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Sleep clinic manager: 1 in 3 adults don't get adequate sleep

SSM Sleep Health Clinic Manager Sara Peters says adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night on average. (FILE).

March is Sleep Health Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three adults don't get enough sleep.

In this week's Family First segment, KRCG 13 visited the SSM Health Sleep Clinic in Jefferson City. Sleep Clinic Manager Sara Peters said many people aren't getting enough sleep - and it's not just those who come into the sleep clinic for help. Peters said because modern society is focused primarily on achievement instead of rest, many underestimate the value of sleep. She said while success is important, chronic exhaustion can be a major drain on people's health.

When it comes to sleep, Peters said quality is just as important as quantity.

"You can sleep seven hours, but if you have an underlying sleeping disorder or disruptions that are affecting those seven hours of sleep, that's not equivalent to seven hours of good sleep," she said.

Peters said the first step toward better sleep is being aware of some of the typical symptoms of sleep disorders.

"If you snore, if you've witnessed apnea or gasping; if you wake up and you're tired; have an afternoon lull and can't keep your eyes open; find yourself drinking five, six, seven sodas, coffees, or energy drinks; experience memory fog; don't feel as crisp, those are all symptoms," she said.

Then, if your symptoms persist, she advised bringing up the issue with your doctor.

"We just really encourage patients to be proactive in their own health to say, 'Doctor, I'm really just not feeling rested. Or I shouldn't be this tired, or I want to play with my kids more. I'm falling asleep when I'm driving, or I'm falling asleep at work.' Those aren't common things, especially for 30, 40, 50-year-olds. We should be able to fulfill our daily activities without struggle," she said.

If your doctor determines that a lack of quality sleep is hurting your quality of life, Peters said that's where the sleep clinic can help.

"You know, we always like to say we can help you, and we can treat you without another medication. And it can make a huge impact on your life, your family, and your enjoyment," she said.

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