Merck Manuals Shares Tips for Overcoming Sleep Disorders

KENILWORTH, NJ, March 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. Yet, as important as it is to our bodies and overall health, too many of us don’t get enough sleep, which can have a profound impact on our waking life.

In a new editorial on, Richard J. Schwabdoctor, University of Pennsylvania, Division of Sleep Medicine, breaks down the stages of sleep and what they mean for a good night’s rest. He also shares five strategies for overcoming sleep disorders.

1. Know how much sleep you need

The average adult needs six to ten hours of sleep per night. Determining where an individual falls on this spectrum is easier said than done. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you’re constantly using an alarm to wake you up, you’re probably not getting enough sleep.

2. Know when to see a doctor

Several conditions can impact the quality of sleep. The most common is Sleep Apnea. Other conditions can affect a person’s ability to fall asleep and the quality of their sleep. Insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness are common sleep-related problems with a wide range of causes, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome. A doctor can help manage these conditions and help eliminate the causes to improve sleep and rest.

3. Stick to a good bedtime routine

Changing your approach to sleep – also known as sleep hygiene – can be a huge benefit. There are several things you can do (or avoid) to better set yourself up for bedtime success.

  • Go to bed and wake up at around the same time every day, including weekends.
  • Read or take a bath before bed to relax and unwind.
  • Only drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages in the morning.
  • Exercise throughout the day, but avoid it within two hours of bedtime.

4. Avoid alcohol (and understand the impact of marijuana)

Alcohol is one of the main obstacles to good sleep. While this may help you fall asleep faster, it actually disrupts sleep cycles. It can also make sleep apnea and snoring worse. As marijuana and edibles become more popular, patients should be aware that they may suffer from insomnia if they stop after a period of chronic use.

5. Don’t rely too much on portable devices

Smartwatches and other devices often claim to monitor and provide information about sleep cycles and sleep quality. These devices are constantly improving and can provide a good baseline or a starting point for a conversation with a doctor. The data they provide should be taken with a grain of salt.

Read more in Dr. Schwab’s editorial, Fight insomnia: Five Ways to Overcome Sleep Disorders to

About Merck Manuals and MSD Manuals

First published in 1899 as a small reference work for physicians and pharmacists, The Merck Manual has grown in size and scope to become one of the world’s most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. As the Handbook has evolved, it has continually expanded the scope and depth of its offerings to reflect the mission of providing the best medical information to a wide range of users, including medical professionals and students. medicine, veterinarians and veterinary students and consumers. In 2015, The Manuals launched Global Medical Knowledge 2020, a global initiative with the goal of making the best current medical information available to up to three billion professionals and patients worldwide by 2020. The Manuals has achieved that goal, and today its information is available in more than 241 counties and in nearly a dozen languages. It pursues its ambitious mission through awareness, education and the creation of new reliable medical resources. To access thousands of medical topics with images, videos and an ever-expanding set of resources, visit Where and join us on social media:
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About Merck

For more than 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of United States and Canada, invented for life, providing medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s toughest diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patient and population health by improving access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten humans and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. in the world. For more information, visit and join us on Twitter, Facebook, instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn.

SOURCE The Merck Manuals