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What Keeps Men From Getting Enough Sleep?

From Dr. Scott Johnson, Sleep Disorders Specialist at Crossing Rivers Health Center for Specialty Care

Are you one of those men that have trouble staying awake at the wheel or rely on several cups of coffee to get you through the day? Getting a good night’s sleep is important for both physical health and mental well-being.

Most adults need 7 - 9 hours of high quality, uninterrupted sleep each night to feel alert and rested. For many men, sleep is just one more thing at the bottom of the list of all that needs to be done in a day.

Here are a few points for men to consider if they are not getting enough sleep:

Lack of Awareness: Many men simply don’t realize that they need more sleep. They view sleepiness as a positive sign that they must be working hard. They get used to being tired, and they think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Work Demands: A job can demand so much time that it doesn’t leave much room for sleep. The stress and pressure of a job can also affect sleep. Make sure when it’s time to sleep, the mind is at rest. Setting boundaries and protecting personal time may help.

Full Schedules: Many men have schedules that are filled up with much more than just work. They go to the gym for regular workouts, play sports or watch local teams in action, or work on projects around the house. Make sure sleep is at the top of the priority list.

Life Changes: Life is full of changes that can have a big impact on sleep. Negative changes tend to disturb sleep the most, however, positive changes also can bring stress and new duties. Both could lead to depression. Men are more likely than women to keep feelings of depression trapped inside and resist seeking medical help.

Parenting Demands: Little ones need attention and lots of care, and sometimes parents experience fragmented sleep. Go to bed when the children do.

Bad Habits: Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine can all affect sleep. Recommend avoiding these substances before bedtime and encourage a regular sleep schedule.

Sleep Disorders: Common sleep disorders that affect men include:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • Delayed sleep phase disorder
  • Shift work disorder
  • Inadequate sleep hygiene
  • Insufficient sleep syndrome, which includes both quantity and quality of sleep

My first step in helping people get good quality sleep is to complete an assessment of their sleep problems. To make an accurate diagnosis and create a treatment plan, sometimes an overnight sleep study is necessary. As a patient sleeps, brain waves, breathing, muscle activity, and eye movements are measured and recorded. The data is reviewed in detail to determine if the patient has a sleep disorder.

If you or someone you know struggles with sleep, contact the Center for Specialty Care and make an appointment to see me.

In 2016, Dr. Scott Johnson was named "Top Doc" by Madison Magazine. Dr. Johnson diagnoses and treats a full spectrum of sleep disorders via telehealth. To make an appointment, contact the Crossing Rivers Health Center for Specialty Care at 608.357.2525 or click the link below to complete the short form to request an appointment.

Request An Appointment