Sleep Issues
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Jun 26, 2013 - 3:40:19 PM

( - There is a reason it's called "beauty rest." Getting a good night's sleep is essential for good health and the ability to function at an optimal level during the day. Millions of Americans suffer from sleep disorders that can take a negative toll on other areas of their lives. Individuals who do not get the rest their body needs are more likely to have poor health and are so sleep deprived that daily tasks, like driving a motor vehicle, can become dangerous.

One way to ensure you will be well rested in the morning is to keep a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time is a good way to manage your body's sleep cycle. Getting the same amount of hours, but at varying times can be less restful. Plenty of exposure to natural light during the day can also help regulate the sleep-wake cycle. When it's time to sleep, keep the lights and noise level low.

A common mistake that many people make is watching TV, playing on the computer, or using other electronic devices before bed. These can stimulate the mind, rather than relax it. Turn them off 1 to 2 hours before its time to turn in for the night.

Trouble sleeping could mean more than not going to bed at a reasonable hour. Difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently throughout the night, trouble staying awake and feeling tired throughout the day are signs that there could be a problem. A common sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, narcolepsy, or restless sleep could be to blame. Medications or medical and psychiatric conditions could be an underlying cause.

The best way to get to the root of the issue is to visit a sleep center like the Michigan Sleep Center. Specialists and staff are able to monitor sleep patterns with technology that can help analyze what is going on during the night while a person sleeps. Prior to the sleep study, patients undergo a physical exam and are asked about their medical history. Over the course of the night a polysomnogram (PSG), an electronic recording device, will keep tract of the person's physical activity while they sleep. A PSG is used in cases of excessive daytime sleepiness, when sleep apnea is suspected, and to diagnose narcolepsy. In cases of narcolepsy, a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) will also be performed. MSLTs are done during the day time to measure a patient's tendency to fall asleep.

Depending on the diagnosis, a variety of lifestyle changes may be recommended. Weight loss, alcohol avoidance, quitting smoking, limiting caffeine, and taking naps are all things that can help make sleeping an easier process. If the diagnosis is sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system may be used. Surgical procedures are also sometimes an option for sleep apnea. People with narcolepsy may require medication.

Dr. Haitham Masri is a plastic surgeon, sleep specialist, and founder of the Michigan Sleep Lab. Call 1-866-487-3223 for more information on getting a good night's rest or visit him online at


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