Content courtesy of JHEAP, the Johns Hopkins employee assistance program; and its partner CCA
March is Sleep Awareness Month. As you build your own holistic wellness plan, consider how a good night's sleep can make a big difference in how you feel. Here are some suggestions to help you:
- Follow a regular schedule. Go to sleep and wake up at the same times, even on weekends. Sticking to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule helps keep you in sync with your body's circadian clock, a 24-hour internal rhythm affected by sunlight.
- Do not nap too much during the day. You might be less sleepy at night.
- Try to exercise at regular times each day. Exercising regularly improves the quality of your nighttime sleep and helps you sleep more soundly. Try to finish your workout at least three hours before bedtime.
- Get some natural light every afternoon. Light affects the production of melatonin, an essential sleep-producing hormone.
- Be careful about what you eat and drink. Avoid beverages with caffeine late in the day because caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you awake. If you like a snack before bed, try a warm beverage and a few crackers.
- Don't drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes to help you sleep. Even small amounts of alcohol can make it harder to stay asleep. Smoking is dangerous for many reasons, including the hazard of falling asleep with a lighted cigarette. Also, the nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant.
- Create a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Make sure there are locks on all doors and a smoke alarm on each floor. A lamp that's easy to turn on and a phone by your bed may be helpful. The room should be dark, well-ventilated, and as quiet as possible.
To learn more, log on to the CCA@YourService website (company code: JHEAP).
If you're concerned about your sleep and need a screening tool to help evaluate it, download JHEAP's CCA@YourService app and take the wellness survey. To access it, read this flyer or follow these steps:
- Search CCA@YourService in your phone's app store to download the app.
- Once you're in the app, select the Get Started button on the welcome screen.
- Enter access code JHEAP and select Continue.
If managing issues of daily living or work is interfering with your sleep, reach out to the Johns Hopkins Employee Assistance Program for support. JHEAP is available 24/7/365 at 888-978-1262 to schedule an appointment or access daily life assistance services.