Monday, March 4, 2013

Zzzzz…It’s National Sleep Awareness Week

Did you know that sleep (which is so lux­u­ri­ous and won­der­ful any­way) greatly impacts your health? Not get­ting enough sleep can cause or con­tribute to obe­sity, dia­betes and depres­sion, all of which are wide­spread through­out the US. And being sleep-deprived can also cause traf­fic acci­dents and even impaired per­for­mance at school and work. There’s even a “Maggie’s Law” (named after a young woman killed by some­one dri­ving while sleep-deprived) in New Jer­sey mak­ing dri­ving while drowsy ille­gal. In fact, once you’ve been awake for 17+ hours, you’re con­sid­ered just about as impaired as some­one dri­ving while intoxicated. 
Try this quick list of tips to help you sleep well:
  • Estab­lish a reg­u­lar bed and wake time
  • Avoid nico­tine alto­gether and avoid caf­feine close to bedtime
  • Avoid alco­hol
  • Exer­cise reg­u­larly (but com­plete the work­out at least 3 hours before bedtime)
  • Estab­lish a con­sis­tent relax­ing “wind-down” bed­time routine
  • Cre­ate a sleep-conducive envi­ron­ment that is dark, quiet and comfortable
  • Dis­cuss the appro­pri­ate way to take any sleep aid with a health­care professional
Check out the National Sleep Foundation’s site for more info (like the above list) and to find out if you’re “Sleep­ing Smart”

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