Sleep provides restorative functions like muscle growth, tissue repair, and protein synthesis. Sleep leaves us feeling refreshed and energized, restores us physically and mentally, and enhances our productivity. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep.1 But two-thirds of American adults say they rarely get a good night’s sleep on weeknights, averaging less than 7 hours. Many experience sleep problems such as snoring, waking in the night, waking up too early, or feeling unrefreshed when they get up in the morning. This isn’t just a problem of daytime sleepiness: poor sleep takes a toll on our bodies, contributing to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Sleepiness is regulated by our physiological need for sleep and the body’s circadian rhythm. Most people feel sleepiest from midnight to 7 am. But many factors can disrupt our natural sleep cycles including:
Talk with your clinic staff about any issues that may be affecting your sleep:
It’s also helpful to follow these sleep hygiene suggestions to promote a restful night’s sleep.8 Circle one suggestion from each section that you will sample this week.
Personal lifestyle habits
Arrange your sleep environment for maximum comfort
Using the tips in this module, develop 2–3 goals to work towards.
1. National Sleep Foundation. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep- works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need. Accessed 3.19.13
2. National Sleep Foundation. Annual Sleep in America Poll Exploring Connections with Communications Technology Use and Sleep. http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/ press-release/annual-sleep-america-poll-exploring- connections-communications-technology-use- Accessed 3.18.13
3. US Department of Health and Human Services.
Healthy People 2020 - Sleep Health. http://www. healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview. aspx?topicid=38 Accessed 3.19.13
4. US Department of Health and Human Services. Your Guide to Healthy Sleep. August 2011. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/public/sleep/healthy_sleep.pdf Accessed 3.19.13
5. Kondracki, Nancy The link between sleep and weight gain. Today’s Dietitian. June 2012.
6. Taheri S et al. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass. PLoS Medic, Dec 2004;1(3):210-217
7. Spiegel K et al. Brief Communication: sleep curtailment in healthy young men is associated with decreased leptin levels, elevated ghrelin levels, and increased hunger and appetite. Ann Intern Med, 2004;141:846-850
8. Sleep Hygiene: Helpful Hints to Help You Sleep at the University of Maryland Medical Center (http://www.umm. edu/cgi-bin/printpage.cgi)
9. Breus M. How to Sleep Better (http://www.webmd.com/ sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-hygiene?print=true)
• Sleep-Wake Cycle: Its Physiology and Impact on Health. National Sleep Foundation 2006 www.sleepfoundation.org
• Vorona RD et al. Overweight and obese patients in a primary care population report less sleep than patients with a normal body mass index. Arch Intern Med, Jan 2005;165:25-30
• 2008 Sleep in America Poll: Summary of Findings. National Sleep Foundation 2008 www.sleepfoundation.org
• Patel SR et al. The association between sleep duration and obesity in older adults. International Journal of Obesity, Oct 2008, 1-10
• Vgontzas et al. Short sleep duration and obesity: the role of emotional stress and sleep disturbances. International Journal of Obesity, 2008;32:801-809
• Shaw JE et al. Sleep-disordered breathing and type 2 diabetes. A report from the International Diabetes Federation Taskforce on Epidemiology and Prevention. Diabetes Research and Practice, 2008,81:2-12
• Punjabi NM and Polotsky VY. Disorders of glucose metabolism and sleep apnea. J Appl Physiol, 2005,99:1998-2007
• Loube DI et al. Weight loss for obstructive sleep apnea: the optimal therapy for obese patients. JADA, 1994;94(11):1291-1295
• Tuomilehto HPI et al. Lifestyle intervention with weight reduction. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 2009;179:320-327
• Kansanen M et al. The effect of a very low calorie diet- induced weight loss on the severity of obstructive sleep apnea and autonomic nervous function in obese patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Clin Physiol, 1998;18(14):377-385
• Treatment options for adults with obstructive sleep apnea. Education Bulletin from American Sleep Apnea Association. www.sleepapnea.org
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