Sleep: An Essential Component of Health and Well-being

Sleep: An Essential Component of Health and Well-being – Free Webinar Friday, May 19th, 1:00 pm

Brought to you by Guidance Resources, OSU's Employee Assistance Program.   

In the past five years, it has been routinely reported by researchers and the media alike that Americans are notoriously sleep deprived. There are numerous reasons why this may be the case. Yet while many people look towards improving their health via diet, exercise and ceasing bad consumption habits (e.g., junk food, cigarettes), sleep is often overlooked—or is it? Sleep medications will surpass $5 billion in annual sales within the next year. Apparently not only are Americans having difficulty getting sufficient quantities of quality sleep, they are also having difficulties getting to sleep. This workshop provides the latest research findings regarding the importance of sleep and offers participants suggestions on how to improve their sleep according to priority and quality measures.  The webinar is expected to last between 45-60 minutes. 

 

If you don’t snooze, you lose

The amount of sleep you get plays a major role in how you handle stress. The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Are you getting your 40 winks?

Stress is the number-one cause of short-term sleeping problems. Try these tips and record your sleep activity in a sleep diary.

Go to bed and get up at the same time. Your brain and body need to balance sleep and wake time. Though it’s tempting to sleep in on the weekends, a regular wake-up time in the morning strengthens your body and helps you get to sleep at night. So try not to vary your schedule often.

Set a regular bedtime routine. A relaxing bedtime routine helps separate sleep time from active time. Try a hot bath, light reading or listening to soothing music.

Use your bedroom only for sleep. Remove televisions, computers and work materials from your room. Use your bed only for sleep and rest.

Make a comfortable, quiet, dark and cool environment. Your bedroom should entice you to sleep. Make certain that your mattresses and pillows are comfortable. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, humidifiers or fans to help you sleep better.

Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime. Eating and drinking too much may make you less comfortable when settling down for bed, and it may cause heartburn.

Exercise each day. Regular physical activity helps make it easier to fall asleep and leads to sounder sleep. Complete your physical activity at least three hours before bedtime to prevent difficulty falling asleep.

Stay away from caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and can stay in the body three to five hours, on average. Avoid caffeine (chocolate, coffee, tea and soft drinks) closer to bedtime.

Give up your tobacco products. Smoking before bed makes it hard to fall asleep. When smokers and tobacco users go to sleep, they experience withdrawal symptoms from nicotine, which causes sleep problems. Nicotine can cause a problem falling asleep, problems waking in the morning and may also cause nightmares.

Shy away from alcohol. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol disrupts sleep and causes you to wake up during the night.

If you continue to experience sleep problems, share your sleep diary with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Source: National Sleep Foundation