Surprising tips on how to sleep better

Dr. Andrew Stiehm
Dr. Andrew Stiehm, Allina Health pulmonologist and sleep expert.

[Parade, November 6, 2019] Want to know how to sleep better? You’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Inaugural Sleep Health Index, 45 percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep has impacted their daily activities at least once in the past seven days. And in addition to affecting your performance on the job or in extracurricular activities, sleeping less than seven hours per night can contribute to everything from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and mental distress.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine deems a lack of sleep due to external noises “environmental sleep disorder” and suggests that it can cause everything from daytime sleepiness to irritability, sleep deprivation and mood swings. “Noises from other apartments, neighbors and street noise can cause you to wake multiple times throughout the night, meaning you’ll be missing out on the quality sleep we need,” says Dr. Andrew Stiehm, a sleep specialist at Allina Health’s United Lung and Sleep Clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota. He notes that “getting rid of outside noises can be tough, so consider using a sound machine or a fan to block out some of that noise.”

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