Help! I've Fallen Asleep and I Can't Get Up!

Local sleep experts offer advice

There are a lot of sleepy heads out there and they can only dream about a good night’s rest.

So, NBC 10’s Healthwatch took some questions to local sleep doctors for help.

Laura in Millville e-mailed a question about sleeping pills:

“When I take a sleep drug such as Ambien, am I getting the same quality of sleep as I would naturally?”

Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Temple University Dr. Samue Krachman had answers.

“If used as directed, Ambien will give you a good night’s sleep, similar to a natural night’s sleep, including the amount of deep sleep, which is important to make you functional and alert the next day," he said.

Allison in Cherry Hill asked:

“Why can't I wake up? I have to set three or four alarms and I always hit the snooze. Many times I sleep through my alarm.  Please wake me up!”
Dr. Joanne Getsy said there may be several reasons Allison can’t wake up. 

"One, you may be going to bed too late and you are not getting your seven or eight hours of sleep, so if that is a reason go to bed sooner.  The other is the possibility is that you have a sleep disorder, such as something called sleep-delayed syndrome or maybe some other sleep disorder like Narcolepsy,” Getsy said.  

Narcolepsy is a disorder that can cause sudden and uncontrollable drowsiness, where people can fall asleep at any time.

“This is not something to be taken lightly, because you have to go through the rest of your life getting up in the morning.  Make sure you go see someone.  First, see your family doctor and if she can't help and doesn't know what it is, go to a sleep center," Getsy said.

Cindy from Allentown asked:
"I am 53-years-old and I sleep very soundly through the night.  I get about nine hours of sleep. Should I be concerned about my sound sleep?"
Bryn Mawr's Dr. Helena Schotland isn't very worried.

"I think it's wonderful that you can sleep that much and that you wake up feeling refreshed.  I wish that everyone could do it.  I wish I could clone you!  Enjoy it!  There is nothing wrong with it and have a good night's sleep," Schotland said.

Now, this isn't intended as a substitute for seeing a doctor.  If you have any medical questions, call your doctor or health care provider and make an appointment to be seen in person.  That's the best way to make sure you stay healthy and safe.

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