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BayCare Health System Sleep Disorder Centers Offer Help for Sleepless Nights
Date:6/9/2009

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 f
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SOURCE BayCare Health System
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