"If you are experiencing problems sleeping," says Balkin, "Take charge of your own sleep. You should critically examine your bedtime routines and pre-sleep activities and make time to ensure your bedroom is conducive to your sleep comfort. You will spend approximately a third of your life in bed, so it's worth it to take time to make sure your bed and bedtime routine are right for you. If you continue having problems sleeping for more than a few weeks, it's advisable to speak with your healthcare professional."
Ethnic groups seek help for sleep problems differently.
When experiencing a specific sleep problem, Blacks/African-Americans say they are more likely to speak with their doctor (16%) or research online (10%) than to get recommendations from friends or family (4%).
"We are making progress with physicians and patients discussing sleep issues in regular office visits," says Cloud. "But we still have a lot of work to do to make sleep a routine part of every physician-patient interaction."
Adds David G. Davila, MD, Medical Director of the Baptist Health Sleep Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, "Sleep is a vital sign for overall health, therefore, discussing sleep problems should be an important part of health check ups for doctors and patients, especially since sleep disorders can affect many other medical conditions."
For the most comprehensive source of information on sleep health, visit the National Sleep Foundation's website, www.sleepfoundation.org. The website also provides a directory of sleep professionals and sleep centers in your community. You can also read the complete Summary of Findings and highlights from this year's Sleep in America poll and polls from prior years.
Healthy Sleep Advice
The National Sleep Foundation suggests the following