Are you getting enough sleep? Doctors offer tips for sound slumber

According to the NIH, 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – In less than two weeks, daylight saving times begins. The time change can impact sleep rhythms, especially for those that suffer from sleep disorders.

March is National Sleep Awareness Month, and the National Institute of Health (NIH) is pushing everyone to take another look at how much sleep time they get and try to get the most out of the down time.

According to the NIH, 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems. Dr. Stephen Crowe, with Crossroads Sleep Disorders in Boardman, said a full night’s rest should consist of eight hours of sleep but many fall short of that.

Michelle Chamberlin of Poland said she typically gets five to six hours of sleep. The same goes for Nicole Breger of New Middletown. Breger is the mother of two toddlers and says she rarely sleep through the night.

Crowe said the best way to get a good night’s sleep is to have good sleep hygiene, which is basically a bedtime ritual.  Some people watch TV or read. Chamberlain said for her, taking a hot bath does the trick, but Dr. Crowe said the temperature of the water could be undermining a good night’s sleep.

“The hot water messes with your body temperature makes sleep less likely,” Crowe said.

The biggest complaint patients have is feeling groggy during the day. Crowe said setting a bedtime and wake-up time is a good way to fix that. If you can’t make a fixed bedtime and feel restless at night, your diet may be the culprit.

“Caffeine stays in your body for 15 to 18 hours, so that evening cup of coffee might be affecting you at night,” Crowe said.

Crowe also suggests setting an alarm clock and when you wake up turn on the lights and open the blind.

Another good way to get moving in the morning is to take a lukewarm shower when you get up.

Another way to fall asleep is to eliminate the distractions in your room such as cell phones, tablets and pets, and give yourself about an hour to wind down before trying to fall asleep.