Have you ever gotten out of bed after staying up late and felt like you functioned at 50 percent? Even when we don’t consume alcohol, a late night can make our physical and mental processes feel as if we did. That’s because burning the midnight oil disrupts our normal sleep pattern, and may compromise our overall well-being. Although sleeping in after a late night can make us feel less sleepy, it may not remove that lethargic feeling that makes us yawn and crave an afternoon nap. But is having healthy a sleep pattern as simple as going to bed early and getting up with the sun?
Different People Have Different Healthy Sleep Patterns
Despite the perception that going to bed early defines healthy sleep patterns, sleep medicine specialists say that keeping a regular sleep/wake schedule weekdays and weekends can strengthen your circadian rhythm, or body clock, which leads to better quality sleep. Sleep patterns can change over time due to changing brain chemicals, and can also be affected by external factors, such as diet, exercise schedules, and medications, as well as by noise and light. In most cases, people don’t seek help for poor sleep patterns unless their sleep/wake cycle compromises their work and relationships. Scheduling an appointment with a board-certified sleep medicine physician can pay dividends in increased energy and alertness, as they can provide helpful information on how to create and keep a healthy sleep/wake schedule.
From light therapy to sleep medications, the remedies for dealing with poor sleep and the problems it creates are numerous. But the best place to start is an accredited sleep medicine clinic, where specially trained sleep medicine physicians can monitor your sleep’s internal and external character with a Polysomnography, or overnight sleep test. Prior to making an appointment at a sleep clinic, most who suffer from poor sleep have tried over the counter medicines and medications without success. If this describes your situation, visiting a sleep clinic could be the answer to a more wakeful tomorrow.