Tired? You could have a sleep disorder. - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Tired? You could have a sleep disorder.

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For one in three working Americans, a good night's sleep is just a dream.

Many people are guilty of sleeping with the TV or radio on or sleeping on the couch.

Quincy Medical Group's Sleep Center Coordinator Twila Walter says a healthy sleep is hard or even impossible to come by with distractions like those.

She says most people don't believe it until they see their results in black and white.

Although it can greatly affect daily life.

"They don't have the focus that they normally do," said Walter. "They're not as sharp as they should be. They can make mistakes."

Mistakes that can also lead to death. And, she says, nodding off while waiting in traffic is something that many people report as a problem.

So if you're dragging through the day it could mean you just got to bed a little late.

Or Walter says you could have a serious problem.

"People who don't go to bed on time are just normally a little tired for a short period of time. Whereas people who have an actual sleep problem are sleepy all the time," said Walter.

Walter says people with sleep disorders are going to have trouble thinking and focusing.

She says it could even lead to other health issues like high blood pressure or heart problems.

Depression is another one that you might experience purely from a lack of sleep.

To get a good night's rest, she says you have to separate sleep and entertainment.

"Keep your distractions in the bedroom to a minimum," said Walter. "Reserve your bedroom for sleep. Don't have your bedroom for entertainment center to watch television or play video games. Don't bring your office into the bedroom with a computer."

Constant sounds like a fan or even nature recordings are fine, she says, and won't affect your sleep.

So what if you think you might have a real problem?

Walter says the first step is seeing your doctor. Tell them the problems you're having and ask if it could be caused by a sleep disorder. After that a doctor can get you in to see a sleep specialist.

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