ASK THE EXPERT: Improving your sleep

Ask the Expert

Greenville, S.C. (WSPA)– The National Institutes of Health reports sleep disorders affect millions of Americans every year. As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7NEWS’ Taylor Murray spoke with a sleep medicine specialist about simple ways to get a good night’s rest.

“Having a good quality sleep and adequate sleep has been linked to good health.”

Dr. Ahmad Boota / Pulmonologist & Sleep Medicine Specialist, Bon Secours St. Francis Health

A good night’s rest is linked to better health outcomes.

However, there are more than 70 sleep disorders keeping millions of Americans up at night.

Dr. Ahmad Boota, a pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist, says two sleep disorders are the most common.

“We really see a variety of sleep disorders that include like sleep apnea, which is the most common sleep disorder, and insomnia which is trouble like falling asleep or staying asleep,” Dr. Boota said.

On average, most people should sleep seven to eight hours a night.

Not getting the adequate amount can lead to sleep deprivation which can interfere with work, driving, social activites, overall quality of life, and can have serious health implications.

“The lack of good sleep, especially good quality sleep, does have a significant negative impact on almost every organ in your body. It can lead to an increase in your risk of type 2 diabetes and uncontrolled high blood pressure,” Dr. Boota said.

Dr. Boota says there are some signs you’re not sleeping well.

“Daytime fatigue or sleepiness is one thing. Waking up not refreshed another thing. Having headache, a morning headache, is actually one of the most common things,” Dr. Boota said.

Dr. Boota says you should first reach out to your primary care physician to determine what’s affecting your slumber. Then, there are some things you can do at home to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer– starting with ditching electronic devices like television, tablets, and cell phones before bed.

“I would advise people to at least stop using the electronics two hours before designated bedtime,” Dr. Boota said.

Dr. Boota also recommends keeping a journal by your bed to log what time you laid down and when you woke up. You can also include notes about what you ate or drank before bed and activities you did throughout the day. Then, show this to your doctor to help get to the root of your sleep disorder.

To submit a health topic for our Ask the Expert series, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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