Tips from a sleep expert

SUNBURY— How important is a good night’s sleep to your overall health? Dr. Michael Marino, Geisinger Sleep Medicine Medical Director says sleep is as vital as consciousness, “Sleep is essential to the human condition. Without sleep our immune system would collapse in a few days, without sleep we would not have the normal changes in our endocrine system  producing different hormones. Sleep is vitally important I think it’s as much of the human condition as consciousness.”


Dr. Marino says six to nine hours of sleep a night is the average amount of sleep we need, and he says getting into REM sleep is crucial, “REM sleep where we have that dream sleep is where we clear away the debris around the brain cells  and its thought that if we don’t get enough REM sleep it may actually be a harbinger of Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias.”


Dr. Marino says a lack of good sleep will affect your immune system; it’s associated with depression and anxiety, and can increase your blood pressure.  If you find yourself not getting the sleep you need Dr. Marino has these tips:


  • Sleep in a dark comfortable room
  • Limit background noise like a TV of cellphone
  • If you can’t fall asleep get up and try again in 30 minutes
  • Natural sleep aides like Melatonin will help in small doses if taken 30 minutes before bedtime.


If you think you may have a longer term sleep issue contact Geisinger. They have sleep clinics at five of their hospitals, locally at Geisinger’s main campus, Shamokin, and Bloomsburg hospitals.  Our interview with Dr. Marino is part of our series of interviews on diet, fitness, and exercise. Stay tune for another related interview on WKOK sunrise.

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