8 Hours Seem Like a Dream? A Good Night's Rest is Within Reach!
July 2023 Issue — Pink Prescriptions
8 Hours Seem Like a Dream?
A Good Night's Rest is Within Reach!
Most of us treasure that time of the night when we crawl into bed,
pull up the covers, turn off the lights and snooze into dreamland.
Unfortunately for some, bedtime is battling time. A full-on fight begins to try to get comfortable, stop tossing and turning, and finally doze off. For those who have trouble sleeping, bedtime can be dreadful, and morning even worse.
Sleep is imperative for good health. While sleeping, the body performs a number of repairing and maintaining processes that affect nearly every part of the body.
So, when your sleep becomes deprived, truly your whole body—and mind—suffer. Because of its importance, we had questions about sleep.
That’s why we asked the professionals to help us get a good night’s rest.
Mary Beth Donovan, ACNP-BC | Beaufort Memorial Hospital
Sometimes I’m physically tired but can’t fall asleep.
How is this possible?
Sometimes it is possible to be physically tired but still not be able to sleep. Hormone changes, anxiety, diet intake, poor sleep hygiene, napping, electronic devices, caffeine, and alcohol can all cause issues with sleep.
I always tell my patients to stop electronic devices one hour before bedtime and try to only sleep in your bed (not the sofa). Also helpful is a peaceful sleeping environment, which means a dark and quiet room. Exercising during the day, limiting caffeine after 3:00 PM, and watching alcohol consumption at night are all things that can help improve sleep. Serious medical conditions can also affect sleep, so if conservative measures do not help, it is always a good idea to be seen by your primary care provider.
Will a nap help me “catch up” on sleep
or just contribute to my insomnia?
A nap will not necessarily help you to "catch up" on sleep. However, a short nap is usually not a problem if you are feeling exhausted or didn't sleep well the night before. If you are suffering from chronic insomnia or poor-quality sleep, a nap can make these problems worse.
Instead of a nap, try a walk to give you some extra energy. I also suggest never napping after 3:00 in the afternoon. Usually sleep medication is the last thing I recommend, as there are many conservative ways to achieve a better sleep routine. If this has become a chronic issue, be sure to talk with your primary care provider.
Mary Beth Donovan, ACNP-BC, is a board-certified acute care nurse practitioner with Beaufort Memorial Primary Care. An experienced primary care provider, Donovan has been on the Beaufort Memorial medical staff since 2013.
Dr. Jeff Aita — Bluffton Family Chiropractic
How can chiropractic care
improve my sleep?
Chiropractic care can enhance your sleeping experience in several ways. The most obvious is that chiropractic is exceptionally effective at reducing neck and back pain which can ruin a good night sleep. Adjustments also help improve spinal range of motion that makes finding a comfortable sleep position easier. Chiropractors can also aid in your sleep experience by recommending a pillow that best fits your unique spine and advise you on the best position to sleep in to properly support your spine.
Most importantly, correction of the vertebral subluxations with a gentle adjustment removes interference to the nervous system, allowing your body’s innate, inborn intelligence to balance your nervous system, allowing for a more natural and relaxed sleep.
Dr. Jeff Aita has more than 40 years experience treating patients. He graduated with honors from Rutgers University with a B.S. in physiology and later graduated with his Doctor of Chiropractic in 1979 from National Chiropractic College. He is passionate about helping each person live to their fullest potential. Bluffton Family Chiropractic; 62 Bluffton Road, Suite 101; (843) 706-3472.
James F. Gigante, MD
I need help falling asleep. I struggle most nights
and don’t sleep well. Do I have insomnia?
Chronic insomnia can be debilitating. The causes are varied, including stress, poor sleep habits, eating too late at night, and traumatic events. Sleepless nights can result in new and escalating health issues, including, but not limited to, high blood pressure, mental health conditions, weight gain, chronic pain, and the prescribing of higher doses of medications you may already be on.
Your first line of defense against insomnia is good sleep habits: Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent, make sure you are regularly active, check if your medications may contribute to insomnia, limit caffeine and alcohol (don’t drink coffee after breakfast), avoid large meals and heavy drinking before bedtime, create a relaxing bedtime ritual, and only use your bedroom for sleep and sex (no tv).
If, after you speak with your doctor, you determine that you have insomnia, there are a number of things she or he will recommend. Cognitive behavioral therapy would be a first line of defense, but there are also prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids available. You should never take any sleep aid without consulting with your physician because there are risks associated with drug interactions, and some may have serious side effects. Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night, but if you experience a number of nights in a row, or if you consistently have more than one to two per month, you should talk to your doctor.
James F. Gigante, MD is a Board-Certified doctor of Internal Medicine and a fellow with the American College of Physicians. He has been practicing medicine for 25 years, the last 17 here in the Lowcountry. 843-681-2222;
35 Bill Fries Drive, Bldg. H, HHI.
Karma Gouin | Cloud 9 Dispensary & GloChella
Many people have used CBD to help with sleep,
but we have heard CBN is even better.
Can you tell us more?
Though CBD was discovered in the 1940s, there has been extensive research and numerous studies conducted over the last twenty years. By now almost everyone has heard of CBD, but CBN is newer to the marketplace. CBD is used as an overall general use of non-psychoactive cannabis, such as we use ibuprofen for a variety of aches and pains. However, when we have more specific symptoms, doctors will prescribe medications specific to those symptoms. Recent research has found there are 545 cannabinoids naturally present in the cannabis plant; CBD is just one of them. Many of the cannabinoids have beneficial properties now being linked to specific conditions. CBN is the cannabinoid specific to relaxation and sleep; it relaxes, aids in reducing anxiety and makes you sleepy. CBN is a little stronger than traditional CBD, though still non-psychoactive, it is symptom specific, and if sleep is the problem, it works better than CBD.
Karma Gouin is the owner of Cloud 9 Dispensary and GloChella by Cloud 9. She has been in the CBD/Cannabis industry for nine years on Hilton Head Island. She stays up-to-date on the latest research and legislation and has a passion to help her clients choose the best products based on their specific symptoms and needs. Cloud 9 Dispensary is located at Village Exchange, 32 Palmetto Bay Rd #14A · (843) 689-3244. GloChella is located at 2 North Forest Beach Dr., Unit 108, Beach Market.
• About 44% of men and 28% of women snore.
• According to estimates, 50 million to 70 million people in the U.S. have ongoing sleep disorders.
• Women are 40% more likely to have insomnia than men.
• Adults ages 18 to 64 need seven or more hours of sleep per night. Adults ages 65 or older need seven to eight hours.
• More than one-third of U.S. adults sleep less than seven hours per night, on average.
Source: Sleep Foundation; sleepfoundation.org