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How Well Do You Sleep?

By JoAnn Mullen

Catalina Hall was packed for a talk on sleep disorders by resident Les Besser, who has experience with sleep
centers here in California and has had apnea for many years.

“Sleep disorders affect 70 million people in the U.S. alone,” stated Les.“Age, weight, and how you breathe can contribute to sleeping problems, which in turn can cause atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure.”

He continued, “Problems with lack of sleep affect our Circadian rhythm and deep sleep (REM) and can leave us with lower productivity, impaired memory, increased rate of accidents and difficulty concentrating.”

“Causes of sleep disorders can be discomfort, pain, stress, illness or drugs as well as changes in our schedules,” he explained.

“Going to bed and getting up at the same times regularly are prerequisites as are relaxing rituals that help one get to sleep. Deep belly breathing may help you relax and induce sleepiness. At least four hours before bedtime one should stop consuming alcohol and caffeine, and avoid strenuous exercise. Dim lights, a comfortable bed, quiet environment, darkness and cool temperature are optimal for a good sleep. Best to keep the television, computer or visible clock display out of your bedroom.”

“Get into bed, making sure you’ve addressed the above conditions. If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed! Read or listen to soft music for awhile then go back to bed,” stressed Les.

“Sleep apnea causes problems breathing and can wake a person several times during the night. A specialist can determine if you fall into this category and suggest recommendations for your particular condition. Not treating this condition reduces one’s quality of life and likely the length of one’s life,” stated Les.

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