clinical

Can’t Sleep? Sharing a psychiatrist’s advice

I feel sooooo much better when I get a decent night’s sleep. Doesn’t everyone?

But we’re experiencing an epidemic of chronic sleep deprivation. Chronic lack of sleep contributes to many medical problems from mood to metabolic disorders. Seriously, when I have a patient who is struggling with weight, if we also identify that they aren’t sleeping enough for some reason, I will suggest that we address that issue first. Yes, that’s right– lack of sleep can make you fat. (Why? many reasons, but one hypothesis is that sleep deprivation triggers cortisol release, the stress hormone that can cause carbohydrate cravings, among other things.)

So what can we do to improve sleep? If there’s a medical issue such as sleep apnea or restless legs, then the best thing is to see a sleep specialist. if you’re not sure, then see your own doctor.

Otherwise,  check out this helpful sleep article by psychiatrist Melissa Welby. She has a beautiful blog that covers psychiatric issues as well as overall well-being. Check it out!

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