Baptist Health Madisonville Sleep Center offers tips for the time change

November 02, 2018

Baptist Health Madisonville Sleep Center offers tips for the time change

Baptist Health Madisonville Sleep Center offers tips for the time change


Madisonville, KY. (November 2, 2018): Sleep mask? Check. Sound machine set to crashing ocean waves? Check.  Memory-foam pillow positioned at just the right angle? Check.  At least one pet, a toddler who requires a midnight glass of water and a snoring partner?  Also, unfortunately, Check.


Despite your best intentions, life’s little stressors can prevent you from getting enough quality sleep at night, and that can have short- and long-term effects on your health.


Skimping on our nightly ZZZs can result in more than just dark circles under our eyes in the morning-though that is one of the side effects, along with an increase in fine lines.  Penny Hardison, registered respiratory therapist and manager of the Baptist Health Sleep Center in Madisonville, said sleep deprivation can cause:


  • Fatigue, irritability, and lack of energy

  • Decrease in cognitive processes, meaning our brains aren’t as sharp as they could be

  • Higher risk of car accidents due to decreased motor skills

  • Decreased sex drive


You may also notice problems controlling your emotions and behavior or coping with change.


You may think you’re beating the odds of being someone who can function on only four or five hours of sleep a night.  But, over time, sleep deprivation can take its toll on you.  “Problems caused by sleep deprivation include heart disease, heart attack, hypertension, stroke, irregular heartbeat and diabetes.  Lack of sleep can also boost levels of inflammation in the body and interfere with the body’s immune defense, leading to diseases and an increased cancer risk,” Hardison said.  Other long-term effects can include depression and weight gain.


So what can you do to improve your health?  Make sleep a priority, just like diet and exercise.  While adults should aim for eight hours of sleep each night, with today’s technologies and busy lifestyles, six to eight hours can be acceptable for some people.

Tips for getting a better night of rest include:


Go to bed at the same time every night to help your body develop a sleep rhythm


Avoid taking naps- Babies and kids are an exception


Develop a sleep ritual like taking a bath or reading a book and making sure your room is dark


Integrate exercise into your day to help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep. (But, not too close to bed time or it may energize you!)


Try to manage your stress.  Jot down what is on your mind before bed so you can let go of it.


Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bed as they stimulate you and interrupt your ability to produce sleep-inducing hormones.


Need some statistics to convince you?


32%- the increase in alertness we would feel by sleeping one more hour per night.


100,000- the average number of car accidents per year caused by fatigued drivers, according to the National highway Traffic Safety Administration.


9.3 hours- the average amount of sleep per night Americans got in 1910.  Today it is about 6.5 hours, even though we know more about the importance of sleep.


16 minutes- the amount of sleep one study found made all the difference in weight gain.  Those in the study who were overweight slept, on average, 16 minutes less than those who were not.  When we are not well rested, the appetite-stimulating hormones increase and those that tell us we are full decrease.


100 million- the number of Americans who will suffer from insomnia by 2050, according to recent studies.  Our 24/7 society puts more demands on us than ever before.  90% of those with insomnia also have other health conditions related to their sleep deprivation.


If you are having trouble sleeping, the Baptist Health Madisonville Sleep Center is here to help.  Call us at 270.825.5918.