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BATON ROUGE, LA – It’s something we all love to do, catching some “z’s,” but as a lot of us have heard, if you don’t get enough sleep, it could be detrimental to your health. For this week’s Women’s Wellness, we caught up with Dr. Rachel Gruner of the Baton Rouge Clinic to get some tips on your sleep health.

“If we can wake up, go to work and feel refreshed, alert, even in the most boring or monotonous situations, then usually you have had enough sleep during the night,” said Dr. Gruner.

So how much sleep do you actually need? Dr. Gruner is an internist. She said both women and men have similar sleep needs, but it all depends.

“The ideal in the adult population is about seven to nine hours. As we grow older, greater than the 65-year-old population, sometimes we can get away with less,” explained Dr. Gruner. “Again, it just depends on that alertness, and how we feel throughout the day.”

Dr. Gruner said there are a couple of different factors to make sure you’re getting a good night’s rest, including your environment.

“Decrease the ambient light as best as you can because you don’t want a lot of light that’s going to come into the
room, and stimulate us, just like at television,” said Dr. Gruner. “The bedroom is for sleeping and not for eating. It is not for watching TV. It is not for listening to our radio. All of these things will interfere with our sleep.”

What can happen if we don’t get good sleep?

“There is an increased risk for hypertension. There is increased risk for cardiovascular disease, such as stroke and heart attack,” said Dr. Gruner. “There is depression and anxiety that we can also have related to not getting enough sleep.”

There is such a thing as getting too much sleep.

“Oversleeping can be an issue. We also want to look for other reasons. Is it a true quality sleep? Are we oversleeping because we’re depressed? Do we need to approach the fatigue from a more of a cognitive behavioral stand point,” concluded Dr. Gruner.

Dr. Gruner also suggests exercising no later than three hours before you hit the sheets, and don’t drink excessive alcohol or caffeine.

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