National Sleep Awareness Week™, which takes place March 5-11, 2012, is an annual public education and awareness campaign to promote the importance of sleep. The week begins with the announcement of the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America poll results and ends with the clock change to Daylight Saving Time Sunday, March 11th, where Americans lose one hour of sleep. The Foundation's Sleep Care Center members such as St. John’s Sleep Disorder Center, the only member in Wyoming, provide sleep education and awareness to the public. “We encourage you to stop in or call the sleep center with your sleep questions” said sleep technologist Joe Burke, RRT, RPGST. “Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to your good health,” he said.
Healthy Sleep Advice
If you are troubled by excessive daytime sleepiness or have problems getting or maintaining sleep, try the following sleep tips:
• Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, and avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
• Use bright light to help manage your "body clock." Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
• Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
• Select a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
• Create an environment that is conducive to sleep that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
• Save your worries for the daytime. If concerns come to mind, write them in a "worry book" so you can address those issues the next day.
• If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
• Exercise regularly, but avoid vigorous workouts close to bedtime.
• If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or "stop breathing" episodes in your sleep, contact your health care professional for a sleep apnea screening.
St. John’s Sleep Disorder Center is Wyoming’s first center accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Regular consultation clinics are held at St. John’s with physician sleep specialists Dr. Kevin Shilling and Dr. Robert Mazzola for individuals who may be affected by a sleep disorder. For more information on clinics and other services available call 307-739-7300 or visit www.tetonhospital.org/sleep.