We all need to get a good night's sleep. When we sleep well, we feel refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the world. When we don't, we feel fatigued, sluggish, and irritable. And if we're chronically sleep deprived, we can develop daytime sleepiness that can lead to accidents and errors both in and out of the home.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Yet the average American adult sleeps just six hours and 30 minutes per night during the work week. Adequate sleep restores us physically, mentally, and emotionally. It facilitates learning, helps us concentrate and retain information, and gives our brains a much-needed rest from the hustle and bustle of our hectic lives. In a nutshell, sleep is essential to our short-and long-term health.
Now, research shows that sufficient sleep plays an important role in weight management and decreasing the risk of metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and diabetes as well as other sleep-related problems. Because of this correlation between sleep and weight control as well as metabolic disorders, dietitians are in the perfect position to begin evaluating the sleep habits of clients and patients who are battling overweight or obesity and are at high risk of developing chronic disease.
Such an intervention can mean the difference between patients continuing down a path of weight struggles and poor health and finding a solution that will put them on the road to better health. This continuing education activity will help dietitians assess the current research on the association between sleep quantity and quality on weight management and diabetes risk in adults and children, and develop strategies to evaluate their patients' sleep habits to improve their overall health and well-being.