Safety Tip Thursday
Provided by ESD 123 Loss Control Specialist
Are you getting enough sleep? According to the Institute of Medicine, it is estimated that 50 to 70 million Americans chronically suffer from a disorder of sleep and wakefulness, hindering daily functioning and adversely affecting health and longevity. National polls indicate that nearly 7 out of 10 Americans said they experience frequent sleep problems, and a majority (63%) do not get the recommended eight hours sleep per night.
Wish you could sleep like a baby? The following tips from the National Sleep Foundation can help you sleep and better experience the benefits of adequate rest.
1. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day - even on the weekends. Our body is regulated by an "internal clock" that is strengthened by maintaining a regular waking time and bed time.
2. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Try a warm bath, listen to relaxing music or read a book.
3. Avoid stimulants (caffeine and nicotine). Caffeine products, such as coffee, teas, colas and chocolate, remain in your body on average 3 to 5 hours. Avoiding caffeine within 4-6 hours of going to bed can improve sleep quality.
4. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. Many people think of alcohol as a sedative, but it actually disrupts sleep, causing nighttime awakenings.
5. Create a sleep-conducive environment. Keep your bedroom cool, quiet, dark, comfortable and free of interruptions. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive.
6. Exercise regularly. Regular exercisers not only sleep longer than non-exercisers, they also fall asleep in half the time. Exercise raises our body temperature and makes us more alert. A cooler body temperature is associated with sleep onset, so finish your exercise at least three hours before bedtime.
7. It is best to avoid a heavy meal too close to bedtime. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. If, however, you find your stomach too empty before bed, a light snack could help.
8. Sleep only when sleepy. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something boring. Make sure you don’t turn bright lights on or your brain will think it is time
Adequate rest is as important to health as exercise and good nutrition. The cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences, including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke.