Mind, Body, Soul Monday: The Sleep Clinic

SHREVEPORT, La. - "The average person needs between seven and nine hours [of sleep]. We start with seven if they're having problems," said Sleep Clinic Medical Director Dr. Nabil Moufarrej.

Dr. Moufarrej has dedicated most of his life to the study of sleep.

"If you don't have a foundation, you don't do well," he explained.

That's why he pioneered The Sleep Clinic, which offers the only all-service sleep health option in Northern Louisiana.

It's a place troubled sleepers can get help from start to finish.

Some patients start in one of The Sleep Clinic's several comfortable rooms, each equipped with a CPAP machine to monitor sleep.

Moufarrej says good sleep generally starts with good sleep hygiene.

And, it all starts with setting a certain wake time.

"If you're tired and you say 'I want to go to bed at eight o'clock because I'm tired, but I have to wake up at six...' you're staying in bed ten hours," he explained. "If you need seven, three of those hours are going to be tossing and turning."

From there, try to unwind without distraction.

"We are darkness deficient. We are downtime deficient. And, we carry a lot of worries with us," he said. "We are born with a biologic clock. Our biologic clock responds to sunlight. We know that we're supposed to wake up when the it is daylight...when the sun is up. And, we're supposed to sleep when it is dark."

But that's not the case for everyone, including Fox 33 News Good Day Anchor Karen Edwards.

With a wake time of 3 a.m., Edwards tries to get to sleep by 7 p.m. each evening.

For an overnight worker, Moufarrej might recommend a high tech option that emits artificial light, mimicking the sun.

"Sleep is three things," he revealed. "One of them is how much you sleep. But, it's also important how well you sleep. And it's even more important when you sleep."

Some sleep tips that may go without saying: 
- no heavy exercise
- no caffeine before bed
- no alcohol

And, you may want to rethink that bedtime, relaxing hot bath.

"Taking hot baths, which we always thought was nice and relaxing, increases your core body temperature. If you have a problem, you may have to eliminate that behavior," he said.

The bottom line: sleep is not optional.

"Even though it's been part of our society that functioning on less sleep is okay, your brain isn't set to be this way," he said. "We pay a price. In medical school, we paid a price. Our soldiers pay a price. Our drivers pay a price. And, it's not right."

To reach out to The Sleep Clinic, visit: www.sleepcliniconline.com

Or call: 318.797.1585


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