Disturbed Sleep and your Health

A recent  study found that many US adults may face sleep disturbances and undiagnosed sleep apnea — especially members of racial and ethnic minorities.

“Our findings underscore the very high prevalence of undiagnosed sleep disturbances in middle-aged and older adults, and identify racial/ethnic disparities that include differences in short sleep duration, sleep apnea and daytime sleepiness,” said lead study author Dr. Xiaoli Chen, research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, in a press release.

A man sleeping

A man sleeping

Dr. Chen and colleagues found that, out of 2,230 participants aged 54 to 93, 34 percent had moderate to severe sleep disordered breathing (sleep apnea). And 31 percent slept less than six hours each night.

Sleep apnea has been tied to high blood pressure and heart problems, as well as daytime sleepiness.

Patients having sleep problems should see a doctor. According to the National Sleep Foundation, patients can also stick to a set sleep schedule, practice a relaxing bedtime routine, exercise every day, and avoid alcohol and tobacco to improve their sleep.

This study was published June 18 in the journal Sleep.




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