Health Beat: Catching Those ZZZs
by Michelle Moore
Sleeping soundly should come easily after a hard day's work. But, for many of us, nighttime slumber is disrupted by thoughts of our "to-do" list, worries about our workload or interruptions from our children or snoring partners.
"One third of all American adults experience an occasional or persistent sleep disturbance known as insomnia," explains Cheryl Tanouye, a physician with the campus Occupational Health Clinic.
Researchers agree. According to modest estimates, at least 20 to 30 million Americans suffer from insomnia.
Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
The term "insomnia" describes difficulty in falling asleep, disrupted sleep or waking up too early. There are three types of insomnia:
* transient insomnia, lasting for a few nights
* short-term insomnia, lasting up to three weeks
* chronic insomnia, lingering for up to a month or more
Many factors lead to the disruption of normal sleep, says Tanouye. "Insomnia is a symptom of some larger problem related to lifestyle or physical or psychological health." These may include day-to-day pressures of job stress, psychological problems like anxiety or depression, or major events such as divorce, illness or death of a loved one.
The resulting fatigue of sleep deprivation can lead to increased stress, irritability, even catastrophe. An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 car and truck accidents every year are related to lack of sleep. Fatigue can lower motivation and negatively affect job performance and personal relationships. Evidence also suggests that sleeplessness may compromise the immune system.
Sleep Quantity vs. Quality
The amount of sleep each of us requires is an individual matter. Some people feel rested with five to six hours of sleep; others need nine to 10 hours. Generally, most adults sleep seven to eight hours in a 24-hour period.
Since no research indicates that a particular amount of sleep is needed, whatever makes you feel refreshed and alert is considered adequate. According to Tanouye, the quality of sleep we get is probably more important than the quantity.
Sleep consists of two types of slumber: REM sleep includes rapid eye movement and dreaming, while non-REM sleep includes four stages ranging from light to deep sleep. Each night you pass through four to six cycles of REM and non-REM sleep.
"It is in these deeper stages of sleep that the body restores itself, giving you that refreshed feeling," explains Tanouye. "And, as we age, we spend less time getting the stage four kind of rest." This explains why 40 percent of all sleeping pills are consumed by people in the 65-79 age group.
How to Get Your 40 Winks
To improve the quality of your sleep, try these slumber-friendly techniques:
* Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night and day, including weekends.
* Develop a relaxing, nightly routine such as reading, listening to music or taking a bath.
* Create an environment conducive to sleep--quiet, dark, comfortable.
* Do not use bedtime to do work.
* Get regular exercise during the day.
* Avoid stimulants--caffeine or nicotine--several hours before bedtime.
* Do not over or under eat before bedtime.
* Do not consume alcohol before bedtime (it can lead to disrupted sleep).
* Avoid naps unless you have no problem sleeping at night.
* Ask your physician if any of your prescribed medication causes sleep disruption.
* Try relaxing each muscle from your toes to your head or think of a repetitive mental routine such as counting sheep.
* If you can not get to sleep, get up and do something relaxing.
* If, after one to two weeks you do not see improvement, consult your doctor. Your physician can explore physical or emotional causes and prescribe treatment accordingly to alleviate your sleeplessness.
For More Help...
* Sleeping Soundly Self-Care Kit includes reading material on insomnia, sleep apnea, sleeping pills and the over-the-counter hormone melatonin. Call Health*Matters at 643-4646 to request.
* CARE Services can provide help with work and personal issues that may be affecting your ability to sleep. Call 643-7754 for an appointment.
* SleepNet (http://www.sleepnet. com) is a link to a wealth of sleep information on the Internet ranging from education, support groups and research centers to product and equipment information.
Michelle Moore is the program representative with Health* Matters.
Next month's topic:
"Playing It Safe: Exercise Do's and Don'ts."
Employee Development and Training
For more information, for copies of the 1995-96 Employee Development and Training catalog or for information on how to enroll in classes, call 642-8134.
Manager as Career Coach: Developing Staff to Full Potential
May 14 and 21, 8:30 am-noon.
Participants will gain an understanding of Berkeley's career development program and receive practical advice on how to integrate career development opportunities into the workplace and how to enhance communication with staff by learning how to offer feedback.
Customer Service Excellence for Managers and Supervisors
May 29, 8:30 am-4:30 pm, and June 5, 8:30 am-noon.
An opportunity for managers and supervisors to explore the foundations of service excellence and develop the knowledge and skills needed to enhance service in their departments.
Calling for Volunteer Tutors
For those who would like to develop teaching skills while helping a motivated Berkeley employee develop basic skills, consider joining the CALS Project--a free, confidential, one-to-one tutoring program for employees. The next noontime tutor training begins Wednesday, June 5. For more information, contact Jane Griswold at 643-5280 or email@example.com.
For more information or to sign up, call 643-4646.
Splash into Shape
May 3, Hearst East Pool
Try the hottest new low-impact exercise. Locker room available.
Computers at Work
May 7, 10:30 a.m.-noon.
Participants will learn about health issues related to computer use, design a user-friendly workstation and practice exercises to relieve computer-related aches and pains.
Berkeley Boasts Eleven New Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Eleven faculty members are newly elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They are:
Christopher Alexander, professor of architecture
Paul Joel Alpers, professor of engineering
Kathryn Anderson, professor of molecular and cell biology
Elwyn Berlekamp, professor of mathematics
Carol Clover, professor of Scandinavian and rhetoric
Alexander Glazer, professor emeritus, molecular and cell biology
Robert Phillip Goldman, professor and chair, Sanskrit
Martin Jay, professor of history
Hendrik Lenstra, professor of mathematics
C. Bradley Moore, professor of chemistry
Kenneth Wilcox Wachter, professor of demography and statistics
The American Academy, founded in 1780 by John Adams and other leaders of the young republic, is an honorary learned society with a current membership of 3,300 fellows elected from the U.S. and 550 foreign honorary members.
Each year, the fellows of the academy nominate and elect individuals who have made significant contributions to knowledge and culture.
Fellows are arranged in four classes, mathematical and physical sciences, biological sciences, social arts and sciences and humanities.
Clay Felker, founding editor of New York magazine and lecturer in the Graduate School of Journalism, is one of five editors selected as the first recipients of the Editors Hall of Fame Awards created this year by the American Society of Magazine Editors.
According to a notice distributed by the society, Felker "broke new ground in fearlessly encourageing writers to find their own voice, and, in doing so, he reinvented and set a new standard for the city magazine. Gutsy, charming and brashly original, Felker's New York magazine became the indispensable handbook to the city that bears it name."
Felker is joined by Cosmopolitan's Helen Gurley Brown, Newsweek's Osborn Elliot, People magazine's Richard Stolley and Glamour's Ruth Whitney in the new Hall of Fame.
Daniel E. Koshland Jr. will be presented with the Exploratorium's Award for Public Understanding of Science at the museum's 19th Annual Awards Dinner Tuesday, May 7.
Koshland, professor in the graduate school of molecular biology and editor-in-chief of Science magazine from 1985-95, has been, as stated by Exploratorium officials, "instrumental in improving the reporting of science discoveries so that they are understandable to the layman and to scientists in different disciplines.
"He receives the award for his own research, which has produced major advances in our understanding of enzymes, protein chemistry and short and long-term memory; for his role as an educator and for his impact on the quality of reporting on the research and discoveries of others."
Science is the largest circulation scientific journal publishing primary research across the entire spectrum of the sciences.
Robert C. Post, professor of law, has been named a Koret Israel Fellow for 1996 by the Koret Foundation. He was recognized, along with this year's Koret Prize winners and five other fellows, at an April 17 luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.
Koret Fellows are chosen for outstanding achievements in their respective careers and for demonstrated leadership potential in the Jewish community. As part of the program, fellows are offered the opportunity to visit Israel to share ideas and knowledge--designed to promote stronger ties between the local Jewish community and Israel.
Medical Plan Sessions
The Benefits Unit has invited the medical plan carriers to hold information sessions in May as follows:
* Health Net --Thursday, May 2
* Kaiser--Thursday, May 9
* FHP/TakeCare--Monday, May 13
* Foundation--Monday, May 13
* Prudential, including High Option, UC Care and CORE--Thursday, May 16
* PacifiCare--Monday, May 20
New and continuing plan members are welcome. All sessions will take place from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in Room 150, University Hall. Seating capacity on a first come, first served basis.
Sessions will include information about the referral process, prescription drugs, emergencies, providers, wellness programs and the function of customer service.
Employees are encouraged to send in questions at least a week ahead of the applicable session to mjohnson@uclink or Marie Johnson, Personnel Benefits Unit, #3540, 207 University Hall
The following are titles of memos recently mailed to deans, directors, department chairs and administrative officers on the chancellor's mailing lists. For copies, contact originating offices.
Deans and directors memos also are available on Infocal under "campus directives." Connect to Infocal via Gopher, WWW or telnet software at infocal.berkeley.edu. For assistance using Infocal, call 642-8507.
Questions about memos should be directed to Aileen Kim, 642-3100, or email to aileen_kim@ maillink.
April 19. Invitation to Meeting About the Interactive University Project, from Carol T. Christ, the vice chancellor and provost.