Dr. Donnica’s Top Tips for Better Sleep
Washington, DC, May 19, 2009 - The National Sleep Foundation announced today that, together with sanofi-aventis U.S., it has joined forces with renowned women's health expert Dr. Donnica Moore to debunk common myths and misperceptions about sleep. The partnership is part of an ongoing initiative, Sleeping Smart, which helps educate Americans about the importance of a good night's sleep. Additionally, the campaign motivates sufferers to talk to a healthcare professional to determine whether treatment is appropriate and to learn about the safe and appropriate use of prescription sleep medications.
"Considering the current economic environment-and numerous other stressors--many Americans are having trouble falling or staying asleep. People may think that their sleep problems aren't severe enough to talk to a healthcare professional," said Donnica Moore, MD, president, Sapphire Women's Health Group and founder of DrDonnica.com. "Yet, anyone who has been experiencing symptoms of insomnia for more than a month, or who finds that sleep problems are interfering with their daily life, should speak with a healthcare professional, especially before self-medicating."
As part of the Sleeping Smart campaign, Dr. Donnica debunks common sleep myths through a series of online videos available on the campaign Web site: www.sleepingsmart.org. The short videos incorporate KlickableTVTM technology to create an interactive user experience. Sleep sufferers can click through the videos to reveal additional tips and information to help them sleep smart. In one video, for example, Dr. Donnica encourages visitors to click around a bedroom to pinpoint common items that can hinder sleep. Additionally, the site provides facts about insomnia, additional tips for getting a good night's sleep and a discussion guide to help facilitate a conversation with a healthcare professional.
"Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise to our overall health and well-being," said David Cloud, CEO of The National Sleep Foundation. "Unfortunately, only 42 percent of Americans agree that sleep is the most important (25%) or at least equally important to diet and exercise (17%). Since there are so many misperceptions about sleep, our goal with this campaign is to set the record straight while educating people about the importance of a good night's sleep and motivate them to talk to a healthcare professional to determine if treatment is appropriate."
Insomnia can be a serious medical condition characterized by difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep (waking up often during the night and/or having trouble going back to sleep), waking up too early in the morning and feeling tired upon waking. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), approximately 30 million Americans are affected by chronic insomnia. Higher prevalence rates for insomnia are found in clinical practices, women, especially postmenopausal women, and the elderly.
Patients with chronic insomnia report higher rates of absenteeism and demonstrate poor work efficiency compared to normal sleepers. Insomnia can lead to stress and reduced productivity, and thus may be costly to the workplace.
Setting the Record Straight:
|Sleep is not important. People can get by on a few hours.
||Sleep is vital to our health and well-being, and is just as important as diet and exercise. Although individual needs may vary, adults typically need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
|Men and women are affected the same way by insomnia.
||Insomnia is nearly twice as common in women than in men, and women are more likely than men to report insomnia to their healthcare professional.
|Insomnia is not a serious medical condition and has no consequences
||Insomnia can be a serious medical condition characterized by difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep (waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep), waking up too early in the morning, or feeling tired upon waking. Some potential consequences of insomnia are decreased work performance, depression or mood changes and increased risk of automotive crashes.
|If I can't sleep, I can pick up something at the pharmacy. I don't need to see a healthcare professional. After all, over-the-counter (OTC) medications are safer than prescription sleep aids.
||OTCs may be appropriate, but it's smart to discuss any treatment options with your healthcare professional before you self-medicate.
|Prescription sleep aids are not safe and may be addictive or cause dependency.
||When taken as prescribed by a healthcare professional, sleep aids can safely and effectively treat insomnia. There is a lower risk for dependency and tolerance with the newer prescription sleep aids compared to traditional benzodiazopines.
|I can have alcohol or wine with my sleep aid - it will help me get to sleep faster
||Sleep medications should not be used with alcohol or other drugs. Sleep aids should also not be taken before driving or operating machinery, or before taking a bath or shower, among other things.
As with all medications, it is important to take sleep aids only as directed by a healthcare professional. This means following his or her instructions about how to take, when to take and how long to take sleep medicine. Sleep aids should not be taken with alcohol, before driving or operating machinery, or before taking a bath or shower, among other things. Be sure you're able to devote 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again.
Top Tips for Sleeping Smart
- Establish a regular bed and wake time
- Avoid nicotine altogether and avoid caffeine close to bedtime
- Avoid alcohol
- Exercise regularly (but complete the workout at least 3 hours before bedtime)
- Establish a regular relaxing "wind-down" bedtime routine
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable
- Discuss the appropriate way to take any sleep aid with a healthcare professional
For more information about Sleeping Smart and to view the interactive videos, click here.
For the complete list of Dr. Donnica's Top Tips for A Good Night's Sleep, click here.
Created: 5/14/2009  - Donnica Moore, M.D.