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More Than One-Third of American Adults Don’t Get Enough Sleep

By CRAIG CAMPBELL

Staff Writer

More than one-third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jennifer Bricker, vice president of operations with Columbus, Ohio-based Sleep Care Inc., is a subcontractor at Barnesville Hospital, and she said medical experts recommend seven to nine hours of uninterrupted daily slumber for adults. The CDC said sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and frequent mental distress.

So, it’s important for everyone to develop good sleeping practices in order to live a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Elise Koski is the director of Cardiopulmonary Services at Barnesville Hospital. She said not getting enough sleep isn’t healthy, but getting too much sleep isn’t any better.

Both Bricker and Koski offer these recommendations for those who are seeking to develop good sleep habits:

∫ Keep the bedroom environment cool and dark. Make it a peaceful setting. Only use it for sleep and sex.

∫ Don’t work, read or use any electronic devices — such as televisions, computers, tablets or smartphones — in the bedroom.

∫ Keep children and pets out of the bed, which helps both the parents and the kids get the necessary rest.

∫ Always go to bed and wake up at the same times, including on weekends. This is especially important for people who work unusual shifts.

∫ Avoid caffeine at least six to eight hours before bedtime, and be aware that nicotine is a stimulant that affects sleep.

∫ There are some medications that adversely affect the patient’s ability to sleep. Talk to your doctor if you suspect medication is causing a problem.

Experts say there is no way to catch up on missed sleep. The recommended seven to nine hours will refresh and invigorate anyone who has been awake for a time that is longer than usual.

Bricker and Koski said napping can be a healthy practice. They said the nap should be kept to about 20 minutes in the afternoon, as anything longer than that will impact the ability to get to sleep at night.

People who don’t get sufficient sleep are more likely to have problems with their relationships and work productivity, as well as their physical and mental health.

There are a wide variety of beds available, with some costing more than $10,000, but Bricker said a bed can’t cure sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea.

There are more than 85 recognized sleep disorders, and Bricker said it is much more acceptable to have one today than in years past. If you, or a loved one, suspect you have a sleeping disorder, consult your primary care physician.

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