October – December 2021 Wellness Challenge

Adults need anywhere between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting good, restful sleep is key to living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining high well-being. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep can affect a person’s mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

Mental Health

Sleep helps prepare a person for the coming day and can enhance learning and problem-solving skills while also aiding in decision-making, creativity, and increased attention span. Lack of sleep can be attributed to mood swings, impulsivity, anger, depression, or lack of motivation.

Physical Health

Sleep is essential to allow the body to repair itself each day. It helps your immune system fight off infections and can help heal heart and blood vessels. Lack of sleep increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Quality of Life & Safety

Sleep helps people function properly throughout the day and remain productive. Lack of sleep slows reaction times and allows for an increased number of mistakes. This can lead to microsleep where a person misses short periods of times during their day, like when they drive somewhere, but do not remember part of the trip. Lack of sleep can be a serious safety concern for not only the individual, but for others as well.

Strategies For Improved Sleep:

  • Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day.
  • Quiet time away from screens an hour before bed.
  • Avoiding heavy or large meals a few hours before bed.
  • Avoiding nicotine and caffeine.

Agency Participation

Agencies who wish to participate can email Carrie at bartholomewc@unk.edu by Wednesday, October 13. The challenge will run from October 13 to December 17. Participants will track the number of hours slept each night. Agencies grouped together due to size will be notified.

There are two supplemental documents: a weekly sleep tracking tool for employees and an agency wide tracking tool. Some fitness watches have a sleep tracking feature that participants can utilize. Otherwise, participants can estimate hours slept from when they fell asleep and when they woke up.

At the end of the quarter, participating agencies will be asked to email tracking materials to Carrie. The winning agency and individual will also win a prize!

Download a PDF of the wellness newsletter to print and share with your employees.

About Author

Nebraska Public Transit is a program administered by the Nebraska Department of Transportation. NDOT’s Local Assistance Division is responsible for coordinating public transportation activities in Nebraska’s 93 counties and provides technical assistance as requested. NDOT receives money from the Federal Transit Administration and state transportation funds to fulfill requirements set forth by Nebraska Revised Statute 13-1204.

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