ST. LOUIS – A new study found that poor sleep quality may be a contributing factor to the development of mental disorders, obesity, heart problems, insulin management, cognitive performance and more. Loretta Colvin, a nurse practitioner at the Sleep Clinic in Fenton from SSM Health St. Clare Hospital, says getting a better quality of sleep can start with a visit to the sleep lab.
The study reveals that the relationship between sleep and mental health is strong.
“We are starting to build more research to support the effect on our immune system, on glucose metabolism, heart problems, but we also see effects to the brain and with memory and mood,” she said. “(The) worry is that over a prolonged period of time, we’re going to see more of these health problems develop.”
Colvin says the studies are focusing on those who are more impacted by a lack of quality sleep. She encourages people to make sure the environment they sleep in is conducive to quality sleep.
“Some of the simple things like making sure it’s cool, dark, quiet, and screen-free,” she said.
Colvin also says alcohol, nicotine, and activity before bedtime can interrupt quality sleep. She says just like when we’re children, adults benefit from the wind-down to relax before sleep.
Sleep studies are offered to diagnose sleep issues such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea. A good candidate for a sleep study is someone who snores, is sleepy during the day, has poor quality of sleep at night; and for those with health problems correlated with sleep apnea such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and A-Fib. Sleep studies do help patients realize their own issues during sleep, what happens to their breathing, brain function, and more so that they can achieve a better quality of sleep.
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