The Mayo Clinic is talking sleep. In its most recent newsletter, the nonprofit organization gave some interesting and useful information about overcoming sleep troubles. Here at SleepBetter.org, we tend to avoid giving medical advice except when it’s written by our sleep expert, Dr. Lisa Shives. The Mayo Clinic, however, is quite qualified to distribute that type of advice. The nonprofit worldwide leader in healthcare, research, and education said that most of the underlying issues that cause sleep deprivation are treatable.
• Sleep disorders: Sleep-related leg cramps, obstructive sleep apnea, periodic leg and arm movements and restless legs syndrome can interfere with sleep. A Mayo Clinic study of aging adults found that more than half of 892 participants had signs of at least one sleep disorder other than insomnia.
• Pain: Difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep often are related to poor pain control for heartburn, arthritis, back pain and other health concerns.
• Nighttime urination: The urge to urinate is a common reason that older adults wake at night.
• Illness: Coughing, shortness of breath and even itching can disrupt sleep. Mental health conditions, such as depression, often are associated with sleep difficulties.
• Medications: Many medications can interfere with sleep. Some include nonprescription decongestants, pain relievers containing caffeine, some antidepressants and corticosteroids.
• Menopause: About half of the women in menopause report sleep difficulties such as hot flashes and night sweats.
In general, getting less than seven hours of sleep on a regular basis interferes with concentration, memory and making decisions. The Mayo Clinic advises, as we always do, that seeing a doctor is a good idea when sleep is elusive