Are you getting enough sleep? The proper amount of quality sleep is crucial for your overall health, but a good night's rest can be elusive.
Dr. Morris Chang, a Sleep Specialist and Pulmonologist at Seattle's Swedish Hospital shares five reasons your sleep might be suffering — and what you can do about it.
1.) You’re napping at the wrong time. Dr. Chang said naps are fine and lengths may vary, but try to avoid them in the late afternoon and early evening, as that could delay your normal bedtime routine.
2.) You snore loudly. Loud snoring could be a sign of sleep apnea, which means you’re waking up throughout the night and not getting a quality deep sleep. Dr. Chang says the average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and teenagers need a little more.
3.) You use a cellphone before bed. That's no myth, Dr. Chang explained. The blue light of your cellphone can wake up sensors in your body that are supposed be shutting down. The proximity of the cell phone to your face makes it worse.
4.) You sleep in on the weekends. Your body prefers a consistent sleep clock – going down and waking up within the same 45-minute range. Dr. Chang said maintaining a consistent sleep pattern is a major key to healthy sleep.
“People may feel crummy when they sleep in on the weekends," Dr. Chang said. "You end up more tired than if you wake up normally. Now your schedule is out of whack because you’re waking up later than your body clock is used to.”
5.) You have restless leg syndrome or insomnia. Dr. Chang said there are roughly 100 disorders that may affect your sleep, and they often go undiagnosed.
“Research indicates there can be issues with immune system, cardiovascular, all over time with chronic sleep deprivation and quality over your sleep," Dr. Chang said.
He suggests if you're in a constant state of exhaustion, get checked out. It's normal to be tired sometimes, but help may be just a doctor's visit away.