By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Wellness is an essential theme in coping with the viral season. Our hospital has posted this write up from Dr. Christina Zhang, a pulmonologist specializing in sleep and a pediatrician. She has given me permission to share the write up on quality sleep with you. As we have explored the topic of sleep before, we do not have a lot of information about exactly how sleep dictates our bodily function. But we know from personal experience that sleep deprivation could be harmful and interrupts our daily living and function. Hence it is worthwhile to revisit the concept of quality sleep as a strategy to adapt ourselves to this viral season.
A good night’s rest can improve your immune system, mental functioning and emotional resilience. Sleep medicine physicians at CHLA have put together the following reminders to ensure that your well-being is supported with the ability to be able to both fall and stay asleep through the night (Source).
Create space before bedtime. Do your exercising at least 4-6 hours before you would like to fall asleep. In addition, avoid meals or heavy snacks before heading off to bed.
Try and limit the following behavior: napping during the day for longer than 20-30 minutes, drinking caffeine, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. While these behaviors may provide immediate temporary relief to fatigue and irritability, they can interfere with both your sleep rhythm and ability to fall asleep.
Dedicate a 30-60 minute bedtime routine. Whether it’s taking a bath, reading or meditating, dedicate 30-60 minutes to focus on winding down. This means putting down the phone and other electronics at least 30 minutes before you would like to fall asleep!
Wake up at the same time every morning, regardless of how much sleep you got the night before. Many of us have disrupted work schedules during this time. It’s important to maintain a routine that will work for your needs.
Keep the bedroom for sleep only. While it may be tempting to work, exercise, watch television or eat in your bedroom, over time your brain will start to associate the bedroom with stimulating activities instead of sleep. Go to bed only when you are feeling sleepy to ensure a relaxing transition to falling asleep.
Your mental and physical well-being can impact your quality of sleep, and conversely your quality of sleep can impact your mental and physical well-being. It’s important to be mindful that sleep disruption is often a symptom rather than a diagnosis. Maintain good sleep practices during these times and consider reaching out to your provider if further problems persist.
Your homework assignment from the Care Ministry this week: see if you can take advantage of the tips on sleep hygiene and have a good night sleep.
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