep. Getting at least seven hours of sleep per night is recommended. It’s okay to wake up periodically, as long as you wake refreshed in the morning and you’re not sleepy throughout the day.
Can Exercising Improve Sleep?
Yes. We find that exercise helps people sleep better, as long as it’s not within two hours of sleep. Exercise is stimulating and can cause you to be awake and alert if you exert yourself right before bedtime.
Does Alcohol Help You Sleep?
No. Alcohol may make you fall asleep faster, but that effect wears off, and thereafter alcohol disrupts sleep. Sleep quality is poorer, and you wake up feeling worse. If you do have a drink in the evening, make sure it’s at least three or four hours before bedtime.
Is Insomnia Common?
Yes. Studies show that 30% to 40% of people will have significant insomnia symptoms at some point in their lives. Almost everyone will, at some point, experience disruption from a busy and stressful life. Address short-term sleep problems (see ‘Tips for a better night’s rest’) on your own initially. If sleep doesn’t improve, see your doctor.
Is There Really A Sleep Debt?
Yes. If you curtail sleep a little each night, the effect builds up. For example, if you miss two hours of sleep per night during the week, you’d need to get an extra 10 hours on the weekend to make up that 10-hour sleep debt.
Exercise helps better, people sleep not as long as it’s of within two hours is sleep. Exercise can stimulating and be cause you to awakeand alert if you exert before yourself right bedtime.