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Programs - Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene focuses on extensive preventive measures for improving the quality of sleep. This includes the avoidance of things that interfere with sleep, along with methods to relax the body and prepare it for sleep. Cancer treatment can contribute to sleep disturbances, which can continue long after completion of treatment.

Sleep is "a natural, endogenous, rapidly reversible state of reduced consciousness". The National Sleep Foundation 2005 Poll found some disturbing statistics: 63% of women have trouble sleeping, 25% of adults have sleep problems that impact their daily lives, 61% of adults have never been asked by their doctor about sleep. Sleep is linked to quality of life and lack of sleep is linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Long-term health depends on the regeneration that occurs during deep sleep. Growth hormone, or the "anti-aging" hormone, is secreted during sleep, which stimulates tissue repair and regeneration, liver cleansing, muscle building, break down of fat stores and normalization of blood sugar. During sleep, free radicals are scavenged in the brain, minimizing its aging. Many different health problems are aggravated by inadequate sleep. Sleep gives us renewed vitality, a more positive outlook on life, and energy with which we can become our full potential.

Research shows that sleep deprivation can cause increased pain, increased fatigue, decreased ability to make decisions, higher blood sugar, and a weakened immune system. Lack of sleep also decreases the hormone for satiety (leptin) and increases the hormone for hunger (ghrelin), making it more difficult for those trying to maintain a healthy body weight.

If you -- or someone you care about -- have an interest in learning more about sleeping well, then consider a workshop (see our Events page).

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