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Monday, March 16, 2015

Sleepless in...America

We just can't get to sleep, and the scientific statistics prove it. This is not good news as those with poor sleep have much poorer health and a shorter life span as well. To try to over come this we take sleeping pills! At any given time millions of adults in the United States — or 8.6 million — report taking prescription sleeping aids, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rates are creeping towards 10% of those 80 and above taking sleep medicine, and it's mostly the women who are taking them. As a gyno I do not want the patients taking medication unless they need to, but what is more disturbing is that over 50% of adults report poor sleep, so we need to think about the things we can do to improve sleep. There is another culprit which is robbing us of sleep and that would be shift work. Those with shift that rotate or those that take night shifts have a lot worse sleep. Maybe its just living a in city that is the problem. Night time light exposure, even if you think it doesn't bother you, changes your body's melatonin production and gives us a distorted sleep cycle, which by the way it disrupts our eating patterns as well and has been linked to obesity. And poor sleep has been linked to worsening of all metabolism. There has even been a study linking increased risk of gestational diabetes to poor sleep.

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