Sleep Well Challenge Support

Click here to access and print the 4-week Sleep Well Challenge

A good night’s sleep is vital for good health. It is just as important as quality nutrition and adequate physical activity. High quality and the right quantity of sleep help your body and mind function well.

 

Good Sleep

  • Raises your energy level and promotes positive emotions and social interactions

  • Improves your concentration and productivity

  • Maximizes your athletic performance

  • Improves your immune function

  • Helps regulate food consumption and maintain a healthy weight

 

Poor Sleep

  • Lowers your energy level and promotes negative emotions and social interactions

  • Increases risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes

  • Increases risk of inflammation which is a marker of many chronic diseases

  • Increases weight gain and risk for obesity

  • Increases risk for depression

 

The Sleep Well Challenge will help you focus on ways to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep.

During the Challenge you will access resources from the employee well-being portal in the Wellness Initiatives 

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Week 1: Healthy Sleep Environment

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“Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep. If you sleep better, you can certainly live better.” Raymond Jean, M.D

Learn the recommended sleep ranges for you and your family members. Then, examine your current environment and consider making some adjustments to promote restful sleep.

 

A healthy sleep environment includes:

 

  1. Comfortable and supportive bed.

  2. Pillows that support your sleeping style.

  3. Dark room. Block out the window light with curtains or use a mask.

  4. Temperature at 60-68° F.

  5. A weighted blanket helps some people reduce anxiety or insomnia.

  6. Keep distractions out of the bedroom: TV, computer, tablets

 

A good night’s sleep results from following healthy sleep practices on a regular basis. By paying attention to your sleep environment, the foods and beverages you consume throughout the day and near bedtime, preparing you mind and body for sleep, and establishing a regular sleep routine you can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. Use your Challenge Sheet to record your efforts in these areas to Sleep Well.

“There is a time for many words. There is also a time for sleep.” Homer

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Week 2: Food & Beverages

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“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” Irish proverb

Your final meal, snack, or beverage of the day is important. These foods and drinks can either support or disrupt your sleep.

 

Sleep Supporting Foods and Beverages

 

  • Dairy products including milk, cheese, and yogurt

  • Bananas

  • Nuts

  • Oats

  • Salmon, tuna, halibut

  • Spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cucumbers

  • Avocados

  • Grapes

 

Sleep Disrupting Foods and Beverages

 

  • Large meals before bed

  • Spicy meals before bed

  • Foods high in fat

  • Foods and beverages high in added sugar

  • Foods that contain water such as watermelon and celery

  • Dark chocolate

  • Alcohol can awaken you in the night when its effects have worn off

  • Drinks with caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime

  • Limit fluids 2-3 hours before bed to avoid a trip to the bathroom

A good night’s sleep results from following healthy sleep practices on a regular basis. By paying attention to your sleep environment, the foods and beverages you consume throughout the day and near bedtime, preparing you mind and body for sleep, and establishing a regular sleep routine you can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. Use your Challenge Sheet to record your efforts in these areas to Sleep Well.

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.” Matthew Walker

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Week 3: Bedtime Preparation

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“Sleep is an investment in the energy you’ll need to be effective tomorrow.” Tom Rath

A bedtime preparation routine helps you wind down by telling your body and your mind that it is time to sleep.

 

Bedtime preparation varies by age and can include:

 

  • Creating a “To-Do” list for the next day

  • Shutting down all screens 30 minutes before bed*

  • Putting the phone on “Do Not Disturb” setting

  • Establishing an evening bathroom routine

  • Writing in a gratitude journal

  • Reading a hardcopy book or magazine

  • Listening to soothing music

 

*Blue light wavelengths from tv’s, tablets, computers, and smartphones boost attention and reduce your body’s production of melatonin which makes it more difficult to fall asleep.

A good night’s sleep results from following healthy sleep practices on a regular basis. By paying attention to your sleep environment, the foods and beverages you consume throughout the day and near bedtime, preparing you mind and body for sleep, and establishing a regular sleep routine you can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. Use your Challenge Sheet to record your efforts in these areas to Sleep Well.

Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker

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Week 4: Sleep Routine

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“Believe it or not, you are your own sleep boss.” Charles M. Schulz

By creating a consistent sleep routine, you increase your ability to get high-quality sleep on a regular basis.

 

A sleep routine includes:

 

  • A regular bedtime.

  • Waking up at the same time daily.

  • Limiting late nights.

  • Using earplugs and a mask.

  • Not staying awake in bed for more than 20 minutes.

  • Using a sleep tracking device to help you monitor and evaluate your sleep.

 

Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day is a cornerstone of establishing a sleep routine. Sometimes you may have nights when you have difficulty sleeping. This may be because someone is snoring, there is road noise, loud roommates, or a rowdy hotel guest next door. You may fall asleep but wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep. Learn some techniques to manage these occasional situations and limit your use of sleeping pills.

 

A good night’s sleep results from following healthy sleep practices on a regular basis. By paying attention to your sleep environment, the foods and beverages you consume throughout the day and near bedtime, preparing you mind and body for sleep, and establishing a regular sleep routine you can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. Use your Challenge Sheet to record your efforts in these areas to Sleep Well.

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” John Steinbeck

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Congratulations!

 

You have discovered new ways to Sleep Well. You’ve tried different strategies and made adjustments in your sleep environment, eating and drinking habits, bedtime preparation, and sleep routine to improve your sleep. We hope that you have learned from the Virtual Exhibit, examined your habits, read the articles and watched videos from the employee well-being portal, and found ways to Sleep Well. Keep up the momentum by continuing to use the Challenge Sheet to make your new habits part of your everyday living and sleeping.

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“Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year olds. Be the parent! Get. Enough. Sleep.” JoJo Jens

Click here to access and print the 4-week Sleep Well Challenge.

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