What's keeping you up at night? - AmericaNowNews.com

What's keeping you up at night?

You might have insomnia and not even know it.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly half of us have some problem getting to sleep or staying asleep at night.

There are two things that keep our minds racing during the day which are keeping us from catching Z's at night: The economy and the influx of technology in our bedrooms is hindering our sleep.

Nearly all her life, Carrie Scott has had a hard time sleeping.

"I was sleepy all the time and always wanted to go to bed at 5:00 or 6:00 at night," Scott said.

She went to doctors, tried medication and even had sleep studies, but going to bed at night was still so frustrating.

"You're staring at the clock thinking, 'I have to get up and I have to do this or that.' You're thinking you have to sleep and it does not happen," Scott said.

What she experienced is what so many of us go through.

Insomnia can be something as simple as taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, waking up several times during the night for short or long periods of time, or waking up feeling un-refreshed.

At United Sleep Medicine in Charlotte, N. C. there are many new patients coming in the door.

"The economy, job stress, and life stress all impact sleep and when we see problems with the economy, we see more problems with sleep," said sleep physician Dr. Andrea Rinn.

Plus, we all have so much technology in our bedrooms with the computers, televisions and cell phones.  It's causing what some people call "Junk Sleep."

"Anything with an electronic component can contribute to sleep disruption," said Dr. Rinn.

While many of us have no idea we've been interrupted by these things at night, we have only to look to the day to see if we have a problem. Anyone experiencing sleepiness, fatigue, concentration trouble or irritability might have sleep disruptions at night.

Scott says she sleeps better now because she has retrained her body and her sleep system. Two hours before bedtime, she starts slowing down.

At 8:00 the TV and computer are turned off and she does something relaxing, like put together a puzzle or take a hot shower.

Dr. Rinn even suggests a stress journal where you write your day's headaches down to get them off your chest before your head hits the pillow.

And all technology has to come out of the bedroom.

Dr. Rinn says most people who suffer from stress or technology-related sleep disorders don't have to go through a sleep study.  A simple discussion with an expert about ways to re-train your body could be all it takes.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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