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Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: No app for that

sleepingDo you check your Facebook page and play Words with Friends before turning in at night? Maybe your phone moonlights as an alarm, drawing you from your slumber?

Living in a digital society has its perks. We can multitask, check our mail, read the paper and share our kids’ accomplishments at all hours. But when it comes to a good night’s sleep, there is no app for that.

“Sleep is not an option,” said Dr. Francis Dayrit, of Lexington Sleep Solutions. “The brain is like a lone shark, it will get sleep any way it can.”

Most people need eight hours of sleep, a number that fluctuates depending on the person. Quality is just as important as quantity. Today, smart phones and tablets that are set to alert the very moment anything happens constantly interrupt us. If these items are in our bedroom, surely they are disrupting our slumber.

Dr. Francis Dayrit

Dr. Francis Dayrit

“A person at 60 years old would have slept 20 years of their life and if they are not sleeping well then they have had 20 years of bad sleep. This has a major impact on the quality of life,” said Dr. Dayrit.

Some sleep issues are simple and can be remedied by making small changes to everyday habits. The physicians at Lexington Sleep Solutions are able to provide a more comprehensive evaluation for sleep issues that are multi-factorial, such as airway obstruction, breathing problems, drug side effects and interactions. Frequent waking, snoring, daytime or constant sleepiness and even the uncontrollable urge to move your legs may be a signs of an underlying sleep disorder.

While sleepiness and fatigue are the most common issues associated with poor sleep, the more severe side effects include hypertension, heart disease and even stroke. So what can we do to ensure proper rest on a nightly basis? “Humans are creatures of habit, sticking to a routine is critical,” said Dr. Dayrit.

It is more important to wake up at the same time each morning than to head to bed at the same time each night. We should listen to our brains when it says we are tired. When sleepiness is physiological, naps can be helpful. Naps should not be any longer than 15-30 minutes. Also, it helps to stay away from caffeine at least eight hours before bedtime.

As for all those staying plugged into the electronics that go “ping” in the night — keep TVs out of the bedroom, turn tablets off and charge phones in a place that is out of ears’ reach. This can help the quality of your sleep.

Getting to know Dr. Castro – Part 2

Dr. Fernando Castro

Dr. Fernando Castro

Lexington Medical Center is pleased to welcome Fernando X. Castro, MD, to the hospital’s network of care. He joins Bryan Wolf, MD, Janie “Kaki” Bruce, MD, and Bruce Goeckeritz, MD, at Lexington Rheumatology.

Dr. Castro is a board-certified rheumatologist who completed his residency as well as a rheumatology and immunology fellowship at the University of Missouri and Harry Truman VA Hospitals in Columbia, Mo.

We recently asked Dr. Castro about the cause, symptoms and treatment of osteoporosis.

LMC: What are the causes of osteoporosis?

Dr. Castro: Some osteoporosis risk factors are age, smoking and chronic conditions. In general, patients 40 years and older are more susceptible to the condition.

LMC: What symptoms will patients experience if they begin to develop osteoporosis?

Dr. Castro: Osteoporosis usually does not result in signs or symptoms until you fracture or break a bone. That’s why it’s important to educate patients and focus on prevention.

LMC: How is osteoporosis treated?

Dr. Castro: Once the condition is diagnosed, we try to treat patients with medication to maintain bone density and prevent fractures. It is more important to prevent the condition with calcium, vitamin D and weight-bearing exercises before there are problems.

Dr. Castro is accepting new patients.

To learn more about Dr. Castro and Lexington Rheumatology visit LexingtonRheumatology.com or call (803) 936-7410 to schedule an appointment.

Join us for the Colon Cancer Challenge!

Lexington Medical Center will hold its 5th annual Colon Cancer Challenge, a bike ride that raises awareness about colon cancer, on Saturday, March 29 in Irmo. Learn more about it – and colon cancer – in this interview on WIS-TV, featuring LMC VP of Community Relations Barbara Willm.

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