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Early on in Terry Cralle’s career as a registered nurse, she found herself working in clinical research on insomnia, but it wasn’t until one of the sleep doctors she was working with invited her to his sleep lab to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to test people for a variety of sleep disorders that she made a realization which prompted an abrupt change of direction into a career in sleep medicine. “I’ve been in sleep medicine for 22 years now, and we used to say that sleep was one of the three pillars of health and wellness, along with diet and exercise, and now we don’t say that because we’ve learned that sleep is actually the foundation of health and wellness, and exercise and nutrition and diet are completely contingent on sleep,” says Cralle, who in addition to an RN is a Certified Clinical Sleep Educator.

She joins the podcast today to discuss what it’s like to play an integral part in patients’ experiences in sleep labs, the most common misconceptions and complaints people have about sleep trials, the impact of sleep on physical and mental health, the parallel epidemics of sleep deprivation and obesity, how social perceptions and pressures have linked the need for sleep with characteristics such as weakness, laziness, and a lack of work ethic, and the range of sleep disorders they test for, which includes narcolepsy, periodic limb movement disorder, REM behavior disorder, and restless leg syndrome.

Learn more about Terry Cralle’s work by visiting http://www.terrycralle.com/.

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