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Thursday, May 28, 2015

I have worked as a nurse aide for over 20 years and on day shift. Sleep has become a valuable resource to me but one that I do not always find. I am very interested in this holiday celebrated in may. The holiday for better sleep that encourages individuals to establish better sleep patterns. 

Sleep is very important for good health. The Better Sleep Council wants to draw awareness about the benefits of better sleep and the fact that poor sleep can easily disrupt our lives. Sleep is just as important to good health for the body as diet and exercise. Without enough sleep the body will struggle with blood pressure and stress hormone production. The body often becomes stressed when it does not get enough sleep. Poor concentration, mood swings, irritability, stress and a weakened immune system are all symptoms of poor sleep. A habit of poor sleep can lead to serious problems such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. 

While there are a great variety of reasons why sleep may be a problem many times it is caused by stress and worries. People stress over elder care, childcare, family conflict, personal relationship problems, financial worries are all anxieties that can decrease sleep. Like wise physical symptoms such as pain, excess sweating, persistent need to urinate, noise and light all can strain sleep as well. Simply being a woman often leads to less sleep as shown through studies. Feelings and emotions such as depression and anxiety are often the cause of sleep disturbance as well. 

It has been shown that stress can elevate blood pressure, heart attack and stroke are all problems that can occur from poor sleep and the stress it leads to.
For those who suffer from poor sleep can find many resources. There are counselors who can help with the stress of poor sleep. Relaxation techniques may be taught to counteract the effects of stress. 
Experts believe that 7.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep a night is what many believe is optimal sleep. It is believed that 6 hours of deep refreshing sleep is more beneficial than 8 hours of light interrupted sleep.

A few tips to get better sleep:
establish a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed the same time every time will help establish this schedule. 
prior to going to bed start relaxing by limiting stimulating activities such as exercise and work. Do something relaxing like listening to music, watching tv or reading. 
The environment you sleep in should be dark, ventilated and with appropriate temp. My husband must have a dark area with a fan running. Many suggest removing the tv or computer from the room you sleep in. 
healthy life style with exercise and diet included can help with better sleep. It is best not to drink alcohol or caffeine at bead time likewise nicotine should be removed.

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