CENTREVILLE - Sleep is a critical part of both our mental and physical health. If you’re like one of the millions of Americans suffering from sleep loss, we’re here to help you figure out the why and get you back on track. There’s no time like the present to be more mindful about your sleep, as March is Sleep Awareness Month.

“Your body needs sleep, just as it needs air and food to function at its best,” explained Scott Wampler, Senior Director of Ancillary Services at Touchette Regional Hospital. “During sleep your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. Your brain is able to create new thought connections and helps memory retention.

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“Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems won’t function normally,” Wampler added. “It can also dramatically lower your quality of life by not being able to perform or participate in normal activities.”

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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention nearly 70 million American adults are living with some type of sleep disorder.“Sleep testing and study is used to diagnose and treat a majority of sleep disorders including: sleep apnea, snoring, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, sleepwalking, narcolepsy, and hypersomnia depression,” notes Wampler. “If you’re experiencing one or more of these issues I’d start by talking with your primary care provider and see if you qualify for an at-home study or possibly need additional testing.”

In the meantime, some mindful habits to practice at home to increase your chance of getting some extra Zzzz’s would be: exercising earlier in the day, reducing blue light exposure at least 2 hours before bed, minimizing your food and drink intake 2-3 hours before bed, try to keep a regulated sleep schedule, and don’t lie in bed awake - get up and try a non-stimulating activity like reading, meditating, or listening to music to calm the mind.

At Touchette we offer clinical sleep testing and study capabilities to patients ages 18 and older in our Sleep Center. Our trained technicians will provide clinical sleep testing, through provider referrals, to uncover any sleep issues you may be having. Our goal is to improve patients’ quality of life through personal sleep care.

To learn more about our Sleep Center and the services Touchette offers, please visit: www.touchette.org/services/sleep-center.

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