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Sleep: the unsung hero of healthy routines

by Wellness Champions, Concordia Plans

When thinking about fitness and health what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Is it nutrition? Cardio? Lifting weights? There are so many options, but there is one routine that is almost always overlooked: sleep. In this article we discuss the importance of sleep and how a good sleep pattern can pair with other routines to keep you healthy.

Upcoming health topics:

3rd Quarter focus: Feelings and Emotions

  • August: Healthy Routines
  • September: Suicide Awareness and Prevention

4th Quarter focus: Fuel

  • October: World Food Day (10/16) and Diabetes Spectrum Review


I often get asked, “What’s the #1 thing I could do to improve my health today?” My answer is always this: Get more sleep. 

This month as we focus on healthy routines, consider encouraging your co-workers to add just a little more shut eye to their lives. 

Even though we all love sleep, it can be a challenge to prioritize it. Some interesting facts found in a 2016 AAA study may help with making small tweaks to our schedules to get a few more ZZZ’s each night. The study showed that a driver who has slept for fewer than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk. Furthermore, AAA Foundations’ report found that in a 24-hour period, crash risk for sleep-deprived drivers increased steadily when compared to drivers who slept the recommended seven hours or more: 

  • Six to seven hours of sleep: 1.3 times the crash risk. 
  • Five to six hours of sleep: 1.9 times the crash risk. 
  • Four to five hours of sleep: 4.3 times the crash risk. 
  • Less than four hours of sleep: 11.5 times the crash risk.


For all employees:
Bedtime Routine Challenge (find it on page 58 in Wellness Champion playbook). The Lord will give you peace and comfort. He repeats it often in the Bible but filling your head with the troubles of the world by scrolling through social media, watching a drama or watching the evening news before turning out the light can be distracting and leave us anxious. Instead, we can take note from Psalm 132:4-5, “I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

How to: Don’t watch a screen (e.g., phone, tablet, laptop, TV, etc.) at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Instead, spend that time with God to be at peace. 

Consider this: Ask co-workers to log their bedtime routine for the chance to win a small gift (maybe a new pillowcase, sleep mask, journal for pre-bedtime brain dumping, etc.)