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How would you rate your sleep?

May 16, 2012

By Pamela Redwine
Nutrition & Food Safety Area Agent

The human body requires an adequate amount of rest to function at its best. Sleep is often times put on the back burner to make room for too many of life’s more exciting moments.
In a 2008 survey conducted by the Better Sleep Council, nearly 2 out of 3 respondents reported impaired sleep due to stress. One third of Americans experience poor sleep at least one night per week, and 16 percent are diagnosed with stress-induced insomnia. Over 40 percent of survey participants stated they were irritable due to sleep deprivation. Respondents stated their productivity at home and in the workplace was impacted by sleep problems, as demonstrated in poor recall for details (30 percent), decreased accuracy and quality of work (31 percent), and impaired decision making (31 percent). An estimated $150 billion in lost productivity and absenteeism results from poor sleep.
In addition, a phenomenon called “driving while drowsy” has been implicated in nearly one out of every six fatal auto accidents, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Sleep deprivation can result in a level of impairment as severe as a blood alcohol level of 0.1, the equivalent of having consumed six alcoholic beverages. Sleep deficits have also been associated with weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, impaired immunity, and decreased tolerance of chronic pain.
Since May is Better Sleep Month why don’t you take a look at your sleep habits and use if you are having problems going to sleep or staying asleep use these tips to establish better routines.
1. Buy a new bed. The average person sleeps in a saggy mattress for far too long. An old, worn-out mattress causes back pain and sleepless nights. Consider investing in a new mattress to improve your everyday life.
2. Sleep in when your schedule permits it. While most people live busy lives, they often times forget that sleep is an important part of life. An adult needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day, and some need even more. If you feel tired, you’re not getting enough sleep.
3. Keep a sleep diary. Find out a lot about your sleep habits. The best medicine for a health is a sleep routine that works with your schedule. Review your log for a week or two. Compare the days you didn’t sleep much with those you did, and try to fix the problems that interfere with your sleep.
4. Cut back on the caffeine, sugar and energy bars. While they serve a purpose, they aren’t necessary if you are getting the adequate amount of sleep each night. They may actually be disrupting your sleep which creates a cycle of tiredness.
5. Reduce your stress level. Stress causes millions to lose sleep every night. Spend a few minutes relaxing, meditating or doing yoga before going to bed. Use relaxation tapes, music or aromatherapy candles to help you calm down, de-stress and fall asleep.
6. Set up a bedtime routine, just like you do for your kids. While it may seem silly, a calming routine can help you sleep better every night
Article Source Adapted from:

Family-Style Beef Pizza

1 package (about 13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza dough
1/4 pound 95 percent lean ground beef
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3.4 cup pizza sauce
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray 12-inch pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll Pizza dough; press onto prepared pan. Build up edges slightly. Prick dough all over with fork. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
2. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to separate meat. Drain fat.
3. Bring pizza sauce, tomato, Italian seasoning, garlic and red pepper to a boil in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 8 minutes or until desired consistency.
4. Spread tomato sauce evenly over pizza crust. Sprinkle with ground beef mixture and mushrooms. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake 5 minutes to 8 minutes or until heated through.
Makes 6 servings
Nutrients Per serving: 1 pizza wedge (1/6 of total)
Calories 259
Fat 6g
Protein 15g
Carbohydrate 35g
Fiber 2g
Cholesterol 23mg
Sodium 723 mg
Exchanges 2 starch, 1.2 vegetable, 1-1/2 lean meat
Article provided by the Oktibbeha County Extension Service, for more information please call 323-5916.

Pamela Redwine is a nutrition and food safety agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Article provided by Oktibbeha County Extension Service; for more information call 662-323-5916.

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