January 23, 2015

Sleep Study

About 40 million people suffer from sleep disorders in the United States, and the biggest issue is something that may sound familiar, countless hours of tossing and turning, unable to drift off to sleep.

“The number one sleep disorder is insomnia, where people are having issues of falling asleep or staying asleep for at least a month and its affecting their daytime functioning, so a lot of people think its only issues falling asleep, no if you’re also having trouble staying asleep, that’s also considered insomnia,” said Kelly Gill, Doctor at Edward Sleep Center.

The magic number for the average person is 7 to 8 hours to feel well rested in the morning, but to get those hours, you may have to change your nightly habits.

“Avoid what we call screen time, meaning anything computer, iPads, iPhones, any of that stuff for at least an hour before bed. Try to relax, what we call don’t take worries to bed, so don’t just get into bed with your mind active and going try to develop a routine that lasts thirty to sixty minutes before you go to bed,” said Gill.

But if none of those seem to do the trick, it may be time to call in the experts. The Edward Hospital Sleep Center is the largest one of its kind in DuPage County and can help zero in on exactly what’s robbing you of a good night’s sleep.

Problems treated at the sleep center range from snoring to REM related behavior, which includes sleep walking, talking and even acting out dreams.

To get to the root of the problem, they start the diagnoses by attaching wires to your head, chin and chest that read the brain, eye and muscle activity and can detect the lack of chemicals that aid in healthy sleep.

“Our brain starts to secrete melatonin which is a natural substance that the brain secretes and it’s a signal to the brain to start the sleep process and that works directly on our biological clock on our brain that says this is time to go to bed and this it’s time to wake up,” said Gill.

But whatever your sleeping situation may be, there’s always the questions of naps, is it good or bad?

“For most people, for most healthy young adults, don’t nap, not a good idea, don’t do it. Why, especially if you have insomnia, or have any issues with sleeping at night, it can ruin your drive for sleeping at night,” said Gill.


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