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    Have Trouble Sleeping During Hot Summer Nights?

    Develop a Healthy Sleep Pattern and Find Your ZZZ’s in the Heat

    Sacramento, Calif., July 8, 2011 - It’s no surprise that good sleep is essential to overall health and well-being. But around 40 million people every year struggle with getting a solid night’s sleep. Experts in the not-for-profit Sutter Health network say the summer heat may be only one factor that may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, as sleep loss may also be attributed to metabolic, psychological or physiological factors.

    According to Sacramento sleep expert Lydia Wytrzes, M.D., a neurologist and director of Sutter Sleep Disorders Center, among women, perimenopausal/menopausal age range is the most likely time for sleep disorders to occur. In fact, she says that 50 percent of women going through menopause report sleep difficulties.

    "By mid-life, women face a culmination of issues that affect sleep," said Dr. Wytrzes. Sutter Health believes the key is to identify which of those factors are at play and then methodically work to address them.

    Sleep Loss May Be Due To:

    • Hormones
      – Estrogen loss affects sleep. Rapid hormone fluctuations beginning as early as the late 30s can disrupt sleep before signs of menopause or perimenopause occur.
    • Mental Health
      – Depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions can affect the quality of sleep.
    • Lifestyle
      – Busy schedules can make it difficult to maintain healthy eating, exercise and relaxation habits. Increased reliance on caffeine and alcohol coupled with the stress of everyday life can influence the ability to get a deep, restful sleep.
    • Additional Health Issues
      – Other health conditions such as mid-life weight gain, obesity, thyroid imbalances, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome may lead to sleep loss.
    Talk to your doctor if sleep loss is significantly affecting your typical daytime routines – for example, you’re unusually irritable, have memory loss, fall asleep during the day or experience an overall lack of energy on a regular basis.

    "The good news is that there is almost always something that can be done to improve sleep," says Wytrzes.

    According to Wytrzes, most people can significantly improve their sleep by trying several recommended tips for a good night's sleep for at least one month. She also recommends keeping a sleep log, noting the hours of sleep, the number of wakings, time of wakings and any other information that may be of note. If after six weeks sleep problems persist, visit your primary care physician. Be sure to bring the sleep log as a helpful starting place.

    How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep During the Summer Heat:
    • Change your Bedding
      – Replace heavy bedding with light colored or white cotton or satin sheets and pillowcases
    • Wear light, comfortable clothing to bed
      – T-shirts and lightweight shorts may do the trick
    • Circulate the Air with a Fan or Open Windows
      – Give the air conditioner a break and circulate the cool night’s air through open windows and fans
    • Hydrate
      – Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and cool while you sleep
    Find a Sleep Center Nearby
    Should I Participate in a Sleep Study?
    Meet Sutter Health’s Team of Sleep Specialists
    Learn about Restless Leg Syndrome [VIDEO]
    Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

    About Sutter Health
    Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.

    For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health network, please visit: | | |

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    (916) 286-6695