??Having been resident a few years ago, I can tell how poor sleep affects the body. There are many reasons why you can't sleep. But many things can help with poor sleep.

Being unable to sleep, also known as “insomnia,” affects one in five individuals - a very common problem.

The risk factors include medical illnesses, mental illnesses and stress.

We don’t know why, but it affects women more often and occurs more often in people over the age of 60.?There are different kinds of issues with sleep. Issues most commonly experienced is simply falling or staying asleep. Also if you have non-restorative sleep, where individuals wake up not feeling refreshed or having poor quality of sleep, then you have daytime fatigue and sleepiness during the day. If you have difficulty concentrating and remembering changes, or moodiness, irritability, anxiety or depression, it can stem from poor sleep. You might even experience reduced motivation and energy.?Doctors can help by ordering blood and urine tests to evaluate for liver or kidney issues, even for chemical imbalances such as low magnesium.

Keeping a sleep log to record your sleep habits and patterns over one to two weeks can help us detect which habits are bad.

Finally, we can order a sleep study, called a polysomnography, which is overnight test that can diagnose problems such as sleep apnea.?Insomnia can be treated with with medications. But it is important to use the bedroom for just sleep and intercourse. Having a TV in the bedroom is the first thing that makes sleep poor. Using relaxation techniques in bed helps as well.

Lunesta and Ambien are two of the most commonly used sleep agents. They are well tolerated. I do not use Ambien for patients older than 65, but Lunesta appears cleaner with fewer side effects.

Until next time, stay healthy!

Dr. Justus Turner Peters, a family physician, is board-certified in family medicine. His practice encompasses the care of infants, children and adults of all ages. Peters also conducts ongoing research in the areas of childhood obesity and lower extremity injuries. He serves as the county health authority.