Nutrition and wellness educators talk a lot about eating right and staying active, but we can’t forget about the importance of sleep. Inadequate sleep is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, heart disease, mental distress, and even early death.
Here are some ways to incorporate some sleep education into your work:
- Raise awareness about the importance of sleep by creating a bulletin board display that centers around our Sleep Right poster.
- In addition to listing the benefits of sleep, this poster explains how nutrition and exercise can impact sleep, and gives hours of sleep recommendations by age group.
- Assign your students or clients (or yourself!) some homework:
- Read the popular book, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD.
- Watch Matthew Walker’s TED Talk – Sleep is Your Superpower.
- Invite a sleep expert to talk to your weight management group or other audiences. An expert can provide valuable information about sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
- Obesity can cause sleep apnea and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent it.
Remember to get those important ZZZs yourself!
Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD
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