Sleep is as important to our health as good nutrition and exercise. But nearly two thirds of all Americans are not getting the sleep they need for good health according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2001 Sleep in America poll.
A recent Gallop survey by the International Longevity Center found that adults over 50 receive less than 7 hours of sleep at night. It doesn’t look like things have improved in the past few years.
There are many causes of insomnia. Some of them are stress, illness, sleep apnea, jet lag, hormone imbalances, alcohol, caffeine, and medications such as beta-blockers, decongestants, thyroid preparations, prednisone, and bronchodilators (for asthma).
Chronic sleep interruptions can aggravate and intensify medical conditions such as high blood pressure and digestive disorders as well as weaken the immune system.
I often check hormone levels with female patients I see. Hormonal fluctuations that effect sleep for women are pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome and menopause. By treating hormone imbalances, many women can finally get a good night’s sleep.
Of course, there may be other reasons that cause insomnia that need to be evaluated.
Ask your practitioner to help you identify the cause of any sleep problems you may have.
(Via Daily News Central – Health.)