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Jul 2, 2015

Healthy Living Puts to Rest Concerns about Sleepless Nights

If you suffer from insomnia you know all too well the devastating effects it can have on your body. There’s a difference though, between, having a rough couple of nights and chronic insomnia. So, if you’ve been having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep in the night, this next segment of Healthy Living may put to rest some of your concerns.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Sleep is a basic human need; it’s as important to the body as eating and drinking. More specifically, though, good quality sleep is essential for proper day to day functioning. This is why people who suffer from chronic insomnia can face serious health consequences. Internist, Doctor Daniel Godinez, explains what it means to be an insomniac.

 

Daniel Godinez

Dr. Daniel Godinez, Internist

“Insomnia is a sleep disorder and its is basically characterized by two things number one some patients have difficulty falling asleep or number two the patient have difficulty staying asleep and then when the patient wakes up the following morning he feel not rested he feels tired.

 

Losing a few nights of sleep here or there is very common. In fact, globally at least thirty percent of people have experienced acute insomnia but only six percent suffer from chronic insomnia.

 

Dr. Daniel Godinez

“Most if all of us at some point in our life mostly all of us will have a bit of problem with sleeping. It usually tend to be a very short lived thing. If you receive some bad news today you may not be able to sleep tonight, if you have some financial issues you may not be able to sleep at the end of the month.  But in general people think this is a normal situation and in a way it is if there is a situation that grants it. What is abnormal is the persistence of it and so some people just accept it and say well I just can’t sleep well probably its part of my life; but it’s not. There are many diseases and conditions that can lead to chronic insomnia perhaps the most common condition is a stressful life, but also other emotional disease like depression, anxiety psychiatric illness and also some physical conditions such as arthritis or any other condition that can cause pain or discomfort when the patient is about to go sleep. We also know that being unable to sleep properly can increase your weight, it can also increase our blood pressure, it can lead to diabetes. It can lead to coronary disease and an early death. And something that has been well established is the relationship between not sleeping well and traffic accidents, many people actually fall asleep while driving or they are not performing normally and they get into accidents.

 

With all the possible complications that can come from lack of sleep or lack of quality sleep, it is important to visit your doctor to investigate and treat the problem.

 

Dr. Daniel Godinez

“The first thing that we do is we have a lengthy interview with the person to find out reasons that could be causing the problem. We also go through a physical examination to see if there is anything that could indicate if there is a physical condition that may be causing the problem. There are not many tests that can you can do to say that a person is insomniac or not. Perhaps the most important tool is an interview. Once we go through that we can identify the cause of the insomnia we try to give the patient advice on how to improve their sleep habits.  Sleeping pills are not the first choice when it comes to treating insomnia. It is very important to identify the reasons why the patient develops it. There are many techniques to improve the sleeping habit without having to resort to tablets. We leave tablets as the last options because in the first place they tend to be addictive and patients can develop dependency on them. After taking them for a while they are not able to sleep normally without using them. There are techniques that psychologists and psychiatrists use to improve the sleeping habits and that include what we call cognitive therapy, relaxation techniques, analysis reasons as to why the person can’t sleep. Some have suggested exercise two or three hours before going to sleep. Eating light meals before going to sleep and stuff like that.

 

Developing good sleeping habits is essential; from your sleep environment to what to do & not to do before bed. Dr. Godinez admits that although this can be hard for some people; it is paramount to a healthy lifestyle.

 

Dr. Daniel Godinez

“I can tell you from personal experience as a physician working long hours into the night that after a while your sleeping pattern really change and in fact your health in general starts to become affected by it. Herbal substances and sleeping pills and such may help these persons but as long as they have these habits it’s going to cause them a lot of problems with their sleeping patterns. We have to start paying more attention to sleep in truth we do need rest. Your body needs to rest to recharge -so to speak – and we have all developed very poor sleeping habits.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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