Q: Who is in danger of not getting enough sleep?
Dr. Magid Katz: Anyone can be in danger of not getting enough sleep. There are many reasons for sleep deprivation. Too much work, crazy schedules, tending to children… with today’s busy schedules, people often do not make sleep a priority. What people do not realize is that by trying to gain more hours in a day, they are actually creating less productive and healthy hours. It is also important to note that even when enough time is set aside for sleep, not everyone may be getting the effective sleep needed. Sleep disorders, such as Sleep Apnea, can cause someone to have “mini-arousals” in which he or she wakes up multiple times an hour, sometimes every other minute, without knowing it. This is very exhausting on the body and does not allow the proper cycle of sleep needed for regeneration and repair. Despite having enough time for sleep, a person can be left tired and at risk for health consequences. One must set aside enough hours for sleep every night and make sure that the sleep itself is healthy and productive.
Q: Are there sleep disorders that are more common with women?
Dr. Magid Katz: Women are more likely than men to have insomnia and report daytime sleepiness. Among other causes, this can be related to hormone fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. Hormonal changes may also be associated with weight gain contributing to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which is a condition where the soft tissues of the mouth and throat block one’s airway and breathing for periods. An estimated 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, including one in four women over the age of 65. Younger women are not exempt from risk either. Medications, neck size, jaw position and shape, tongue level, and weight are only some of the factors that contribute to Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which can have serious health consequences over time.
Q: Why is sleep important?
Dr. Magid Katz: Sleep is a time for cell regeneration and memory consolidation. Sleep is important for your mental, physical, and emotional health. Sleep deprivation or poor quality of sleep can have immediate consequences, such as car accidents, and can contribute to chronic health problems. It can affect how you learn, think, work, and react to people. It is important to note that it is not just the amount of sleep that matters but the quality of sleep.
Q: How could getting more sleep improve someone's health?
Dr. Magid Katz: Allowing enough time for sleep and making sure it is healthy, productive sleep is important for your health. It will help keep you refreshed and alert. It can improve your memory, mood, and concentration and help combat depression and loss of libido. Did you know that getting more sleep could help you lose or control your weight as well? It does this by balancing the hormones that affect appetite, food choices and other body signals. Healthy sleep also helps keep blood sugar, blood pressure, and acid reflux under control. Getting enough productive sleep can decrease inflammation and the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as keep your immune system healthy.
Q: How can Westchester Moms get more sleep?
Dr. Magid Katz: Here are the top 10 ways Westchester Moms can achieve a better night’s sleep this holiday season:
- Keep bright electronics out of the bedroom. When phones have a bright light and continually light up while you are trying to sleep, it will disrupt your productive sleep.
- Don’t eat too much right before bed. Cutting out food, specifically sugar and dairy, is pretty simple to do and very important. A full stomach keeps your body working instead of sleeping.
- Don’t drink alcohol right before bed. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it will be an unproductive sleep and leave you tired in the morning.
- Make sleep a priority by keeping a consistent bedtime and wake schedule, including weekends. Create a sleep routine that will help your body adapt to knowing when it is time for sleep.
- Giving yourself enough time for sleep in the first place is key. Don’t think you can catch up on the weekends! Your body needs a certain amount of sleep per day, not in total.
- Check your bedroom temperature. The ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 68 degrees. Any less and you’ll be chilled. Any more and you’ll be hot.
- Don’t forget about exercise! Exercise is crucial in helping your body get a good night’s rest, but no sooner than two hours before going to bed.
- Get a sleep study. If you snore or gasp while sleeping and have difficulty controlling your blood pressure, reflux, or blood sugar you're a prime target for a sleep study. Sleep studies can be done in a lab or even in the comfort of your own home. You may have a sleep disorder and not know it!
- Partner Screening. If your partner can't sleep or keeps you awake due to loud snoring, get them screened, diagnosed, and treated so that you can not only sleep in quiet, but rest at ease.
- Don’t ignore your (or your spouses) sleep disorder! If you have a sleep disorder, make sure to seek treatment to help your body maintain the correct amount of sleep.
Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, D.M.D., lectures to dental societies about screening for Sleep Apnea and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. She practices general dentistry at Advanced Dentistry of Westchester in Harrison, NY where she also screens for and treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea. For more information visit www.adofw.com.
About Advanced Dentistry Of Westchester
Advanced Dentistry of Westchester offers patients of all ages the latest in dental care available in less than 1% of dental offices. Advanced Dentistry of Westchester is run by Dr. Kenneth Magid, D.D.S., FICD, and Dr. Sabrina Magid-Katz, D.M.D. The practice offers a variety of services including family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry and works with patients who suffer from sleep apnea. Advanced Dentistry of Westchester also offers technology that enables them to care for deaf and hard-of-hearing patients. Advanced Dentistry of Westchester is located at 163 Halstead Avenue, Harrison, NY. For more information call (914) 835-0542 or visit www.adofw.com.