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Show 1246: Getting the Sleep You Need Even in Anxious Times

Show 1246: Getting the Sleep You Need Even in Anxious Times

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It's harder to sleep well during anxious times, but more important than ever. Learn how to manage your own sleep and your children's.

Adequate sleep is essential to good health. That is not a news flash; your grandmother and great-grandmother knew it. It’s simply become more difficult to get the sleep you need in these anxious times. An ongoing pandemic and all the disruptions it has caused to work, school and other aspects of life could keep millions of people awake.

Getting the Sleep You Need in Anxious Times:

Although we can’t make the pandemic disappear overnight, we can learn ways to manage our reactions to it. The importance of physical activity–even though it may be hard when you are restricted to your home–can’t be overstated. But physical activity isn’t the only thing that matters for a good night’s sleep. So is social interaction, although it may have to take place by Skype, telephone or Zoom. Maintaining your normal routines through abnormal situations can help curb insomnia.

Sleep experts often advise good sleep hygiene. We ask our guests to explain what this means and how it can help you get the sleep you need despite the stress of the times. Putting your devices away before bedtime can make an important difference during the night.

Helping Children Sleep During Anxious Times:

Young children may need to learn bedtime routines and rituals. Sticking to these whenever possible can help them maintain a regular schedule and get enough sleep.

Sleep apnea is a common problem that disrupts sleep in adults. Are children susceptible? How can parents recognize if this problem is present, and what can they do about it? Learn how both youngsters and adults can overcome troubled sleep and stay healthy during these anxious times.

Steps to Better Sleep:

To learn more about preparing your bedroom for better sleep, you may want to read the article in the March 2021 issue of Consumer Reports. They rate mattresses, pillows and sheets, and recommend tactics ranging from weighted blankets to blackout shades on windows.

This Week's Guests:

Dr. Charlene Gamaldo is a Professor of Neurology and the Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep and Wellness.

Dr. Laura Sterni is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Director of the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Sleep Center. She is board certified in both pediatric pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine. Her clinical practice is focused on the diagnosis and management of sleep-disordered breathing and sleep problems in children and adolescents.

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