Army H.e.a.l.t.h. Arsenal
March, 2017


Sleep time is an app developed by Azumio Inc. that serves as an alarm, a white noise generator, and a sleep cycle tracker. It uses your phone’s built-in accelerometer to track your movements and sleep phases as you sleep; in the morning, it shows you graphs to help you understand the quality of your sleep each night. It also uses this same technology to help judge the best time to wake you, keeping you from feeling groggy when you wake up.

Other great features include a variety of white noise options, alarm noises (including your favorite songs from your music library!), and a “no-glasses-required” display. For Apple users, you can integrate the data into your Apple Health app.

The Sleep Time app is available for free in the app store for iPhone and Android

Sleep Corner

Sleep like an Athlete!

Many professional athletes are prioritizing sleep to give them a leg up on the competition. Researchers believe that sleep may help athletic performance because during sleep is when growth hormone is released and when memories are consolidated, which are both important features of recovery. Growth hormone helps with bone building, fat burning, and muscle growth and repair. Sleep experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep for adults each night, but some athletes set aside time for even more.

According to Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, he sleeps about eight to ten hours each night, saying, “Sleep is extremely important to me – I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.” Tom Brady sleeps about 8 hours each night and makes his sleep environment a priority by creating an optimal space to snooze that is both cold and dark. Basketball Allstar LeBron James reportedly sleeps twelve hours a night, leading the pack in nightly hours.

Although many athletes sleep long periods of time for recovery, many also take frequent naps for the same reason. It isn’t unusual to hear of a pre-game or post-workout nap. Take a cue from the professionals and get the sleep your body needs to function optimally.


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Alcohol and Sleep (or lack thereof)


Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is not a solution to sleepless nights. In fact, alcohol has been shown to reduce the amount of quality sleep following consumption. The graphic below outlines the stages of sleep that occur while we sleep. Alcohol affects these stages, oftentimes delaying the onset of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and causing an increase in sleep disruption in the second half of sleep.

REM sleep is when dreams occur and when your body restores itself, providing energy for daytime performance. When you do not get enough REM sleep, you will feel drowsy, you will not have energy, and you will find it difficult to concentrate. So, even though alcohol gets you to fall asleep faster, the quality of the sleep is greatly diminished. The more alcohol you drink, the greater the sleep disruption.



Sleep deprivation can affect your ability to adhere to your health goals by affecting appetite, energy levels, and decision making. Getting enough sleep is important to help keep your mind and body rested and strong. Here are some tips that can improve your sleep:

  1. Begin rituals that help you relax each night before bed. (warm bath, light reading, decaf tea).

  2. If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of the bed. Your bedroom should be where you sleep, so find something relaxing to do until you feel sleepy, then go back to bed.

  3. Get up at the same time every morning. Doing this even on weekends will help you stick to a sleep schedule, improving overall sleep quality.

  4. Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool to create a sleep-inducing environment.

  5. And finally...Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and large amounts of food before bedtime.
So remember, to get a good night’s sleep, keep the alcohol to a minimum. Try to keep alcohol consumption to 1-2 servings to ensure feeling rested in the morning.



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FAQ

Q: Why do I feel sleepy every afternoon around the same time?

A: Feeling sleepy in the afternoon is typical for most people. We naturally experience reduced changes in our energy levels because of circadian rhythms.

Your circadian rhythm is like a 24-hour internal clock that cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle. Below are a few tips to help tackle that afternoon fatigue:
  • TIP 1—Workout- a midday afternoon workout may not only boost productivity, it can help fight sleepiness too.

  • TIP 2— Move Around- a change of scenery or a nice afternoon walk exposing ourselves to some natural light can help keep us more alert.

  • TIP 3— Switching Tasks- working on something different can help us stay stimulated and feel reenergized.

  • TIP 4— Stay Hydrated- drinking a cold glass of water can help refresh us when we start to feel tired. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends about 2.7 liters of water per day for women, and 3.7 liters per day for men.

  • TIP 5— Refuel by eating a healthy snack- Good options include fresh fruit, trail mix with nuts or whole wheat crackers.

Mindful Moment

Do not TRY to fall asleep...ALLOW sleep to occur by relaxing, clearing your mind, and letting go of the day.


Bottom Line

Sleep is a vital component to our mental and physical health. Many factors can interfere with a good night’s sleep, including alcohol. Having a routine bedtime ritual that excludes alcohol can help our body prepare for sleep.

Many professional athletes are now realizing the impact that sleep can have on performance. Top athletes from around the world are now scheduling sleep into their day in the same manner they would prioritize physical training.

Just like professional athletes, working with our natural circadian rhythm is a good way to improve sleep. A daily afternoon slump may be a sign that we are not getting enough sleep. Or we may simply need to adjust our afternoon routine by switching tasks, working out, and/or refueling.



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Featured Recipe: Easy Spinach and Tomato Frittata



Great for brunch or an easy weeknight dinner, this frittata makes for a meal packed with protein and Vitamin A. With a few chopped veggies, some beaten eggs, and 10-15 minutes cooking time, you’ll have a warm and healthy meal ready to serve straight out of the pan. As an added bonus, you can add any additional produce you want, making this recipe great for using up leftovers!

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1-2 cups fresh spinach, loosely measured in cup
  • 1 medium tomato, diced into small chunks
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Optional: extra produce (e.g., onions, mushrooms, zucchini, leftover sweet        potatoes, etc.) and/or a handful of shredded cheese

  • Instructions

    Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven broiler to high.*In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork. Set aside. Spray an oven-safe skillet with cooking spray, turn a stove burner to medium heat, and cook spinach until spinach wilts slightly (about 30 seconds). Evenly sprinkle the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and any optional produce or cheese. Add the eggs and cook over medium heat (covered if possible) without stirring for about 5 minutes (or until the edges begin to set). Place skillet under broiler for 3-5 minutes to set the center.**Serve warm and fresh.

    Nutrition Information:
    Servings: 4      Calories: 117      Carbs: 3g      Fiber: 1g      Sugar: 0g                Fat: 7g            Protein: 10g        Sodium: 157mg     

    *Note: Placing the pan in the middle of the oven will reduce the chances of overcooking

    **Note: Broiling time will vary based on your oven and type of skillet, so be sure to keep a watchful eye on the eggs to be sure they don’t overcook. Additionally, the heat from the pan will keep cooking the eggs once it’s removed from the oven. In order to avoid overcooking, remove the pan before you think you need to.
    Featured Exercise: Medicine Ball Choppers


    Sources:
    Featured Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks.