EDUCATION & ADVOCACY
What are some of the most critical issues surrounding sleep today?
The major sleep health organizations in the US recognize that untreated sleep illness and chronic sleep loss have a cumulative impact on nearly every key public health indicator and increase the risk of physical and mental health problems, mortality, accidents, injuries, and disability.
What if I become drowsy while driving? Should I be concerned?
Yes! If you are too tired to drive, you become a safety risk not only to yourself but to others and to property owners. Sleep deprivation can be caused by lack of quality sleep, which can be caused by any number of problems: drug interactions, anxiety, sleep breathing disorders, movement disorders of sleep, even neurological disorders you might not even know you have. If you don’t address issues of sleep deprivation, you can not only find yourself at fault in a deadly vehicular crash, but in the long term, you could also be aggravating preexisting health conditions or setting into motion a host of new problems with obesity, heart disease, metabolic disorders, breathing concerns, cognitive problems, even mental health issues. Why put yourself at risk? Sleep disorders and deprivation are easily treated. It’s imperative to find out why you can’t sleep so that you can treat the underlying problems.
I can fall asleep but I can’t stay asleep.
I can’t fall asleep.
I fall asleep and stay asleep, but when I wake up, I’m still extremely tired.
These are all problems that point to an imbalance in your physical well being. When sleep is interrupted or no longer refreshes you, even when you have long periods of uninterrupted sleep, then it’s important to find out why. These kinds of sleep problems can lead to systemic, chronic health problems later. The good news is that once diagnosed, they are easily treated.
Who can I talk to about my sleep issues?
Your best bet is to talk to your primary care physician. Give them some details about how your sleep has worsened. Your doctor has many excellent screening tests for determining the best diagnostic procedures necessary to identify sleep disorders you might have and, once diagnosed, nearly every kind of sleep disorder is treatable.
What advocacy groups are actively promoting sleep health awareness?
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
American Sleep Apnea Association
Centers for Disease Control: Sleep and Sleep Disorders
National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project
National Sleep Foundation
WebMD: Sleep Disorders Health Center
March 2-9, 2014: National Sleep Awareness Week
March 8, 2014: Suddenly Sleepy Saturday
March 9, 2014 @ 2:00am: Daylight Saving Time begins (Spring Forward)
March 14, 2014: World Sleep Day
April 18, 2014: Sleep Apnea Awareness Day
October 2, 2014 @ 2:00am: Daylight Saving Time ends (Fall Back)
October 2-9, 2014: National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week