America is a sleep-deprived nation. Most adults get 1 to 2 hours less sleep a night than their grandparents did. And the effects can be devastating in terms of automobile accidents, fractured relationships and poor work performance.
|Need more help?
If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
- Call your physician, health provider or clergy
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
Healthcare professionals now recognize that this is a bewilderingly complex issue. Often, the solution may not be obvious. There are now board-certified sleep specialists who can often provide guidance. For example, one sleep disorders clinic discovered that sleeping with a companion animal or pet was often a cause of an interrupted night's sleep. So, pills alone are not the answer.
Likewise, for the nighttime trip to the bathroom, there are many possible explanations. I'm reminded of a patient who was sleep deprived because of this issue and later found out that one of his bedtime snacks contained a bladder irritant.
It's ok to go it alone for a period of time, but when your health, job and relationships suffer, you need to get help. Don't be afraid to seek professional guidance to help you get the restorative sleep you need to function and flourish.
Follow me on Twitter at @EdwardCreagan. Join the discussion at #Stress.
Jul. 17, 2013