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August 2012
A Matter of SLEEP
I would guess that when Thomas Edison first promoted the “early to bed, early to rise” principle he did not necessarily know the specifics of how sleep impacts our health. Who would have thought back then that lack of proper sleep not only has negative effects on one’s energy levels and increasing fatigue but also hormone levels increasing the risk for diabetes and obesity?

We do know for a fact today that lack of sleep is associated with childhood obesity, metabolic syndrome, depression, and immune function (see Facts with Hope on page 4). It is not by chance that God prepared our biologic clock to have a natural sleep cycle (known as our circadian rhythm) so we could live a full life with energy and less risk for disease.

However, it is very easy in the current society to stay up late to get things done, or perhaps watching TV or surfing the internet that we end up changing our natural circadian rhythm to one that is definitely sub-optimal. Some end up believing they work better at night while having no energy in early morning, not realizing sometimes there are ways one can reset their circadian rhythm back on tract.

It is true that in some cases some people have difficulty falling asleep and can get by with less than 8hrs of sleep without effective ways to change that, but those are rare cases and not the norm. For the most part, there are important sleep hygiene habits that can be helpful to reset one’s circadian rhythm back. Here are 5 tips:
  1. Going early to bed before 10pm and staying still with eyes closed even if not falling asleep right away
  2. Keeping the sleeping room cool and completely dark
  3. Avoiding caffeinated foods or drinks during the day
  4. Avoiding exercising late or having over stimulation
  5. Having at least a 3 hrs interval between dinner and sleep time.
It is also important to consider things one can do during the day to facilitate a restful night. Things like getting up early and exercising during the day rather than at night. Making sure to be exposed to sunlight during the day can also maximize our production of melatonin in the evening. Most of all, lifting our worries and anxieties to God as we surrender our lives to Him again at the end of a busy day will ultimately contribute to inner peace and rest that can relax our minds and prepare us for true rest of body, mind and spirit.

If anxieties fill your mind and racing thoughts keep you awake at night, perhaps you can repeat the verse that my dear grandmother Lourdes taught me to recite every night at bedtime from an early age:  “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8). God can help us lie down and sleep in peace and safety.  This same God can help us to “Choose to Sleep Early” on a daily basis, so we can do our part to maintain our internal clock intact reaping the many healthy benefits.

Katia Reinert, PhDc, CRNP, FNP-BC, PHCNS-BC
Director, Adventist Health Ministries – NAD

Focus on a Spirit Led Revival
Join Seventh-day Adventists around the globe to pray for revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Join us in the “777” prayer, seeking “Revival and Transformation” as 7th-day Adventists praying 7 days a week at 7 o’clock (am or pm) daily, without ceasing until Jesus comes. For more information visit www.revivalandreformation.org  

Reach NAD prayer calendar:
  GREAT HOPE PROJECT  The Great Hope audio recordings are now available online. Downloadable in mp3 format, they can be loaded to your iPod, CDs, iphone, computer, for listening while you are exercising, driving, or working. The Great Hope can be ordered through your local Adventist Book Center (800-765-6955). The price is now 1-199/ .79 ea. and 2,000 or more/ .49 each plus S&H. Join us in the distribution of 3 million copies of The Great Hope in North America. (English, Spanish, and French)..

5 Secrets for Peace in a Storm  In this book Ruthie Jacobson, presents a huge dose of encouragement providing a simple but life-changing recipe for hope even in rough times.

Health Ministries Resources   REACH OUT
NAD Health Ministries
This summer was witness of many camp meetings and gatherings where Adventists across NAD engaged in health ministries activities and training. NAD Health Ministries was involved in 4 trainings in July alone. The first one took place in the Greater New York Conference camp meeting in Camp Berkshire, NY, where people got motivated to get ready for NY13 health outreach. Next, Katia Reinert, NAD HM director, held health seminars and training at the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Conference camp meeting at the beautiful Whitesand Camp. Passionate health directors and lay leaders attended the health ministry sessions. Reinert then participated at the first NY13 Health Ministries training for the Atlantic Union in preparation for the urban outreach and evangelism in 2013. Lastly, the final training was at the Gladstone Camp meeting where hundreds of Oregon Conference members attended the health ministries lectures. The NAD HM department praises God for the wonderful dedicated leaders and lay members who are eager to expand their health outreach extending Jesus love and healing ministry to the many communities in North America.

Atlantic Union Conference
In New York City, the first NY13 Health Ministries training took place in North Bronx from July 13-22. 87 students from 38 churches and 4 Conferences completed the training. NAD Health Ministries director participated along with several other presenters. The training was coordinated by Pr Leroy Daley, Health Ministries Director for Northeastern Conference in partnership with Pr Ruben Merino, Health Ministries director of the Greater New York Conference. The attendees left committed to the vision of making NY a symbol of the ministry to be done in urban cities, an focus launched the General Conference and NAD recently. For more information about NY13 and this massive Urban evangelism effort go to www.NY13.org.

Manitoba-Saskatchuan Conference
During this summer the Man-Sask Conference was intentional in getting people from all ages physically active during their camp meeting. Besides the week long health seminars and training, they sponsored their yearly 5K run on July 8 where dozens of people participated and recorded their miles towards the Adventists InStep for Life initiative. The course record for men is 21:51, set in 2011 by Serge Uwimana. In 2010, Olga Schwab (Shipowick) set the women’s record of 25:38. During the course of the week kids were seen swimming, playing ball, canoeing and even rope climbing. A fun day of many activities kept kids, adults and the elderly active and healthy throughout the week. Man-Sask Conference has had the lead in Canada on miles of physical initiative and participation rates in the InStep initiative compared to other Canadian Conferences. Kudos to Elder Ron Nelson (Conference president) and Dr Carol Henry (health ministries director) for their visionary work and dedicated support of health filled activities at the Whitesand Camp meeting.

Oregon Conference | Adventist Health
At Gladstone camp meeting thousands gathered bringing together members from Oregon and Washington States. Besides a week filled with several morning and afternoon health ministries training and seminars attendees also participated on the yearly 5K fun run/walk entitled “InStep for Life” sponsored by the Oregon Conference and Adventist Health. Hundreds of people signed up and parents brought their children making it a family event. The InStep for Life 5K at Gladstone has been a yearly event and many look forward to registering their miles towards the Adventists InStep for Life intiative. Adventist Health also sponsored several health screenings for the participants at Gladstone. Kudos for Cheryl Corner and Linda Schrader for their dedicated health ministries leadership at the Oregon Conference and for Adventist Health for the ongoing collaboration and effective ministry of healing in that region.

Sleep, Vacations and Rest on the Sabbath Day

FACT: Short sleep duration and circadian rhythm disruption are linked with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes.  In a 39-day study designed to mimic shift work for night workers, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that prolonged inadequate sleep at irregular times lowers the resting metabolic rate and leads to defects in pancreatic insulin secretion and impaired glucose regulation.
HOPE:  Want to decrease your risk for obesity and diabetes?  Start by getting adequate sleep at regular times each day.  Feeling rested will also help you make more positive food and exercise choices.
FACT: A recent Australian study suggests that the timing of sleep, not just the amount of sleep, is important in children and teens aged 9 to 16.  Those who went to bed early and got up early were thinner and fitter than kids who slept late, even when both groups got the same amount of sleep.  The researchers found that the night owls who slept in later in the morning were 1.5 times more likely to become obese, twice as likely to be sedentary, and nearly three times as likely to spend an excessive amount of time watching TV, using the computer, or playing video games.
HOPE: Helping your child to understand and buy-in to the benefits of “early to bed, early to rise” can lower their risks for obesity and set them on a path to lifelong health.
FACT:  German researchers found that short-term sleep deprivation increased how hungry participants felt and also raised the amount of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin detected in their blood.  Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite.  In the study, the shorter the amount of sleep a person had experienced the hungrier they were—which set the stage for overeating.  In addition, researchers found that staying awake for one complete night reduced the amount of energy used by the body when resting.  Eating more while burning less calories is a recipe for weight gain.
HOPE:  Make sleep a part of your weight management strategy.  More sleep may help you control your weight by keeping ghrelin levels at normal levels and helping you burn more calories at rest.
FACT:  Teens whose parents insist on 10 p.m. or sooner for lights out were 25 percent less likely to be depressed and 20 percent less likely to have suicidal thoughts, compared with kids who go to bed at midnight or later.  The data on more than 15,000 adolescents in grades 7-12 who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health also found that adolescents who reported sleeping five or fewer hours per night were 71% more likely to report depression, and 48% more likely to have thoughts of committing suicide, compared to young people reporting eight hours of sleep nightly.
HOPE: Consider bedtime limits for your teenage child similar to setting limits on other activities that adversely affect health, such as cigarette smoking.  Insisting on earlier bedtimes is one key to having happy, healthy and less depressed children.