Lack of Sleep Can Leave You More than Feeling Tired

Primary Care Physicians Remind Patients That Sufficient Sleep Is Key for Chronic Disease Prevention

DAYTON, Ohio (March 5, 2012) – It’s no secret that sleep disorders and sleep deprivation can lead to tiredness and sluggishness throughout the day. But what some individuals may not understand is the direct impact sleep can have on a person’s overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression. Premier HealthNet physicians are reminding individuals that good sleep habits are not only essential to feeling awake and rested, but they also play a key role in preventing and managing chronic conditions.

“Too little sleep can impair your daily functioning as it can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue and poor work performance,” said Dr. Erin Mathews of Vandalia Medical Center. “Sleep deprivation can also lead to increased risk of accidents or personal injuries, such as car accidents and falls, as well as impaired memory function and compromised immunity.”

According to the CDC, sleep deprivation has actually been linked to chronic conditions including type 2 diabetes and obesity, as shorter sleep durations result in changes to an individual’s metabolism and blood sugar levels. The CDC also reports that people who suffer from sleep apnea may also be at increased risk for developing various cardiovascular diseases and conditions, including stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure. Individuals can do their part to ensure they’re getting sufficient and quality sleep by implementing a consistent sleep hygiene regimen. Taking these steps can help prevent the aforementioned development of chronic conditions.

Sleep hygiene is defined as the act of controlling behavioral and environmental factors which may affect sleep before to going to bed. Establishing a set sleep schedule, avoiding large meals and spicy foods before bedtime and ensuring the bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing and without other distractions such as TVs and other technologies are just a few of these healthy sleep habits. 

“Practicing good sleep hygiene should not only be a priority during the week, but those habits should also be maintained on the weekend,” said Dr. Mathews. “In order to get a good night’s sleep, I advise patients to put good sleep habits in place before reaching for medicine or sleep aids¬¬—good sleep habits can go a long way.”

Good sleep hygiene can’t guarantee a person won’t develop a sleep disorder, though. Symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness or easily falling asleep while reading a book or watching TV are common warning signs of a potential sleep disorder. If an individual is practicing good sleep hygiene but feels he or she still might have a sleep disorder, then a visit with a primary care physician is a good start toward addressing the issue.

Primary care physicians are the first stop for diagnosing and treating sleep problems and disorders. Physicians can advise patients on healthy habits or prescribe medication to address sleep problems. Sometimes, however, additional observation and expertise is required, so a patient might be referred to a sleep specialist. Miami Valley Hospital’s Sleep Center is one place in Southwest Ohio where referred patients can go for sleep disorder testing and treatment. Visit Miami Valley Hospital’s website,, for more information about the Sleep Center and the services it provides. To find a primary care physician in your area, visit

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