Your Wellness Depends on Rest: National Sleep Awareness Week

Your Wellness Depends on Rest: National Sleep Awareness Week

National Sleep Awareness Week™, which takes place March 5-11, is an annual public education and awareness campaign to promote the importance of sleep. The week begins with the announcement of the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll results and ends with the clock change to Daylight Saving Time, where Americans lose one hour of sleep.

The Foundation’s Sleep Care Center members host events in their local communities throughout the week, providing sleep education and screening to the public.

SignatureMD concierge doctors understand how important a good night’s sleep is to all patients, and have offered us seven sleep tips regarding myths and facts about that all-important shut-eye.

Snoring isn’t Harmful.

Although snoring may be harmless for most people, it can be a warning for a life threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea, especially if it is accompanied by severe daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea has pauses in breathing that prevent air from flowing into or out of a sleeping person’s airways. People with sleep apnea awaken frequently during the night gasping for breath. This can strain the heart and cardiovascular system, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Snoring on a frequent or regular basis has been directly associated with hypertension. Obesity and a large neck can contribute to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be treated; men and women who snore loudly should consult a physician immediately.

Sleep Cheating

Get the required seven to nine hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health and safety. When you skimp on sleep, you accumulate a sleep debt that can be difficult to balance out if it becomes too big. The resulting sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues in the home, on the job, and on the road.

Fight the Nodding Off

Car trips often have people nodding off while at the wheel, a scary notion for us all on the road. Turning up the radio, opening the window, or turning on the air conditioner are effective ways to stay awake when driving. If you’re feeling tired while driving, the best thing to do is to pull off the road in a safe rest area and take a nap for 15-45 minutes. Caffeinated beverages can help overcome drowsiness for a short period of time. However, it takes about 30 minutes before the effects are felt. The best prevention for drowsy driving is a good night’s sleep the night BEFORE the road trip.

Teens Need More

Teens need the most sleep. According to sleep experts, teens need at least 8.5 – 9.25 hours of sleep each night, compared to an average of seven to nine hours each night for most adults.

Their internal biological clocks also keep them awake later in the evening and keep them sleeping later in the morning. Try and lobby for your school district to begin classes later in the morning, when a teenager’s body wants to be asleep. As a result, many teens come to school too sleepy to learn, through no fault of their own.

Falling Asleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2002 Sleep in America poll, 58 percent of adults in this country reported at least one symptom of insomnia in the past year. When insomnia symptoms occur more than a few times a week and impact a person’s daytime functions, the symptoms should be discussed with a doctor or other health care provider. For anyone dealing with insomnia, this can have an impact on your day to day activity. Some decide to use cannabis strains similar to nuken strain to improve their quality of sleep and fight off insomnia symptoms. Being able to function is something that we all need to be able to do, or any day becomes a struggle. With this being said, there is always a solution. Considering you can use products such as CannaTradingCo tinctures to help with insomnia, it is worth a try. Soon enough, you’ll be able to have a good night’s sleep, as this is what you deserve!

Most experts agree that if you wake in the middle of the night and do not fall back asleep within 15-20 minutes, you should get out of bed, go to another room and engage in a relaxing activity such as listening to music or reading. Return to bed when you feel sleepy. Avoid watching the clock. The best medicine is proper diet and exercise, turning off stimulating TV and using your bed for sleep and sex only, not another home office or TV viewing room. Research has shown that most people don’t actually own a mattress that supports their body and usually makes it harder for people to get to bed. You should feel comfortable in bed, not fidgeting about to find a tolerable position. A new, high-quality mattress can be expensive though so make sure you visit first so you can save move on your purchase.

Daytime Sleepiness

Excessive daytime sleepiness means several things. Not getting enough nighttime sleep, suffering narcolepsy or sleep apnea. Not getting enough exercise and bad choices in diet. Research has also shown that insufficient sleep impairs the body’s ability to use insulin, which can lead to the onset of diabetes. More and more scientific studies are showing correlations between poor and insufficient sleep and disease. Examine your sleep patterns and consult with your SignatureMD concierge physician to see what could be the cause.

Brain Rest

The body rests during sleep; however, the brain remains active, gets “recharged,” and still controls many body functions including breathing. When we sleep, we typically drift between two sleep states, REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM, in 90-minute cycles. Non-REM sleep has four stages with distinct features, ranging from stage one drowsiness, when one can be easily awakened, to “deep sleep” stages three and four, when awakenings are more difficult and where the most positive and restorative effects of sleep occur.

Even in the deepest non-REM sleep, our minds can still process information. REM sleep is an active sleep where dreams occur, breathing and heart rate increase and become irregular, muscles relax and eyes move back and forth under the eyelids.


I. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sleep and Public Health
II. National Center on Sleep Disorders Research
III. NIH State-of-the-Science Conference Statement on Chronic Insomnia in Adults

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