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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Could living in Peoria be good for your health?

Recent research indicates that suburban life can actually take a toll on Americans, and effect their work, leisure, and relaxation.

How does your location effect your health?
A recent study of over 47,000 Americans has indicated:
o People who work more hours simply get up earlier or go to bed later, which puts them at risk for sleep deprivation.
o Time at work is the biggest risk for our sleep statistics, but a close second is travel time. Those who spent lots of time traveling to work or destinations, or who are stuck in traffic on the way to work, have a higher rate of sleep deprivation.
o People who live in sprawling suburbs make a long workday longer trying to run errands on clogged roads.
o National sleep Foundation says sleep deprived drivers cause more than 100,000 auto crashes a year, and more than 1,500 deaths

How can the loss of sleep or sleep deprivation hurt us?
o Memory loss
o Poor performance on the job
o Loss of attention and concentration
o Fatigue
o Obesity (link now to sleep and obesity)

What are some common suggestions for sleep disturbances?
o Establish a regular time for going to bed--be consistent (this helps stabilize your internal clock--try to go to bed and arise at the same time each day)
o Do not go to bed too early (this sets up a pattern of fragmented sleep--you will also awaken early)
o Healthy maintenance- (Exercise regularly, eat a proper diet, stop smoking, no caffeine 6 hours before sleeping, and take a warm bath before bedtime)
o Deal with stress during waking hours. Enroll in a stress management class, learn some techniques, enlist a support group, see a therapist, etc.
o Develop a ritual, which signals the end of the day (putting the kids to bed, closing up the house, read a book, meditate, herbal tea. This all shifts your thinking from daily stressors.

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