Studies show 75 percent of us have sleep problems more than once a week. 47-year-old Kerry Pauley knows all about that.
"When you can define your week as, 'I had a good week because I slept through one night out of 7,' that was a little disturbing," Pauley told ABC30
Bruce Thomas, M.D., says adults need seven to nine hours of rest each night. If you routinely miss that mark, you can boost your chances of obesity, substance abuse, and more.
"You'll have an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, increased risk of depression," Dr. Thomas, from BodyLogicMD, told ABC30.
The solution: pretty basic. First, cut out the booze before bed. While it's a sedative, alcohol prevents deep sleep. Second, watch the clock. If you're not snoozing 15 minutes after hitting the sack, get back up. Stressing over sleep can prevent it.
"It's like your head's packed with cotton, and everything is muted," Pauley said.
If you're like Pauley and want to try sleep aids, use them only as a last resort.
"The longer you take them [sleep aides], the more you develop dependence on them, the more side effects you can have and interactions you can have with other drugs," Dr. Thomas said.
Pauley boosted his vitamins and balanced his hormones, which are other natural options.
"The energy level was up, and I think the first person to pick up on a more bright disposition was my wife," Pauley said.
A new English study says women need about 20 minutes more sleep than men.
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