August 2019 - Sleep Health  
A Message from Your Hometown Health Manager
Thank you to the 269 participants who have completed the 28-Day Rethink Your Drink Water Challenge !

Throughout the challenge period, participants committed to drinking at least six glasses of water each day! Along the way, hopefully participants have enjoyed replacing those sugary beverages with H 2 O and have learned many tips and facts along the way from the weekly emails! Personally, I found it amazing that I can save myself approximately 75 calories at each meal by drinking water before I start eating! In a year, I would consume 27,000 fewer calories by making this simple change.

Even if you missed the opportunity to complete this challenge and earn points toward your gift card reward, remember there are still a number of other tools you can utilize within your Hometown Health portal to earn the incentive prior to September 30!

If you need assistance or have questions, call our dedicated WebMD support at 855.667.2546 or email us at .

All the Best,

Gwen Mahabir
Why Is Sleep Important?
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

The way you feel while you're awake depends in part on what happens while you're sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.

The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.

Healthy Brain Function and Emotional Well-Being
Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.

Studies show that a good night's sleep improves learning. Whether you're learning math, how to play the piano, how to perfect your golf swing, or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?
The amount of sleep you need each day will change over the course of your life.

Although sleep needs vary from person to person, the chart to the right shows general recommendations for different age groups. This table reflects recent American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommendations that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has endorsed.  

If you routinely lose sleep or choose to sleep less than needed, the sleep loss adds up. The total sleep lost is called your sleep debt. For example, if you lose 2 hours of sleep each night, you'll have a sleep debt of 14 hours after a week.

Some people nap as a way to deal with sleepiness. Naps may provide a short-term boost in alertness and performance. However, napping doesn't provide all of the other benefits of night-time sleep. Thus, you can't really make up for lost sleep.

The Risks of Drowsy Driving and How to Protect Yourself
Drowsy driving is a major problem in the United States. The risk, danger, and sometimes tragic results of drowsy driving are alarming.

Drowsy driving is the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue. This usually happens when a driver has not slept enough, but it can also happen due to untreated sleep disorders, medications, drinking alcohol, and shift work.

What is Drowsy Driving?
Operating a motor vehicle while fatigued or sleepy is commonly referred to as “drowsy driving.”

The Impact of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving poses a serious risk not only for one’s own health and safety, but also for the other people on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that between 2005 and 2009 drowsy driving was responsible for an annual average of:

  • 83,000 crashes
  • 37,000 injury crashes
  • 886 fatal crashes (846 fatalities in 2014)

These estimates are conservative, though, and up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.

Get a Good Night's Sleep
Being older doesn’t mean you have to be tired all the time. You can do many things to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Here are some ideas:

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends or when you are traveling.
  • Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening, if you can. Naps may keep you awake at night.
  • Develop a bedtime routine. Take time to relax before bedtime each night. Some people read a book, listen to soothing music, or soak in a warm bath.
  • Try not to watch television or use your computer, cell phone, or tablet in the bedroom. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. And alarming or unsettling shows or movies, like horror movies, may keep you awake.
  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature. It should be not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.

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