West Allis -- What’s the one battery you recharge every night? Your cell phone, right? Well, there’s another battery that’s even more important. It’s your own. And, the only way to recharge it is with healthy sleep.
National Sleep Awareness Week, March 5-11, was developed by the National Sleep Foundation developed to educate people about the importance of healthy sleep. The week begins with the announcement of the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America poll results and ends with the clock change to Daylight Saving Time, where Americans lose one hour of sleep.
“Because we’re losing an hour of sleep next weekend with Daylight Savings Time, it’s a great time for people to evaluate their health as it relates to their sleep,” says Dr. Don Harden, Medical Director of The Sleep Wellness Institute. “Many people put sleep on the back burner, but it is actually one of the body’s most valued resources. When you sleep you “recharge” your emotional and physical health,” he continues.
But, healthy sleep is often interrupted by sleep disorders. In fact, more than 100 million Americans have a hard time sleeping. It’s estimated that 18 million of them have sleep apnea, however only 3 million have been diagnosed. Many people don’t realize that while they are getting enough sleep, it might not be healthy sleep.
When asked what people can do to get healthy sleep, Harden replied, “The first step is to get enough sleep. Most adults need 7-9 hours and most teens need 8.5-9.5 hours per night. Next, it is important to get healthy sleep, and learn to recognize sleep problems. Whether you suffer from sleep apnea, insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, parasomnias or restless leg syndrome we can help. We talk a lot about sleep apnea because it is so common, but all of these sleep disorders can have serious health implications and can greatly impact your quality of life,” Harden shares.
Another resource is The Sleep Wellness Institute’s online sleep assessment. Located on their website at sleepwell.org, it’s free and it helps people learn how they can recharge their batteries, night after night, with healthy sleep.
Speaking of batteries and Daylight Savings Time, don’t forget it is time to change the batteries in your smoke detector. And, change your clocks ahead 1 hour, next Sunday morning, March 11th at 2 am.
If you feel like your own battery is drained, visit sleepwell.org to take a free sleep assessment or call 414-336-3000 to speak with a sleep professional.