Correcting sleep problems - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Correcting sleep problems

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BOSTON (WHDH) -- When's the last time you could really remember the details of a dream you had - or, how about just waking up feeling rested?

For one in three working Americans, a good night's sleep is truly a dream but that lack of shut-eye can really take a toll.

It’s been three years since Billy Bertrand decided it was time to meet with a sleep doctor.

"Trouble sleeping, keeping people awake in the house,” said Bertrand.

Bertrand got to know his couch pretty well in those days removing himself from the bedroom because the impact his sleep problems were having on his wife and kids.

"I was actually asleep, but thinking I was awake and I could hear everything going around me,” said Bertrand.

Bertrand would wake up feeling exhausted and dread the eight hours a day he spent on the road as a salesman.

Doctor say sleep deprivation affects your weight, health, mood and productivity.

"They might not remember something they need to remember. Gradually your intellectual function deteriorates, your reaction time,” said Dr. Jana Kaimal.

A sleep test helped pinpoint Bertrand’s problems.

"You fall asleep and then they measure how many times you wake up in the middle of the night,” said Bertrand.

Within the first hour, Bertrand woke up over 30 times.

His diagnosis was two sleep disorders - something common in people consistently waking up feeling exhausted.

"Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep, but most of them are getting less than six hours of sleep,” Dr. Kaimal.

Doctors say where you sleep is very important.

"A well insulated, well ventilated, cool room is what you need,” said Dr. Kaimal.

A routine helps keep your sleep rhythm in check, as does exercise.

"Exercise is activity. Those are the things that fix your sleep-wake clock and if the clock is proper, you are likely to sleep better,” said Dr. Kaimal.

Bertrand has made changes to his routine and takes a daily medication to help him sleep soundly something that's changed his quality of life.

“It's just been a Godsend. All of the problems started disappearing,” said Bertrand.

Experts say limiting the use of digital devices before bed can also help you get to sleep faster.

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