Special Employee Newsletter

Disruption to our sleep routines can be caused by experiencing increased stress and worry.  
Sleep Hygiene:
a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness
Paying attention to sleep hygiene right now and re-regulating your habits may help improve how you feel and function on a daily basis.

If you have trouble falling asleep: 
Review your nighttime routines, what do you typically do before bed?  These actions remind our body that it is time to sleep.  So if we are staying up later watching TV instead of reading in bed, like we might normally do, the signals get confusing. 

Write down the things you do before bed and decide if they are conducive to rest and relaxation. 

Avoid eating or drinking (or smoking) before you are turning in for the night.  Avoid caffeine after about 3pm to ensure it doesn't carry over into your evening.

Consider adding mindfulness or relaxation techniques into your evening routine. Sometimes our mind is overthinking as we lay down to fall asleep and a focused exercise can help relax us and ease us into rest.

If you have trouble staying asleep: 
In addition to the above suggestions, you may want to add additional steps or exercises that reduce stress, anxiety and brain stimulation late at night.

Avoid reaching for a phone or tablet if you wake up and can't get back to sleep.  The stimulation from the light, sounds, and movement of a screen engage our brain in a different way than reading a book and may wake us up even more.  If you do reach for a phone, avoid things like social media, texting, scrolling, auto-playing videos, instead do simple task oriented games or puzzles can be focused on but that don't require as much attention.  And certainly remember to use the "night time" mode that phones have where the lighting is less harsh in the evening hours.

Times when we wake up can also be a good opportunity for mindfulness, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and similar techniques that keep us in the present instead of our thoughts.  It is not uncommon to have more active or intense dreams when stress/worry is elevated, another reason mindfulness/relaxation may help.

Maintain healthy physical habits and routines:
Bodies that move tend to get better rest. states that adding as little at 10 minutes of aerobic exercises per day can improve sleep quality.  Everybody is different, so you will have to figure out what is a fit for you and your routine.  You likely don't want to do high energy, strenuous workouts right before bed as that may keep you awake, but try a few different options this week and see what seems to work best for you.  

Limit daytime naps, if any, to 30 minutes.  Too long of a nap can negatively affect that evening's rest.  
Keep a log: You may want to keep some notes on how your sleep cycles are working for you.  Note when you go to sleep, when you wake up, how rested you feel and what else goes into your sleep hygiene that is helpful or not.

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Links that connect you to the CDC and WHO websites are provided and recommended because these sites are continuously updating as new information becomes available.

Don't hesitate to reach out with questions.

Feel free to call or email the Southwest EAP office at 501-663-1797, 800-777-1797 or for any questions or if we can help direct you to more information.

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