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Get Better Sleep for Better Health

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“Regular, refreshing sleep is essential to good health,” said Michael Stout, lead sleep technologist at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. “Without it, you can be at increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.”

If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, you are not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, close to one-quarter of Americans report having trouble sleeping, with people ages 65 and older experiencing insomnia at an even greater rate. Some things that can lead to sleep problems include poor stress management, poor sleep routines, menopause, certain medications — including sleeping pills — and even a change in the weather. For some people, a serious medical condition is to blame.

If you have concerns about your sleep health, ask your primary care provider. They can review your over-the-counter medications and prescriptions to see if any of them are contributing to your sleeplessness. If so, they may be able to adjust your dose or the time of day you are taking the medicine.

Visit samhealth.org/Sleep for more information — but don’t do this right before going to bed! Studies show that the bright light of a computer screen may alter the body’s normal sleep-wake cycle.

See a video about the impact various colors of light may have on your ability to sleep well.