Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand. It’s hard to discuss one without touching on the other. The topics are interwoven.
Sleep is another thread to weave into your education sessions. In fact, sleep, nutrition, and exercise are often called the pillars of health.
Start spreading the news about sleep with our Sleep Right poster! This poster will catch people’s attention. It will get them to think more about their sleep habits and realize that sleep is just as important as healthy eating and exercise.
How can you incorporate the topic of sleep into your counseling sessions or classes?
1. Get information about sleep from a reliable source, like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website. Check out the section on sleep deprivation and deficiency.
2. Find out if your clients are getting enough sleep. According to the NIH, you probably aren’t getting enough sleep if you often feel like you could doze off while …
- Sitting and reading or watching TV.
- Sitting still in a public place, such as a movie theater, meeting, or classroom.
- Riding in a car for an hour without stopping.
- Sitting and talking to someone.
- Sitting quietly after lunch.
- Sitting in traffic for a few minutes.
3. For people who are really motivated to change their sleep habits, suggest that they start by keeping a sleep diary (here’s one from NIH).
4. Offer a class on nutrition and sleep geared toward occupations where people often struggle with sleep issues, such as:
- Shift workers
- Truck drivers
- Factory workers
- First responders
- Health care workers
5. Provide diet and sleep education for these audiences:
- Teachers & coaches
- College students
Sleep fits right in when you’re talking about weight management, heart disease, diabetes, food and mood, healthy aging, mental performance, sports nutrition, and healthy eating in general. So start spreading the word about the importance of sleep!