Q. I'm struggling to control my blood pressure, diabetes, and weight - what can I do?

by Nicole Blevins, RPSGT, Sleep Technologist

Like most Americans, you probably do not sleep the 7-9 hours each night that the National Sleep Foundation recommends. It is also safe to assume that you have, or know someone who has, one or more of the leading causes of death in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) including heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease (such as COPD), or diabetes; all of which are affected negatively by an undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorder.

According to the CDC, an estimated 50-70 million US adults have a sleep or wakefulness disorder. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012, several recent studies suggest that inadequate sleep reduces the body’s ability to respond to insulin, affects hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism leading to weight gain, and increases the patient’s risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

For those of us with an untreated sleep disorder, this could mean that much of our effort to control our blood sugar, blood pressure, and weight during the day is undone each and every night keeping us from reaching our goals. Not to mention all of that wasted time, money, and effort on medications and diets!

Inadequate and poor quality sleep no longer means just being tired and irritable the next day. It means you could be keeping yourself from successfully controlling your high blood pressure, diabetes, and weight. If you or someone you know is having difficulty sleeping, experiences daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, and has high blood pressure, diabetes, or is overweight, consider taking a few steps to promote healthy sleep and open a discussion with your healthcare provider.

For more information regarding sleep disorders, symptoms, screening, and treatment recommendations, visit www.woosterhospital.org and follow the links for the Sleep Disorders Center or call 330-263-8400 to speak with a registered sleep technologist.

Sleep Technologist