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october meeting notes

Subject: Nightmares: The Scary Effects of Disturbed Sleep

Message: Most of us have experienced nightmares – a bad dream that makes us feel fear, terror, distress, or anxiety. It’s not uncommon for kids to have nightmares, but adults have them, too. The rare or occasional nightmare is not usually cause for concern, but regular nightmares often signal that something more serious is at stake. Because nightmares interrupt your regular sleeping cycle, over time they can cause more problematic issues like daytime fatigue, chronic insomnia, or other problems. Talk with your doctor if nightmares have become a common occurrence.

In addition to talking with your doctor, you can take some simple steps at home to get a better night’s rest. Aim to get more physical activity, especially cardiovascular exercise, to feel more tired and sleepy around bedtime. Limit caffeine and alcohol, especially before bedtime. You can also work to reduce stress with feel-good activities, such as stretching or meditating. Avoid disturbing content, such as scary movies, suspenseful novels, or troublesome evening news before climbing into bed.

Call To Action: Complete ProjectZ challenges for better sleep health

Subject: Driving Sleep Drunk

Message: According to the CDC, an estimated 4% of adult drivers report having fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past month, while 60% report driving while drowsy in the past year. In addition, 20% of all serious car crash injuries are associated with driver sleepiness. 

While we may not realize it, drowsy driving is similar to intoxicated driving, which can slow reaction times and reduce awareness. All of the following situations been shown to have the same impairment equivalent to a BAC of .08, which is considered legally drunk:

6 hours of sleep for 10-12 days straight
4-5 hours of sleep for 7 days straight
1 night without any sleep

Experts say if you start to get sleepy while driving, drink 1-2 cups of coffee and pull over for a short 20-minute nap in a safe place, such as a lighted designated rest stop. This has been shown to increase alertness, but only for short time periods. However, the best countermeasure to drowsy driving is to make it a habit to get enough rest on a daily basis. 

Call To Action: Complete ProjectZ challenges for better sleep health