STUDY: More Americans feel sleep deprived, more than half go unt - FOX34 Lubbock

STUDY: More Americans feel sleep deprived, more than half go untreated

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Narcolepsy affects 200,000 Americans. It's a feeling of excessive sleepiness, even if you feel well rested. 

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder involving irregular patterns in deep sleep. It can start as early as 12-years-old, but many go untreated. 

"The problem is the average diagnosis is about 23 years old," Christopher Rose, M.D., said. 

Dr. Rose is the Director of Covenant Health's Sleep Labs. He said symptoms can include excessive sleepiness, disrupted sleep, weakness and loss of muscle control. 

It's treatable with medication. Dr. Rose said those with a family history are more at risk to develop narcolepsy. Despite a number of American that are diagnosed, a majority are sleep deprived. 

"Probably the most common is people not getting enough sleep at night. The average sleep for an American is about six to seven hours, when most Americans need seven to eight," Dr. Rose said. 

He suggests developing a consistent sleep pattern, avoiding caffeine during the day and turning off electronics before bed. 

Chronic sleep deprivation may lead to long-term health problems. Dr. Rose advises following up with a sleep physician. 

"If we can just get people to get an appropriate amount of sleep and kind of make it a priority in our life to get enough sleep," he said, "then a lot of things would change."

 

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