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By NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health
For some, falling asleep or staying asleep is an exercise in frustration.
Many people have trouble sleeping at times. It’s normal to feel restless the night before a big trip, an intimidating test, or the first day on a new job.
Not sleeping much may not seem like a significant medical problem, but there’s a reason physicians stress the importance of slumber. When sleep is difficult night after night, it can lead to other health problems.
“A short-term lack of sleep may blunt your cognitive abilities, slow your reaction time or lead to difficulty with concentration,” said Mari Viola-Saltzman, DO, neurologist and sleep medicine specialist with NorthShore University HealthSystem. “Chronic insomnia can increase one’s risk for memory loss and dementia.”
In fact, sleep deprivation has been associated with the lack of clearance of certain proteins in the brain which are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
A lack of sleep is also associated with an increase in inflammatory markers in the blood which can lead to cardiovascular disease including stroke.
Of course, the amount of sleep needed varies between people, but generally adults need to sleep for at least seven hours per day.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try these six tips to get a good night’s sleep:
Talk with your doctor if you experience sleep problems such as snoring, daytime sleepiness or insomnia—especially if you are obese or have cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
There are various reasons people have trouble sleeping, and the first order of business is to figure out why. Once that is established, a specific treatment can be recommended by your primary care physician or a sleep specialist.
At NorthShore University HealthSystem, we understand that sleep is paramount to overall good health. Our Sleep Center offer state-of-the-art, comprehensive care for a variety of sleep disorders. Learn more.
Learn more about the NorthShore Neurological Institute.
Need a doctor? With hundreds of board-certified physicians to choose from, you’re likely to find the perfect doctor for you close by. Find a doctor at NorthShore University HealthSystem.