Did You Observe – Or Even Know There Was A -National Sleep Awareness Week?

Johanna Hicks

By Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Hopkins County AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent, [email protected]

It seems as though there is a national recognition for just about everything – National Donut Day, National Twin Day, Dr. Seuss Day, National Taco Day, etc. However, there are those that raise awareness for health and wellness issues. An article recently came across my desk that will strike a chord in many individuals – National Sleep Awareness Week, March 13-19, 2022.

Increasing focus is being paid to quality sleep as a means of improving general health and well-being. A lack of sleep has been shown to contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of diseases, like heart disease and stroke.

With regard to our personal wellness, we often hear about the need for a good diet and an active lifestyle. Adequate sleep is a third component of a healthy lifestyle that is often overlooked or underemphasized. Getting the recommended eight hours is important.

Attempts to reduce weight, maintain peak performance at work, and communicate with others are all dependent on getting enough sleep. Erica Reyes, Program Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, provides three recommended practices to help obtain the rest your body requires to function healthily:

  1. Stick to a schedule: Our brain determines our times for day and night depending on our sleep routine and sleep cycles. When we disrupt those time frames by significantly altering our sleeping patterns for a few days, we might spend the remainder of the week off our schedule.
  2. Limit caffeine intake: Those who consume four or more caffeinated drinks per day are more prone to sleeplessness. Be mindful of coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks, and their serving sizes.
  3. Exercise: Regular exercise throughout the week may help boost the production of the hormone melatonin, termed the “Sleep hormone.” Simply ensure that your activity does not take place too close to bedtime or it may have the opposite effect.

Reyes recommends that health care providers and health care professionals assist by assessing patients’ sleep habits, and discussing the importance of sleep. It is important to assist in raising awareness by discussing sleep habits.

Upcoming Extension Events

  • Spring Break Sewing Workshop, March 14-16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: targeted toward youth, this workshop will focus on the basics of sewing – threading a machine, filling a bobbin, backstitching and forward stitching, etc. We will have simple make-and-take projects each day. Several sewing machines will be available to use, but youth may bring their own, as well. Fabric will be furnished, but again, if participants have a specific project in mind, they may bring their own fabric. Youth under the age of 8 must have an adult present. Please call 903-885-3443 to sign up. Spaces are limited.
  • Be Well, Live Well” 50+ Series, April 11,14,18, 21, 10 a.m.: This series is targeted toward the 50+ crowd, but is beneficial to all age groups. Topics will include Be Independent – Eat Well; Be Able – Read the Label; Be Safe – Eat Safe; Be Creative – Plan Meals; and Be Fit – Move More. There is no charge for the series. Please call to sign up.

Both of these events will take place at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 1200 West Houston St., Sulphur Springs. For more information and to sign up, call 903-885-3443.

Closing Thought

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.

– Anne Frank

Author: Faith Huffman

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