Winter 2016 Edition
Improve Your Sleep For A Better 2016
Sleep is more important than you may think. To live healthier, happier and more productively in 2016, keep the following in mind:
Sleep and your appetite – A study from the University of Chicago found that lack of sleep makes you want to eat more. The reason? Sleep loss appears to trigger changes in hormones that regulate appetite and stimulate hunger for high-calorie foods like cookies and chips. According to another study, people who get less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night are up to 73% more likely to be obese.
Sleep and your physical health – According to the Harvard-run Nurses’ Study, failing to get enough sleep heightens the risk for a variety of major illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. A report from the study summarizes that a sleep deficit may put the body into a state of high alert, increasing the production of stress hormones and driving up blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Additionally, people who are sleep-deprived have elevated levels of substances in the blood that indicate a heightened state of inflammation in the body, which is now also recognized as a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
Sleep and your mental health – It is well-known that sleep problems can be a key sign of depression. However, the latest medical research now reports that the reverse is also true – sleep disorder can actually trigger depression or other mood disorders. The explanation? Sleep, mood and mental/emotional behaviors all share a complex mix of chemistry in the brain. Disordered sleep appears to set off an array of forces in the brain and nervous system that can result in a depressed mood, major depressive episode or other mood disorder.
Sleep and your productivity – According to a Better Sleep Council survey, sleep-deprived workers reported the following as work-related consequences from lack of sleep:
- 31 percent reported a decline in quality of work
- 31 percent reported impaired thinking or judgment at work
- 30 percent reported trouble retaining information
The survey summarized that “sleep deprivation impacts your alertness, your productivity and your ability to socially interact with co-workers.”
To live healthier and happier in 2016, commit to getting 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per night (the recommended average for adults)…you’ll be glad you did.
Your EAP is here to help
If sleep is a problem for you or one of your dependents, contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for CONFIDENTIAL counseling, referrals or information. We’re here to help you.