Sleep Deprivation in adults is more common than thought

MARQUETTE–On average, people aren’t getting the necessary amount of sleep each night. Are you a restless sleeper? It could be what you’re eating at night, what screen devices you’re looking at, and the stress of day to day work. Or it could be something more serious, like a sleep disorder such as apnea or narcolepsy.

UP Health System Marquette studies sleep disorders in their 2 sleep labs. Patients are monitored with 32 different sensors and systems including CPAP to analyze sleeping patterns. Jason Hausmann, the manager of the Sleep Labs, says 50 percent of patients in his lab end up being treated for sleep apnea.

“The majority of the patients that we have coming into our sleep lab are coming in for sleep apnea, said Sleep Lab Manager, Jason Hausmann. “We also do get some neurological disorders with people coming in for like narcolepsy, or REM behavior disorder, sleep walking, those types of things. So people that are coming into the sleep lab are usually highly suggestive of having something in general.”

Speaking of illnesses, not getting enough sleep each night can also weaken your immune system. Even for people who don’t have a disorder, getting a good night’s shut eye can be a nuisance.

“For people that have difficulties sleeping, have some insomnia, where it takes them awhile, improving your sleep hygiene, which is the timeframe you take before bed, can greatly improve your sleep. So, trying not to eat within a couple hours of bed, trying not to exercise, try not to do anything that involves a lot of bright lights – phones, electronic devices before bedtime can also interfere with the way you sleep.”

Hausmann explained that sleep occurs in four cycles, with us drifting into REM sleep 35 minutes in. So why is so difficult for many people to reach that stage compared to others? Hausmann says everyone is unique, and require different hours of sleep, especially when it comes to our busy work schedules.

“The number one cause of people not getting enough sleep, is just not dedicating enough time to get the sleep. So, typically they recommend getting between 7 and 8 hours for a typical adult individual. A lot of times, it’s just with our busy lives people aren’t having that amount of time to just try to sleep.”

So if you’re one of those people that toss and turn in bed every night, it might be a good idea to pay more attention to what you’re eating every night, what devices you’re using just before bed, and don’t worry too much about the day ahead.