This month the focus is Healthy Sleep

 In Healthy Sleep

Hello Healthy Nurses! 

This month the focus is Healthy Sleep. Adequate sleep is essential to human health and necessary for mental alertness and ultimately safety. Do you know when you are sleeping you are actually still using your five senses?

The National Sleep Foundation has tips for using all five senses to get a restful sleep.

Sight- Are comfortable is your bedroom? Is it a sanctuary that makes you feel relaxed and peaceful? Taking care of your sleep environment can make you feel more restful.  How much light is in your room when you wake?  73% of Americans say a dark bedroom is important to getting a good sleep. Light and dark are powerful cues that tell your body it’s time to rest or get up.

Hearing- While you sleep, your brain continues to register and process sounds-causing you to wake, move or shift. 74% of Americans say a quiet bedroom is important to a good night’s sleep.  White noise works by reducing the difference between background sounds and a “peak” sound like a door slamming.  So creating a quiet environment is key to a full rest.

Taste- What you eat and drink before bed can affect your sleep. For example, foods containing amino acid tryptophan which are building blocks of serotonin can make you drowsy. Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, so if you’re considering a light snack before bed think about whole wheat crackers with peanut butter or cereal with milk. An in contrast avoid foods with caffeine, spicy and fatty foods unless you want to stay awake.

Smell- There is some evidence that certain smells may have an effect on your sleep. Lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure. Lavender of course is not a cure for insomnia but sachets in your room could be calming. 78% of Americans say they are more excited to go to bed if their sheets have a fresh scent.

Touch- Many sleep experts say that a cool room, somewhere around 65 degrees makes for the best sleep. During the night your body uses its own heating and cooling mechanisms to keep your temperature in range. Making our beds is a routine that can make sleep more meaningful. A clean, neat, comfortable bed can only support good sleep hygiene. 93% of Americans say a comfortable mattress is important to a good night’s sleep.

See the National Sleep Foundation website for additional information: https;//sleepfoundation.org

Every time you wake from sleep you have two choices 

either to fall back to sleep and dream, 

or wake and chase your dreams…….   

Next week look for information on shift work and good sleep hygiene.

Thank you for being part of healthy nurse, healthy nation movement!

Laura Mularz and the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation-NJ Team

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