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March 7th 2016

We All Need Our Sleep Ngozi Osuagwu MD Keeping My Sisters Alive Healthy.

Recently someone asked me whether I still enjoyed delivering babies, I replied yes, I just wished that the babies would come between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. I really do not like those 2:00 am deliveries. Here is the issue, I love my sleep. Sleeping is just as important as eating and exercising. It is a vital part of life. Not getting enough sleep is associated with gaining weight, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. Poor sleep increases your risk of dying younger.

The CDC released a report on February 19, 2016 showing that one-third of adults in the US are not getting enough sleep.  Healthy sleep was lower in Blacks, American Indians/Alaska natives, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and multiracial individuals compared with Whites, Hispanics and Asians. This is a serious problem and has a significant impact on overall health.

National Sleep Awareness Week® is from March 6 through March 13. The National Sleep Foundation offers #7DAYS4BETTERSLEEP:

Day # 1 – Start the week by making time for the sleep your mind and body needs
Day # 2 – Leave a couple of hours between eating and going to bed
Day # 3 – Power down to recharge
Day # 4 – Make your bedroom all about sleep
Day # 5 – Create a bedtime ritual
Day #6 – Put your troubles aside and drift away
Day # 7 – Remember to account for Daylight Saving Time
If you are still having issues with your sleep, please talk with your health care provider. Women tend to have more sleep problems than men. Some of that is due to hormonal changes; however there may be other reasons. The three most common sleep disorders occurring in women but can also affect men are obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), restless leg syndrome, and insomnia. Please get evaluated if you have the following:

Always feeling sleepy during the daytime and falling asleep at inappropriate times during the day (ex. while driving)
Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both
Unrefreshing sleep
Uncomfortable feeling in the legs at bedtime
Dependent on using sleep aids for long periods of time
Your bed partner complaining of your sleep habits (ex. snoring)
Unable to sleep because of depression or anxiety
Once you get help and can get a good night sleep, I promise you it will be a life changing experience.

To know the average amount of hours of sleep that you, your loved one and your children need, please click here.

For those who work odd shifts, please click here for helpful tips on ways to get quality sleep.