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March 18, 2021

Take a Step Toward Better Sleep

A good night’s sleep is important to well-being in so many ways. It can improve mood, energy, memory, productivity, and is linked to many physical benefits as well.

Yet, according to the Center for Disease Control, more than a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. Researchers have identified many possible causes for poor sleep, including blue light from electronic devices, food and drink consumption, stress, anxiety, and physical sleep disorders such as apnea.

We might feel it especially this month as Daylight Savings throws our schedule off for a while. So what can we do to stretch those hours spent sleeping?

A first step can be to identify patterns in your sleep quality, quantity, and the things you do during the day that could affect sleep, such as naps or caffeine consumption in the afternoon. Sleep experts and doctors often ask patients to keep a sleep diary to capture this data.

To help you identify possible sleep barriers, consider this small step.

Small Step: Set Up a Sleep Diary

Print out a sleep diary and put it next to your bed. This diary can help you track your sleep and activity, and may help you find patterns and adjustments to try on your own. If you then choose to consult with a doctor or sleep expert, this diary may be a useful tool.

Get Diary

This sleep diary is provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health.

 

Sources:

https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/everyday-healthy-living/mental-health-and-relationships/get-enough-sleep

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/whats-in-it-for-you/mood

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health

Motivated to do more?

If you have ELCA-Primary health benefits with Portico:

  • Complete the Sleep course in Being to learn about how sleep works and develop strategies for getting more and better sleep.
  • If you have insomnia, participate in the Learn to Live Insomnia program.

If you have ELCA Medicare-Primary health benefits with Portico:

  • Check out sleep-related content designed specifically for seniors on the SilverSneakers website.

This information should not be considered or used as a substitute for professional health care advice. By providing this information, Portico Benefit Services is not providing any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Each individual is responsible for his or her own health and medical treatment decisions. You should talk with your doctor to determine the lifestyle changes and health care treatment options appropriate for you.