Alaska Sleep Education Center

What is the Role of a Primary Care Physician in Sleep Health?

Posted by Brian Roy on Mar 30, 2020 9:52:55 AM

Young man trying to sleep but looking frustrated.

Stress is something that has become very common nowadays. Everybody stresses out on something be it about the office, boss, education, household expenses, and many others that lead to several health issues. One such important issue is sleep deprivation.

People nowadays often come up with complaints that they are not having an adequate amount of rest, being insomniac, often mood swings, irritated about everything all day long, etc. As per expert primary care physicians, the reason behind such problems is stress, workload, lack of relaxation, and even emotional misbalance.

As per recent studies, more than one-third of adults are not having enough rest at night. Also, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) claims that insufficient sleep has become a "public health problem". Hence, there are a few steps taken by the primary care physicians regarding sleep health; they are:


  • Giving importance to this issue:

Physicians took the initiative to encourage the patients to discuss their routine with their doctors. And indulgence of several details such as the amount of time you sleep, type of your nap, etc. Depending on your answers, physicians prescribe you what is to be done and how you can recover your sleep health.

But not everyone is serious enough about the problems they are facing. They even have no idea about the after-effect they are going to have both mentally and physically. That is why the primary care physicians made it compulsory to have a detailed conversation on your nap routine and disorders routinely in accordance to stop the negligence.


  • The physicians strictly suggest a proper amount of sleep:

Primary care physicians strictly suggest having a fair nap for at least seven hours a day. And this is why they instruct you to go to bed as early as possible, schedule a bedtime alarm, and keep gadgets away from your bedroom. Physicians highly recommend making a habit of early sleeping so that you can enjoy an adequate amount of sleep, especially those with co-morbid chronic disease.

An insufficient nap not only makes you moody but also lacks your ability to work throughout the day and affects your focus. A good seven to eight hours of sleep keeps your body energetic, mind active, and keeps you fresh all day.

  • Make a proper sleep schedule:

Just reminding yourself to go to bed is not enough. That is why primary care physicians help you by providing a proper nap schedule. Few patients work in shifts and don't have straight eight to ten hours of work. For them, it might not be possible to have a continuous seven hours of sleep as they go to bed very late and wake up early. For such cases, a list of physicians is there, from where the patients may choose a doctor and ask him to prepare a sleep schedule based on their work routine.

The doctors suggest breaking the nap time as per their off time. For instance, if somebody cannot sleep for even six hours straight, they can sleep for five hours at night and then two hours during the afternoon during the break. This way, they can have a complete seven hours of sleep throughout the day.

But it is recommended only for those who have such issues with work. Otherwise, for college-going students or homemakers, it is suggested to have a straight seven-eight hour of complete power nap at night. Also, one must maintain that schedule regularly; it means you must follow the timetable and work as per it.


  • Suggest not to involve your body/ brain in any stimulating activities before sleeping:

Primary care physicians instruct the patients to say no to any stimulating activities before bedtime. Stimulating activities such as never exercise before bedtime, play brain games, or do anything activity at an intense level as these activities will put pressure on your mind and forces your mind to remain active that leads to a lack of sleep.

It is a matter of fact that as soon as you finish any work, you tend to think about that for a certain amount of time. Your brain doesn't allow you to take a rest or relax unless you are done with your thinking or tired of that. Hence, physicians say to avoid any such activity and try to relax yourself both mentally and physically before going to Woman stretching for better health.bed.

  • Proper meditation or exercise in the morning leads to a good night sleep:

Physicians suggest that as per the studies, it is seen that those who perform some meditation or exercise in the morning tend to have a good rest. And not only helps you to complete your sleep, but it also makes you feel fresh and active.

  • Neither keep your tummy full nor empty:

People today engage themselves in various types of diets, where they believe starving themselves is a healthy way to live. And there are also some people, get off to bed just after having their meal. Physicians do not allow such kinds of activities; according to them, patients are neither supposed to go to bed with an empty stomach nor with a full stomach.

One is suggested to have their meal two hours before their nap time. Otherwise, there are several repercussions that one may have to face if they disobey. One serious issue would be the lack of sleep. Your nap time will automatically reduce as you may starve after missing your meal or if the digestion is incomplete.


  • They strictly prohibit the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine:

Physicians say that another reason for insomnia could be the consumption of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol at night. Some people prefer a cup of coffee or alcohol-containing beverages at night after dinner.

But physicians completely put restrictions on such things, as the presence of caffeine in coffee prevents you from napping at night, and the same thing happens with nicotine and alcohol. So for a good night's sleep, it is important not to consume any such things that are restricted by your physician.

Therefore, the facts mentioned above are some of the initiatives taken and suggested by the primary care physicians to improve your sleep health. Apart from them, they also recommend napping in a perfect atmosphere with quite dark & agreeable temperatures. Even after following the steps, one may not be able to sleep, so the physicians straightly refer them to a sleep specialist to recover.

Why are so many people involved during a sleep study?

The reason you will speak to and see so many people during the course of your study is that each person is an expert in their field giving you the best care and attention.

If you live in Alaska and are looking for a quality sleep clinic to help you with your sleeping problems, you can schedule a free 10-minute phone call by clicking the link below. If you want to get a feel for the kind of services we provide and check us out in person click here for a list of our facilities and locations and read all about our board-certified sleep specialists and Medial Directors, too.

You can also download our free e-book on everything you need to know about sleep studies by clicking the link below.  

Sleep Studies ebook

Topics: sleep health, physicians

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