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National Sleep Awareness Month

March 13, 2017

By Andy Arica, Benefits Analyst

On Sunday, March 12, 2017, the dreaded task of setting our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time took place. This small change typically brings the effects of sleep to the forefront. While we all know how important sleep is, many of us simply don’t get enough. The average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

Sleep is a vital component to our health and wellbeing. Several health problems are associated with not getting enough sleep: diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Driving while drowsy or sleepy is equally as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.

Here are some factors that can inhibit a good night’s sleep:

  • Drinking caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon.

  • Smokers sleep lighter and wake too early due to nicotine withdrawals.

  • Stress and overactive mind.

  • Being overweight leads to snoring and restricted breathing.

  • Certain prescription medications contain ingredients that keep you awake.

To get a good night’s rest, try the following:

  • Follow a regular bedtime and wake time routine

  • Avoid large meals before bedtime

  • Make sure your room is quiet, dark, and relaxing

  • Select a comfortable mattress and pillow

  • Stick to a bedtime ritual (i.e. taking a shower, reading a book, glass of warm milk, then go to bed)

  • Exercise regularly, but not within 3 hours of bedtime

  • Keep a journal next to your bed to write down issues and clear your mind.

A well-rested employee is a more productive employee. If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, contact your physician to find the cause and treat it.

*Article adapted from Vanderbilt University resource library “Sleep.”