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Sleep & Health

More than 12 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, but a conservative estimate suggests that 10 million of them remain undiagnosed and untreated.

Heart disease and sleep

Could a bad night’s sleep be bad for your heart?

Yes. In the long term, the consequences of untreated sleep disorders may include high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke and obesity, just to name a few. If you have a sleep disorder and stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night, not only will you suffer from a bad night’s sleep but your heart is working extra hard.

ADHD and sleep

Is there a connection between ADHD in your child and sleep?

Twenty-five percent of children diagnosed with ADHD/ADD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder/Attention Deficit Disorder) snore and could have their symptoms of ADHD/ADD eliminated if their sleep-related problems are corrected.

When sleep is poor, children won't necessarily look sleepy during the day. Sometimes they have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. They need to create a stimulating environment to keep themselves awake, because they need to stay awake to learn. Studies show there are many children being treated for ADHD that could benefit from a sleep study. Every child with behavior/mood problems may not have a sleep problem but pediatricians should screen for sleep problems. No matter what the age of your child, talk to your child’s doctor about their sleep habits.

Nutrition and sleep

Can what I eat affect my sleep?

With all the talk these days about diet and nutrition, it's important to remember that what you eat has an effect, not only on your weight and general health, but also on how well you sleep.
Some foods improve sleep. Others can make sleep difficult or even impossible.

Foods that promote sleep:

  • leafy green vegetables
  • whole grain breads and cereals
  • mushrooms
  • fruits - especially berries
  • spices, including dill, sage and basil
  • milk
  • honey
  • turkey
  • egg whites
  • tuna

Foods to avoid:

  • caffeinated foods, beverages or medication – coffee, chocolate, cocoa, soft drinks
  • spicy foods
  • sweet or fatty foods
  • alcohol

Pyschology and sleep

Is my sleep problem a physical condition or related to my mental health?

Everyone experiences a bout of bad sleep on occasion. Many times, the demands of a busy work and home life forces you to sacrifice sleep or there may be something on your mind that’s preventing you from sleeping. Whatever the cause, the result of a prolonged, untreated sleep issue can take its toll on your body, your health and interfere with everyday living.

Chronic insomnia can be successfully managed with Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia (CBT-I). This treatment approach requires no medication and can, in fact, be extremely helpful in aiding people seeking to end months or years of dependency on sleep medications.

In the same way that changing behaviors related to exercise and diet can result in improved fitness and lowered cholesterol, altering your sleep-related behaviors can greatly improve your sleep. It is important to note that a CBT-I rarely resembles what most people think of as “therapy.” It may feel more like you’re working with a personal trainer than a therapist.

CBT-I typically requires three to eight sessions. Treatment effects should be noticeable within the first one to two weeks.

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