What’s Going Around: Creating healthy sleep habits

A local physician says insomnia and fatigue can be helped by establishing healthy sleep habits.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 9:53 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The days will continue to get longer for the next few months and it feels great to get out and enjoy the sunshine. However, late nights at the ballpark or sitting on your patio could be taking its toll on your sleep.

“I’m having a lot of patients who are struggling, adjusting to the time change,” said Cindy Griessel, a physician assistant with Mercy. “So people are outside later into the evenings and I feel like their sleep schedule has been a little bit disrupted.”

Griessel said there are several ways people struggle to get enough sleep.

“When you’re looking at insomnia, it can be people who have trouble falling asleep, it can be people who have trouble staying asleep, and it can also just be people who wake up not feeling rested,” said Griessel.

Griessel said we need to rethink how we approach sleep.

“First of all, I think we need to get away from thinking we need eight hours of sleep, everybody has a different sleep requirement,” said Griessel. “I think, sometimes, we have these unrealistic expectations like we should sleep eight hours and some patients do well on six hours while some patients need nine or ten hours.”

She said a few simple steps could set you up for success.

“I tell patients to try and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day,” said Griessel. “A cool room is always better than a warm room and darkness, which I know that sounds crazy because we’re sleeping at night, but anything to eliminate light. I also recommend my patients utilize caffeine in the morning but by afternoon, they’re on a water or caffeine-free drink at that point. It’s the same thing with alcohol, earlier in the evening rather than later.”

For kids, Griessel recommends that parents set healthy boundaries to encourage better sleep when technology can be a problem.

“I just feel like it’s a great practice to charge our devices in our main kitchen area,” said Griessel.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com