Don’t cut sleep short

ROCHESTER, Minn. – You may think a lack of sleep may only leave you tired the next day, but it can also lead to a lot worse.

Local and national doctors are calling our sleep habits a national epidemic. They say only about 60 percent of people are getting the proper amount of sleep, which they say is seven to nine hours a night for adults.

“Sleep is not a luxury, it is a requirement. It is certainly one of the three main pillars of health along with good diet and exercise, so I think everyone really needs to concentrate on not only eating well and exercising well, but on sleeping well,” said Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler with the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine.

Another problem is that there are about 12 to 18 million people who have untreated obstructive sleep apnea.

“Most people with obstructive sleep apnea snore. If you’re a person who snores habitually, and you’re having a difficult time getting sleep, or if you’re in one of the significant risk groups, like someone who has obesity, diabetes, or hypertension, you really should be evaluated,” Morgenthaler said.

He said sleep is about more than quantity. Make sure you are getting good quality sleep. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and even stressful situations before bed.

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