You can’t drift off: Clean up your sleep
Your sleep habits reveal important signs about your health, so how do you know when you have a sleep problem? About one-third of adults suffer insomnia during their lifetime, explains Shanon Makekau, MD, the Chief of Pulmonology & Sleep at Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center; 10 to 15 percent suffer from chronic insomnia. Dr. Makekau points out that insomnia can range from trouble drifting off to waking up during the night and being unable to fall back asleep.
If this sounds like you, Dr. Makekau says certain medications or substances—from caffeine to nicotine—and stress could be preventing you from rest, among other issues. “Often insomnia will improve with simple changes in sleep hygiene along with overall regression of life stressors,” she says. “If you have an extended bout of insomnia that doesn’t go away after you change your habits, it’s important to talk to your physician because insomnia could be a sign of an underlying medical issue.” What is sleep hygiene? Check out this guide to “cleaning up” your sleep.