Are you in sleep debt? Most Americans are
Working toward the pin
Siloam Springs Regional Hospital
If you’re like millions of Americans, the answer is yes. According to the National Sleep Foundation, as many as 62 percent of people in the United States lack sufficient shuteye for optimal health and productivity. In fact, more than half the country’s population admits sleepiness interferes with the amount of work they complete daily and more than two-thirds say it disrupts their concentration levels and abilities to handle stress.
Experts estimate that as an adult, your body requires approximately eight hours of sleep each night (though some need more or less). However, recent statistics report that the average American actually sleeps less than seven hours each night, and as many as one-third snooze for sixand-a-half hours or less. But you can do your part to keep your 40 winks from beefing up the national sleep deficit. Use these practical tips to deepen (and lengthen) your sleep each night.
• Cut the caffeine — While you probably know that caffeine is a stimulant, you may not realize that each person’s sensitivity to the drug varies. Some can drink it later in the day and sleep fine, while others can drink a cup of coffee late in the morning that keeps them up all night.
• Avoid alcohol — If you think that a glass of wine will send you to sleep like a baby, think again. Alcohol may make you sleepy right away, but research shows that your sleep is less restful and more likely to be interrupted.
• Shun heartburn triggers — Chronic heartburn affects millions of Americans. Since lying flat aggravates the condition, night time is when most heartburn sufferers feel the pain. Avoid foods that trigger heartburn, especially in the evening
• Exercise early — While adequate exercise is proven to assist in a good night’s sleep, it actually has an alerting effect immediately afterward. Avoid exercising at least three to five hours before bedtime.
• Schedule your sleep — Perhaps the most obvious (and most difficult) strategy is to actually increase the time you spend in slumber. Try gradually adding 15 minutes at a time to your nightly routine until you’re catching enough Zzzs.
Are you having trouble sleeping? Talk to your health care provider about scheduling an appointment with the Siloam Springs Regional Hospital Sleep Center. Visit NorthwestHealth. com if you need assistance finding a provider or for more information about Sleep Medicine services at SSRH. Sleep Smart
It refreshes and reenergizes, invigorates the immune system and fights fatigue. After our heads hit the pillow, most of us don’t give a second thought to what happens next. But sleep is actually more complicated than you may think. There are actually two types of sleep: NREM (nonrapid eye movement) and REM (rapid eye movement).
During the first half of the night, most people typically begin with NREM, the most restful type. NREM has four stages, with the first stage transitioning you from being awake to being asleep and stages three and four being most restful. But toward morning, your body begins experiencing REM sleep, which is where your dreams occur. REM sleep is often interspersed throughout in five-to 40-minute intervals and tends to make sleep during this time less deep.
Tyler Roberts of Gentry, wrestling in the 132-pound bracket, works toward pinning his opponent during a wrestling tournament against Rogers high schools in Gentry on Thursday. Roberts went on to get the pin. See next week’s issue for meet results.