Health Note for January 14, 2018
“I can’t sleep!”, “My bed is sooooo uncomfortable!”, “My children are awake half the night!”
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
Proverbs 3:24 NIV
We are experiencing a very high flu/upper respiratory illness season, and the reminders to cover your mouth and nose, wash hands, etc., seems to be needed even more, but also observed to be ignored by many. Lack of sleep is now becoming a prominent topic in my encounters during the week, and lack of sleep can reduce our ability to prevent getting sick. Let’s talk about it.
Sleep is essential to your well-being. It is necessary for the body to recharge its
batteries, heal its wounds, rest the spirit, and regroup for another day. Everyone needs
a slightly different amount of sleep but everyone needs good quality rest. This means
deep, uninterrupted sleep for at least six or more hours a night. Without good sleep you
will experience fatigue, moodiness, irritability, poor memory, decreased dexterity,
decreased energy level, and possibly depression.
Many things can cause a poor night’s sleep: excessive napping, physical ailments, poor
sleep habits, excessive worrying, or even hormonal changes. Many of these conditions
can be remedied through behavior change or medical treatment. Consistent bedtimes for kids of all ages, calming activities for all as we near bedtime are two very successful behaviors to increase quality sleep time.
Sleep is also impacted by the mattress you have. You spend approximately one third of
your life in bed so make sure it supports you well and can give you a restful night.
Consider looking for a new mattress if you routinely: wake up achy/numb/stiff, toss and
turn during the night, sleep better on beds other than your own, or feel yours is lumpy/sags.
Spiritually, sleep is important for active minds and good dispositions. The worries and
challenges of daily lives often cause problems during the waking hours which can carry
over into the nighttime. Turn your worries over to God. Work with His spiritual
presence and His gift of medicine to achieve a restful night.
More information can be found on the Mayo Clinic website, and please talk with your doctor about this if you are not getting the rest you need. Our flu season is a serious issue, and we need to keep our bodies as healthy as we can. Please see me if I can be of help.
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church and School firstname.lastname@example.org