Sleep Disorders Part II: Prevention

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

Seventy-five percent of Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder. But "rest-assured" there is hope.

Ken McKenney works for the Sleep Disorders center at the Medical Center at Scottsville.

McKenney says: "First, you need a comfortable place to go to sleep. You need to need it dark. You need to use your bed for sleep and for sex only. No reading, no watching TV, no doing the bills."

The Medical Center at Scottsville works with people who suffer from sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy.

For people with sleep apnea McKenney says: "Weight maintenance is probably the most important thing."

They also help people who have problems getting to sleep. McKenney recommends picking out a temperature that is comfortable to begin with.

McKenney says: "You do not want to exercise vigorously before bedtime. You do not want to have a large meal. And you definitely don't want to have any type of caffeine after 4 p.m. 4 p.m. is the absolute latest."

He says alcohol is out too. Although a drink may make you sleepy initially, it can cause early awakenings once the alcohol wears off.

There are also new prescription medicines that can help the sleep-deprived.

McKenney says: "Ambien and Sonata are good sleep aids, as far as being used in the short-term period. For no more than four weeks."

McKenney says the medicines do not cause grogginess during the day.
But they are not recommended for long-term use.

There's also a surgery available for some people who suffer from sleep apnea. Doctors say many insurance companies cover the surgery and other forms of treatment for sleep disorders.

For more information visit www.sleepfoundation.org.


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