The Power of Zzzz’s

Photo by Logan Nolin

If you’re having a harder time sleeping with each passing year, you’re not alone. Dr. Ryan B. Moody, a pulmonologist with Southeast Lung Associates, describes Advance Sleep Phase Disorder as “one of the most common sleep disorders as we get older.” This circadian rhythm irregularity can wreak havoc on the body as it interferes with normal sleep patterns. Patients fall asleep early, usually between 6 and 9 p.m., and wake early, often between 2 and 5 a.m.

“This is a troublesome issue, as the world doesn’t function around this timeframe,” Dr. Moody explains. “Also, issues such as depression and anxiety, chronic pain such as arthritis and medication effects play a significant role.”

Adequate sleep is critical for brain development, memory consolidation and neuronal adaptation.

Sleep plays a vital part in supporting immune function, maintaining proper heart rhythm and regulating organs throughout the body. Adequate sleep is critical for brain development, memory consolidation and neuronal adaptation. During the deepest levels of sleep, the body releases growth hormones and repairs cellular damage.

So, how can you get a good night’s sleep without resorting to prescription sleep medication?

“There are natural remedies such as melatonin, which supplements your brain’s own melatonin production to help you fall asleep,” he advises. “However, if this is a recurring problem, you should see your doctor.”

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