Sleepless in The Golden Isles
What is the correlation between sleep and obesity?
Obese patients often have breathing problems such as sleep apnea, which leads to a state of sleep deprivation making the patient too fatigued to exercise. Lack of exercise contributes to obesity, and according to research, a need for more insulin production to maintain glucose metabolism. Without sleep, the appetite tends to increase and patients tend to seek out sweet, high calorie foods.
Psychologically, the manifestations of fatigue/lack of sleep are similar and patients often turn to food to alleviate fatigue. Those patients who don’t exercise are less likely to get a good night’s sleep, which further aggravates their situation.
There is an inverse relationship between sleep and food: If you’re sleepy, food becomes your sleep. If you’re well rested, then you don’t have to eat unnecessary calories to make up for your lack of sleep, and when you’re rested, you’ll have the energy to do some exercise, which will curb your appetite and help you to sleep better!
Harold L. Kent, MD is owner of Georgia Coast Surgical Bariatric & General Surgery & Med Spa at 3226-F Hampton Avenue in Brunswick. 912-264-9724. Dr. Kent is Board-Certified with the American Board of Surgery. Georgiacoastsurgical.com, Facebook: Georgia Coast Surgical & Med Spa.
I wake up every night and then it’s hard to get back to sleep. What should I do?
First, check your lifestyle to see if there are things you are doing causing you to wake up. Very often drinking late in the evening causes the need to get up to go to the bathroom during the night. Over use of alcohol can actually wake you up. You may be sleepy, but when the alcohol wears off, you wake up!
Check your mattress, pillows and linens. Are they conducive for a good night’s rest? Lighting in your bedroom should be subdued. Got a lot on your mind? Perhaps something heavy weighing on you? Counting sheep does not always work.
1) Get on a schedule of going to bed at a reasonable time and setting your alarm early!
2) No TV or computer in bed; use low lighting.
3) Only water to drink after 8:00 pm.
4) Bedtime is quiet time. It is the perfect opportunity to pray, meditate, and or use self-hypnosis. (Self -hypnosis, Guided Imagery, Relaxation Therapy are offered at Coastal Hypnosis Center and you can easily learn how to use these powerful modalities yourself)
5) Consult your Primary Care Physician to make certain you do not suffer from a physical issue.
6) Keep a book by your bedside to read if you wake up, that usually helps you get sleepy.
Deborah Riner, C.Ht., is owner of Coastal Hypnosis Center, located at 1608 Reynolds St. in downtown Brunswick. 912-261-8906; www.coastalclinicalhypnosiscenter.com.
How does technology (phone, computer, television)
Technology, beginning with the advent of the electric light bulb, has done more damage (other than obesity) to healthy sleep than anything else in the last century. It contributes to inadequate sleep time, as well as delayed sleep onset, particularly in adolescents
Sleep eludes me. What can I do?
Limit caffeine to one cup in the morning. Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room. Stay out of the bedroom until you are ready to sleep. Avoid reading, eating, or watching TV in bed. See your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of depression, including poor appetite, feelings of sadness lasting longer than two weeks, difficulty concentrating, lack of enjoying activities that are usually enjoyable, and difficulty falling or staying asleep. Avoid alcohol before bed. It will induce sleepiness but can cause awakening later in the night. Avoid a very hot bath or shower immediately before bed. This can interfere with the natural fall in body temperature at sleep onset.
Does the time of day you eat affect sleeping?
Eating within two hours of bedtime can contribute to
stomach acid reflux episodes
I wake up still tired, what am I doing wrong?
Are you sleeping long enough? The average duration of sleep required to feel rested in an adult is around 7.5 hours, but some individuals require more. If you are spending enough time asleep, then you aren’t doing anything wrong, but you need to see your doctor, because you may have a sleep disorder contributing to non-restful sleep
How does napping affect nighttime sleep?
Napping can affect your ability to get to sleep promptly at bedtime. If insomnia is a problem, napping should be done before 1:30 p.m. and should not exceed 30 minutes.
C. David Sudduth, M.D., board-certified pulmonologist, Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Pulmonary Medicine, a strategic affiliate of Southeast Georgia Health System, and medical director of the Health System’s Sleep Management Centers on the Brunswick and Camden campuses
What is the best over the counter sleep aid, and should I take them if I can’t sleep?
Everyone has an opinion about sleep. So, with that said, the best person to ask is one’s own body. Melatonin is an over the counter natural sleep aid, which is actually a hormone produced for the brain to induce sleep and regulate sleep/wake cycles in all of us. Side effects from supplemental Melatonin would be at most, dreaming. It comes in various forms from capsule to dissolvable troches, as well as in varying strengths. Melatonin’s therapeutic use is controversial due to its production endogenously. However, if you find yourself awake and can’t get back to sleep, you may want to talk to your physician or pharmacist to see if it’s right for you.
Chris May is Registered Pharmacist and Owner of Seaside Pharmaceuticals, Inc., open five days a week at 1104 Fountain Park Circle in Brunswick. 912.554.8220 or www.seasiderx.com.