It’s no surprise that we all feel the need to get more sleep. However, for some people who feel tired all the time, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. If the urge to sleep during the day is overwhelming and irresistible, it may be excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).
Roughly 20 percent of Americans have EDS. It is one of the most common complaints people make to a sleep specialist and a symptom that can be seen in a variety of sleep disorders. Being able to recognize the difference between normal sleepiness and EDS is important to your health, but more than 60 percent of Americans find it difficult to do, according to a new survey of 3,000 people conducted by Jazz Pharmaceuticals.
“Occasionally feeling tired is normal,” says Dr. Raj Dasgupta, pulmonary and sleep specialist at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. “People with EDS have a hard time staying awake or alert during the day and may doze off during inappropriate times such as during meals, in the middle of a conversation or even when in a car stopped for a few minutes in traffic.”
EDS is a hallmark symptom of narcolepsy. Not everyone who has EDS has narcolepsy, but everyone who has narcolepsy has EDS. Narcolepsy affects approximately 1 in 2,000 Americans. It is a chronic neurological disorder in which the brain can’t control sleep-wake cycles normally. A narcolepsy diagnosis can be tricky because many disorders, such as depression, insomnia and sleep apnea, have some of the same symptoms. This may be why it is estimated that half of those with narcolepsy are undiagnosed.
Narcolepsy has five major symptoms, but you don’t need to experience them all to have it.
The survey also revealed that a majority of Americans don’t feel they know enough about sleep disorders. Less than 50 percent report being familiar with narcolepsy and only 70 percent report being familiar with sleep apnea. Approximately 60 percent of Americans said that they find it difficult to know when they need to talk to a doctor about daytime sleepiness.
Dasgupta adds, “If you’re having trouble staying awake during the day or experiencing other sleep-related problems, it may be time to talk to your doctor.”
When it comes to maintaining and/or improving your heart health, it's the little things you do day after day that can have a big impact on your immediate and long-term health.
A healthy diet and plenty of exercise are naturally the first things you think of when looking at ways to support your body's most important muscle, but to really make your heart health initiatives as effective as possible, you need long-term solutions, not quick fixes.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has long been at the forefront of heart healthy initiatives, and this year's Life is Why We Give (TM) campaign is drawing support from people and companies - like Pilot Flying J - all across the nation. In order to help you live a healthier life in 2018, follow these seven heart-healthy tips today.
1. Be careful of what you snack on between meals. High-fat and high-sugar snacks are popular, but ultimately unhealthy. Opt for fresh instead of processed and choose fresh fruits and vegetables for your snacks between meals.
2. Don't just drink the drink. Your beverage choices could add unnecessary fats and sugar to your diet, so choose low-sugar and no-sugar alternatives as well as low-fat milk or cream for your coffee. This way you'll avoid drinking empty calories.
3. Avoid ordering before-the-meal extras. Cocktails, appetizers, even bread and butter are all sources of extra fat, sodium and calories. Cut them out and your calorie intake will drop - and so will your bill.
4. On the side, please. Ask for butter, cream cheese, salad dressings, sauces and gravies to be served on the side when you dine out. This allows you to better control the quantity you consume.
5. Explore your options. When ordering fish or chicken, avoid fried whenever possible. Choose boiled, baked or grilled options instead for a healthier alternative.
6. Think small. Cutting back on portion sizes is a great place to start eating healthier, so don't be afraid to ask for a smaller serving when you dine out. If smaller portions aren't available, ask for a to-go box when you order and place the rest of your entrée in the box to eat later.
7. Make a healthy substitution. Often a healthier choice is available for nearly any dish. For example, if you order an item that naturally comes with French fries or onion rings, ask whether you can get a side of fruit or vegetables instead. It may cost you more, but the switch is certainly worth it.
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