February 6, 2012

Sleep - Why are we having such trouble??? Why do we care?

If you are a parent, you are acutely aware of the demon in the child that arises when they are sleep deprived. You know that your fuse is shorter when you lack restful restorative sleep. How often do we get sick within a week of sleep deprivation?

What are the causes?

1) getting to bed too late and then needing to be up at a specific time - not enough sleep

2) an untreated medical issue - sleep apnea, obesity, restless leg syndrome/iron deficiency, asthma, viral infections, pain, etc... - poor quality sleep/not enough

3) alcohol overuse - poor quality sleep

4) caffeine overuse - sleep onset issues and poor quality sleep

5) behavioral issues - co sleeping, poor limit setting, oppositional attitude - poor quality and sleep onset

6) circadian rhythm dysfunction - shift workers, long summer days, artificial light exposure - poor sleep in every category

7) parasomnias - sleep walker, night terror, night mares, etc. - poor quality sleep

8) tv/video in bedroom - a reason to stay up when you should not - not enough sleep

9) napping - can affect the onset of restorative sleep and quality

10) using one's bed as a desk/work area - confused brain as to the function of the location - sleep onset issues

11) prescription drugs can interfere with all stages of sleep

And the most important of all:

STRESS - the ultimate sleep killer!

My take home point today: Look at your families sleep patterns. Next week we will discuss proper sleep and remedies for poor sleep.

Think Sleep,

Dr. Magryta