Health experts share how sleep impacts your health

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:00 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - It’s the start of sleep awareness week and health professionals said it’s important to understand how sleep deprivation can impact your health.

Dr. Bill Cayley, Prevea Health family medicine, said not getting enough sleep can negatively impact your health.

“It can be hard on the heart. I can be part of the cognition and we know the people day to day who don’t sleep well are at high risk of fatigue, car crashes, poor work performance, and just overall generally don’t feel well,” Cayley said.

Many people are feeling the effects of daylight saving time, and while losing an hour of sleep may not seem like much Dr. Dylan Timberlake, Prevea Health allergist, said even small changed can put people at risk for fatigue, poor concentration, and emotional instability.

“Now you’re running off of one hour less of sleep. And so you’re really going to see a lot of those same effects from just even missing that one hour of sleep,” Timberlake said.

There are several factors that could be affecting your sleep, including sleeping environment and allergies.

“We know that people who have allergies are more likely to have sleep apnea,” Timberlake said.

As spring approaches, he suggests that people with pollen allergies should wash up before bed.

“When you come inside from being outside, changing your clothes, wiping off your hands, washing your face can be really helpful and then doing like a shower at nighttime to rinse all that pollen off so you’re not laying in it,” Timberlake said.

He also warns people to avoid medications that make them drowsy, such as Benadryl.

“Sometimes we fall in the trap of feeling like when I’m sedated from certain things that I’m getting good sleep. And we know that sedation and sleep aren’t the same thing. And so trying to avoid those things that can cause sedation close to bedtime can be helpful,” Timberlake said.

Cayley said having a routine bedtime can also improve sleep quality.

“You want to try to minimize stimulation in the last couple of hours before you before you go to sleep. Alcohol and caffeine late in the day are things to avoid because those can can disrupt your sleep,” Cayley said.

These doctors also want to remind everyone that getting eight hours of sleep each night is just as important as eating healthy and exercising regularly.