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BayCare Health System Sleep Disorder Centers Offer Help for Sleepless Nights

Economy is blamed for increase in Insomnia

CLEARWATER, Fla., June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sleepless nights for more Americans are being attributed to fears about the recession. A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation determined that nearly 1/3 of Americans are losing sleep because they are worried about loss of income and declining 401K's and IRAs.

Lisa Whims-Squires D. O. is the Medical Director of the Sleep Disorder Centers at Morton Plant Mease Health Care, a member of BayCare Health System. She has seen an increase in her patient load as well as additional sleep disorders from current patients. "My patients are complaining that they can't seem to relax and wind down when they go to bed. They are worried about the state of our economy and how it's affecting them."

Dr. Whims-Squires says her older patients and people nearing retirement are having the most difficult time. "My younger patients seem to be managing much better. But the retirees and near retirees are really having a tough time. They are facing foreclosure, they mention feelings of guilt, and some of them are exhibiting signs of depression," says Dr. Whims-Squires.

Although there are more than 100 kinds of sleep disorders, Dr. Whims-Squires says this particular type is known as insomnia. "People are ruminating, or fretting about their financial situation. They build up a conditional response to the bedroom and this perpetuates their inability to fall asleep," says Whims-Squires. Lack of sleep can affect people's quality of life by causing irritability, memory loss, impotence and general inability to perform well at school or work. It can also affect the immune system, and cause depression.

Dr. Whims-Squires offers her patients methods to help combat the disorder:

  • Listen to relaxation tapes or meditate before bedtime
  • Count backwards from 100 by threes
  • Exercise more but not within three hours of sleep time
  • Restrict caffeine eight hours before sleep
  • Keep a regular sleep and wake up schedule
  • Only use the bedroom for sleep and relations (no computer, television)
  • No computer use within two hours of bedtime

Dr. Whims-Squires also suggests that, if you do not fall asleep within 20 to 30 minutes, get up and listen to music, read or watch television in a dimly lit room. If the condition persists, the sufferer should consider seeking counseling.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is the largest community-based health system in the region, providing expert medical care for a patient's lifetime. Composed of hospitals and numerous affiliated services, the system connects patients to a complete range of services throughout the Tampa Bay area. Together, BayCare organizations seek to advance the health of their patients and their communities.

Member hospitals are Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Women's, St. Joseph's Hospital North (opening 2010) and South Florida Baptist. On the web:

    BayCare Health System Sleep Center Locations

    Bardmoor Medical Office Building
    8839 Bryan Dairy Road, Suite 210
    Largo, FL 33777
    (727) 734-6716

    Opening July 2009
    BayCare Outpatient Center
    12780 Race Track Road
    Tampa, FL 33626

    Mease Countryside Medical Arts Building
    1840 Mease Drive, Suite 120
    Safety Harbor, FL 34695
    (727) 734-6716

    Ptak Orthopaedic and Neuroscience Pavilion at Morton Plant Hospital
    430 Morton Plant Street, Suite 100
    Clearwater, FL 33756
    (727) 734-6716

    Morton Plant North Bay Hospital
    6600 Madison St.
    New Port Richey, FL 34652
    (727) 734-6716

    St. Anthony's Hospital
    Sleep Disorders Center
    1200 Seventh Ave., N.
    St. Petersburg, FL 33705
    (727) 820-7424

    St. Joseph's Hospital
    Neurodiagnostics Services and Sleep Disorders Center
    & Children's Sleep Disorders Center
    3001 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    Tampa, FL 33607
    (813) 870-4450

SOURCE BayCare Health System
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