August 12, 2019

Center for Healthy Living notes importance of quality sleep; workshop scheduled for Wednesday

Many times, sleep is viewed as an optional lifestyle luxury when in fact it is a nonnegotiable biological necessity. According to Cheryl Laszynski, registered nurse health coach at the Center for Healthy Living on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, sleep is the closest thing to a "fountain of youth" available and is critical to supporting an abundant life. 

Research continues to uncover the mysteries surrounding sleep, but in the meantime, ahead of a workshop on the subject, Laszynski shares a few reasons sleep is so important to health and well-being:

  • Sleep helps the brain function. It helps improves learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep helps one’s attention span, decision making and creativity.
  • During sleep the body is involved in the healing and repair of the heart and blood vessels. Sleep deficiency is linked to an increase in heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
  • Sleep is important in weight management. Sleep helps maintain a balance of the hormones that control appetite. Ghrelin, a hormone that makes you feel hungry, is increased when you don’t get enough sleep. Leptin, a hormone that makes you feel full, is decreased.
  • Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood sugar level. Lack of sleep increases the blood sugar level, which may increase your risk of diabetes.
  • Sleeps supports healthy growth and development, boost muscle mass and help repair cells and tissues. Your immunity relies on sleep to keep you healthy.
  • Sleeps helps us be productive at work and function well.

The amount of sleep recommended for adults 18 and older is seven to nine hours per night. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, lack of sleep throughout industrialized nations is having a catastrophic impact on health, wellness and even the safety and the education of children.

For those not getting the recommended amount of sleep per night, Laszynski offers the following tips:

  • Stick to a bedtime schedule. Go to sleep and wake up the same time every day.
  • Wind down an hour before bed; begin relaxing activities away from bright lights and screens.
  • Exercise: Try to complete 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week.
  • Environment: Keep the bedroom cool, dark and quiet.
  • Things to avoid close to bedtime: caffeine, alcohol, heavy meals, cigarettes and evening naps.

As a reminder, the Center for Healthy Living will offer a “Sleep Awareness” workshop, led by Laszynski, from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday (Aug. 14) in the Córdova Recreational Sports Center’s Wellness Conference Room (Room 2236).

Interested individuals should register by Tuesday (Aug. 13) via the Healthy Boiler Portal. Registration link can be found under the “Engage” tab, “Wellness Events” on the portal’s homepage.

Those who continue having trouble getting enough quality sleep are encouraged to contact their primary care provider and/or visit the Center for Healthy Living for additional assistance.   

Workshops provided by the Center for Healthy Living (and in conjunction with Purdue Extension) are free to all benefits-eligible faculty and staff and dependents covered on a Purdue medical plan. Any questions can be directed to the CHL at 765-494-0111.

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