Is A Sleep Disorder Keeping You From Getting A Good Night Sleep
Many Americans are suffering from a sleep disorder that will go undiagnosed.
How can you tell if it is really a problem?
You wake up after a 7 hours of sleep. You hit the snooze button. Once, maybe twice. Then you drag yourself out of bed searching for the nearest source of caffeine. Sound familiar?
Having trouble sleeping?
Sleeping through the night is not a guarantee to wake up refreshed and alert. Sleep is about quality, not quantity. Quality sleep means you cycle through all 4 stages at least 5 times before awakening in the morning. Each stage allows you to clear out the cobwebs from the day and detox without any distractions.
For most of us, losing just one night of sleep makes us irritable, craving carbs, and gives us brain fog. It also affects us on a much deeper level when the problem becomes chronic. Research says that after just three nights of sleeping 4-5 hours, our insulin sensitivity, the hormone that controls our blood sugar levels, is lowered making us less responsive to big upswings in glucose when we eat carbs. This is the exact same process that leads to diabetes. A sleep disorder and sleep deprivation basically throws your body into a pre-diabetic state which can lead to unwanted weight gain.
We have all had sleepless nights. It’s normal to wake up not feeling 100%. However, this should be the exception not the rule. If you are consistently waking up feeling exhausted, having a comprehensive evaluation by Dr. Kyle Chavers, M.D. is essential to determine the root cause of your sleepless nights to try to figure out if you might be suffering from a sleep disorder.
Some common reasons you may not be sleeping soundly include the following:
Your cortisol is high at night- Cortisol is a major factor in our stress response. Normally it should start to rise about 3 AM and peak around 6 or 7 am. It then slowly declines throughout the day and is low at night so you can sleep soundly. If your cortisol is elevated at bedtime, you are likely tossing and turning the entire night. This is a common sleep disorder that often goes undiagnosed.
You have a mineral deficiency- Most of us live busy, stressful lives and spend 8-10 hours a day sitting over a laptop. This may lead to tight neck muscles and hip flexors. Couple this with a deficiency in relaxing minerals like magnesium and it’s a recipe for disaster. Rubbing a quality magnesium oil into your muscles before bed will help your muscles and mind relax into a peaceful slumber.
You are exercising after 8 pm- Exercise is key to maintain a healthy weight and sound mind. However timing is everything. For a restful sleep, the ideal time to work out is in the morning. If this is not possible, try to workout before 8 pm so that you do not disrupt your natural circadian rhythm. Adding in a warm bath or hot shower before bed will raise your body temperature which is naturally followed by a drop. This is another way to prepare our bodies for sleep given that research has shown cooler temperatures are better for a good night’s rest.
Watching late night episodes/movies- The blue light that emits from our devices lowers melatonin, the master sleep hormone. This tells our brain it’s ok to watch just one more episode of the Bachelor knowing that we have to wake up in 5 hours. Do yourself a favor-Turn off all your devices one hour before going to bed so you have adequate melatonin to fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you have tried these suggestions above and you are still having sleep issues, it is likely your sleep problems have other causes and need further evaluation by Foundations Medical Center. Contact our office at 850.269.9000 to schedule your New Patient Consultation with Dr. Kyle Chavers, M.D. IFMCP