Everybody needs sleep, but many people don’t get good quality sleep or the proper amount. Dezmond Sumter, M.D., USC Family Medicine, reminds you of the importance of sleep and how you can sleep better. “Sleep is so important and affects so many areas of your life. Your mental and physical health depend on the quality of sleep you get. If you give yourself an opportunity to get an adequate amount of sleep, you put yourself in the position to be your personal best,” said Sumter.
Poor sleep quality negatively impacts productivity and mood. People who don’t sleep well often feel fatigued, irate and may even experience difficulty driving. Another, more serious, side effect of lack of sleep, particularly if a person has untreated obstructive sleep apnea, it increases the risk of diseases like hypertension, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Sleep disorders can impact adults as well as children. Unlike adults who often experience daytime sleepiness, many children with sleep disorders show symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral problems and difficulty focusing in school.
Sleep medicine is used to evaluate, diagnose and treat people with various sleep disorders. While there are more than 200 sleep disorders that impact adult and pediatric patients, some of the more common ailments are obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
Sumter gives some tips for getting better sleep:
- Do not work out within two hours of bedtime
- Avoid drinking caffeine after 3 p.m.
- Go to bed the same time each night
- Avoid electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime
- Fall asleep in a quiet, dark environment
Sumter states the amount of sleep an individual needs varies depending on age:
- Toddlers need 11-14 hours
- School age children needs 9-13 hours
- Teenagers need 8-10 hours
- Adults need 7-9 hours