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Why Can't I Sleep?

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Why can't I sleep? If you frequently toss and turn instead of drifting off peacefully to dreamland, you're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, adults need seven hours or more of sleep each night for optimal health and well-being.

However, the CDC reports that a high percentage of people in Louisiana and Mississippi get less than those seven hours -- 35% to 38% of people in those states don't get enough sleep. 

According to one study, insomnia is a common but often neglected condition and can have long-term consequences and serious effects on your health.

In this episode of “Healthy State of Mind,'' Ochsner Health's Tracey Murry, PhD, and Kaitlyn Heckel, digital content specialist, discuss all things sleep and how your mind plays a significant role in your sleep quality. Be sure to watch until the end for a relaxing guided meditation.

Dr. Murry says quantity of sleep is important, but so is the quality of the sleep. A variety of factors can play into your sleep, including caffeine and alcohol consumption, the nicotine in cigarettes and dehydration. Try to avoid having caffeine after 2 p.m. if possible, she said, but definitely put a space of four hours between your last caffeinated beverage and bedtime. And make sure you're drinking enough water.

Bedroom environment is important, too, Dr. Murry said. including temperature. "Keep it cool!'' If you share a bed with someone, and they tend to get cold easily, negotiate with them and suggest additional blankets. 

Pet lovers, Dr. Murry also suggests not allowing your pets to sleep in bed with you because they can disturb your sleep. She also said having a child sleep in a bassinette or on a pallet is better than being in bed with you for the same reason.

Learn more about healthy sleeping habits in this episode of "Healthy State of Mind.''

Need to talk to a behavioral health specialist? Make an appointment for an in-person or virtual visit.

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