Sleep study experts say more than half of population is sleep deprived

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Do you sleep well at night? For many, that answer is no.

According to local sleep study experts, more than half of the population is sleep deprived.

For years, Lynne Waldron told News 2 she suffered from sleep deprivation.

“I just knew I was starting to feel tired in the mornings after six or seven hours of sleep. I didn’t feel like I was getting rejuvenating sleep,” she recalled.

Waldron said she eventually enrolled in a sleep study program at Centennial Medical Center to get to the root of the problem.

Annette Henneman runs the sleep disorder facility.

She said 57 percent of the population isn’t getting good sleep, which is a major problem for many reasons.

“Sleep impacts our ability to function, our ability to have cognitive recall, our temperament, our energy level, diet [and] our weight. Everything is influenced by how well we sleep,” Henneman explained.

Henneman said getting good sleep is within a person’s control and offered some suggestions including, turning off electronic devices, including iPads, computers and cell phones two hours before you want to go to sleep.

“In order to look at a device like a computer or a cell phone, or an iPad, your retina has to open at its widest capacity which activates your wake system. Completely full blown activates your wake system,” said Henneman.

Another tip Henneman offered is to develop a good sleep routine and follow it every night.

“Something that is in the routine tells your brain that it’s time to go to sleep. Whether it is a warm bath before you go to sleep or maybe reading in your bed,” she said.

Watching what you eat also plays a role in sleeping well.

“Proteins inhibit sleep, carbohydrates enhance sleep,” explained Henneman.

The sleep study expert also suggests no television in the bedroom.

“The bedroom should be used for sleep only and that’s what you need to do,” she said, adding, the temperature of your bedroom is also important.

“If you keep the room at 65 degrees, you’ll be able to have a more consistent sleep pattern,” she said.

Henneman also said sleep aids should not be used more than two weeks and that power naps can help a person feel rejuvenated, but they should not last any more than 45 minutes.

Waldron said since completing her sleep study her life has changed dramatically.

“I have a lot of energy. I have nieces and nephews. They come over and ride horses with me and so now I’m the cool aunt. I’m going out and we’re going and doing things,” said Waldron.

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