In looking over our new patient concerns through their health history questionnaires, it turns out one of the top issues is sleep. There are questions about not getting enough sleep, they cannot get to sleep, they wake in the middle of the night and they can’t get back to sleep. They have restless legs. They snore. One-third of American adults have reported nodding off while driving. That’s right – one-third of American adults have reported falling asleep at the wheel! Obviously, sleep is a top concern not for just our safety, but also for our health.
Why do so many have Sleep Concerns?
Why are so many of us concerned about sleep? Because many of us are not getting enough sleep!
One-third of adults in the United States report getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night. Why? Well, one reason is that our brains are constantly stimulated by social media and by continuous news feeds on our phones, for example.
Many of us have jobs that require more than 8 hours of work daily. We can work in the convenience of our home which really means we can work as many hours consecutively as we want. Blue light in LED devices keeps our brains stimulated and this artificial light delays the release of melatonin as it gets dark. New research shows that just reading words (not necessarily scary words or romantic words from a novel) can overstimulate the brain and block up to 50% of your melatonin production for the night.
When we are done with our many tasks of the day, we want to unwind a bit before slumbering, so we watch the late-night shows and we binge-watch TV series. Shift workers and truck drivers work very hard to get 4-6 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, and usually against their circadian rhythm.
Many of our teenagers must get up at pre-dawn hours to start school or to attend extra-curricular activities. Then, they stay up late at night to finish homework or work a job, or both. Two-thirds of our American high school teens report getting less than 8 hours of sleep on weeknights which is not enough for this age group.
In other blog posts, we talk about how sleep is good for you, how not sleeping can be detrimental to you, how much sleep kids, teens, adults, and older adults need, what sleep really is, the stages of sleep, the types of sleep disorders and what to do about them, in-depth information on sleep apnea and finally, how to improve your sleep, so stay tuned!
Could you use some of the Benefits of Good Sleep?
If you have been experiencing problems with getting good sleep and have not resolved them, a functional medicine approach may help. Our providers can help you get to the bottom of what is causing your sleep troubles and resolve these. Good sleep makes a huge difference in your health and well being and addressing this can improve your quality of life. For more information about us or how we can help, Contact Us.