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July 2013

Too Busy not to Sleep

We all know that our lifestyle habits and choices have a direct association with our health. A recent study of more than 14,000 in the Netherlands published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology supports that claim. The study showed that people who were physically active, who ate a healthy diet and did not smoke had a 57% lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and a 67% reduced risk of dying from a stroke and heart disease when compared with people who followed only two of these habits. 

But the benefits were not all about diet, exercise and smoking. In the same study, people who slept at least seven hours a night, in addition to following these other healthy habits, were 65% less likely to develop CVD and 83% less likely to die from CVD.

However, it is always surprising to me that some still question the need for 7 hours of sleep. They think that they can function perfectly well with just 4 to 5 hours of sleep. Are they right? Well, this is actually a myth. People may feel like they don’t need more sleep, however they are simply not aware of their body’s true need for it. Researchers in Detroit found that too little sleep is really damaging for one’s health. Here is why.

First, It makes you less effective because it impairs your ability to think clearly, make good judgments and concentrate. For example, did you know that being awake for 18hrs straight makes you drive as thought you were legally drunk?

Second, it increases the changes of being ill by weakening your immune system, increasing your risk for being overweight, and also of having a heart problem and dying. 

Lastly, lack of sleep impairs a person’s ability to focus and learn efficiently. At the same time, sleep is necessary to consolidate a memory or what you have learned so that you are be able to recall it in the future.

Now, while sleep is important, it does not mean that more sleep is always healthier. Some studies have found that people who slept more than 8 hours a night died younger than those who slept 6-8 hours/night. It is unclear why that is the case, but some researchers at the University of British Columbia believe that these long hours of sleep may be related to sleep apnea or depression diagnosis.

If we want the best results, we should consider getting the 7-8 hours of sleep recommended, ideally before midnight, and also not overdue it. Trying to catch up on sleep on weekends by staying in bed until noon does not work either. The best results come with consistency. 

The Bible says there is a time for everything under the earth (Ecclesiastes 3). If you are someone busy, with many responsibilities, deadlines, and assignments due, you cannot afford inefficiency. Make sleep a priority! If you follow your body’s circadian rhythm you work more efficiently and have better discernment to make wiser decisions. May God give each of us the will and the strength to follow His counsel.

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: 
  • June 30-July 6 (Washington Conference)
  • July 7-13 (Arizona Conference)
  • July 14-27 (Hawaii and Micronesia Conference)
  • July 28-Aug 3 (Nevada-Utah Conference)

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).

In Message, Mission and Unity of the Church  

by Angel Manuel Rodriguez (editor) 
In this book, 17 respected and recognized Adventist scholars address questions such as: what elements hold the church together, is there a cosmic conflict present in the history of the church, is there salvation apart from the church, how the Adventist doctrine of the church intersects with modern day concerns.

Health Ministries Resources
  • Adventists InStep for Life (AISFL) is a Division wide health initiative. The website provides information and resources on how your church, school, or healthcare organization can become involved. Motivate yourself, your family and your church to register and report miles of physical activity. Consider volunteering to be your church, school, or hospital coordinator so you can report miles for others. You can watch previous webinars explaining the initiative or register for upcoming webinars at www.adventistsinstepforlife.org.
  • Adventists InStep for Life Mobile Apps are available for download for android and iPhone users. You must first register at the website listed above then download the app (INSTEP or ADVENTIST INSTEP), and start recording your physical activity right on your phone.
  • Unhooked is a new series on how the prevention and recovery from unhealthy habits and damaging addictive behaviors. This 26 part series was developed by Adventist Recovery Ministries (ARMin) and Hope Channel to raise awareness and provide hope for people hurting from these compulsive harmful practices. The series is running weekly at Hope Channel , direct TV channel 368 and streamed live online at www.hopetv.org/unhooked and will be available for purchase starting in October. For more information or to watch a trailer of the series check this website or www.adventistrecovery.org.
  • Advertise your health program for free: The NAD has developed a website with listings of health programs for the public. Anyone can advertise their health outreach program in any city or state in the Division and use the free online registration system that allows you to know ahead of time who is coming, what their contact information is. The site is www.ChooseFullLife.org . To advertise your event, simply send information with name and contact info for coordinator, location, time and description of event. If you wish to use our registration system so people can print an entrance ticket, please send us how many seats you have available. The info may be sent to NADHM@nad.adventist.org or click on ‘contact us’ at the website.
  • World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2013 (Canada): Every year on July 28, WHO and partners mark World Hepatitis Day to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes. Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E can cause acute and chronic infection and inflammation of the liver that can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. A toolkit is available for download at http://www.nationalmemoryscreening.ca/about.php.
  • Health Calendar Emphasis - July

NAD Health Ministries

National Mental Health Conference

On June 3 mental health experts and faith leaders from around the country were invited by President Obama to convene for a National Mental Health Conference. The goal was to take a more intentional step to further the discussion to improve access to mental health services and raise awareness about mental health. NAD Health Ministries director Katia Reinert was among faith leaders who pledged to take tangible steps to make mental health a priority in their health outreach to church members and communities. The Adventist church in North America set up a special Mental Health taskforce with experts from many Adventist institutions areas to make plans. The first combined effort will take hold on February 15, 2014 Health Ministries Sabbath, where churches are invited to devote that for highlighting God’s plan and prescription for healthy minds. The goal will be to focus on mental health awareness with the theme “Maximizing Your Brain Potential.” Resources will be available for leaders to use on that Mental Health Day, including sermons, presentations, and a special issue of Vibrant Life focusing on mental health.

Arizona Conference 
Hispanic Members InStep for Life

On June 17-21 brothers and sisters of all ages attending the Arizona Conference Hispanic Campmeeting renewed their commitment to live a full life for Christ by making healthier choices. The group began their day with exercise each day and followed with seminars on health. Pastors also joined the fun and committed for a joint Lets Move Day event in Phoenix, said Pr Martin, Hispanic coordinator. Hundreds of miles of physical activity were recorded towards the Adventists InStep for Life initiative aimed at motivating members to become more active along with their communities. 

Mid-America Union
Hispanic Ministries Embrace Health Ministries Outreach

Hispanic youth leaders and their pastors gathered at Union College for the Mid-America Union Hispanic Congress on June 7-9 to be inspired and learn better ways to live in service to God. Hubert Cisneros, Mid-America Union Youth and Health Ministries director carefully planned the special occasion so the youth and young adults would see the beautiful fit of healthy living and service. Hundreds attended health outreach seminars, like Children’s Health Expo and InStep for Life. Elder Cisneros will lead a Youth Track during the 2014 NAD Health Summit in Orlando to continue to equip the youth. In addition, Hispanic pastors in Mid-America committed to plan together for a special LETS MOVE DAY event in Kansas City in 2014 in an effort to make an impact for health and wholeness in that community.

Loma Linda University
Adventist Health Study -2 Attracts Media Attention

Great media attention was given to the findings of the Adventist Health Study (AHS)-2 in June. AHS-2 is a longitudinal study done at Loma Linda University led by Dr Gary Frasier. Michael Orlich, MD and his colleagues looked at data on about 73,000 U.S. Adventists in the study and the results indicate that vegetarians have a lower risk of death compared to meat eaters. Orlich said the risk of death was moderately lower among vegetarians, including some who ate dairy and eggs or fish. No statistical differences were seen among vegan and vegetarians. But vegetarians and vegans combined had advantages over the meat eaters. Orlich mentioned that previous research has not given a completely clear answer about whether vegetarians live longer but that “This research gives more support to the idea that certain vegetarian dietary patterns may be associated with reduced mortality and increased longevity, ” as noted by the US Health and Human Services HealthBeat (June 27, 2013). Many media centers featured the big news: from CNN, to Time magazine, to CBS, and several others. The AHS-2 is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the findings were published in the journal ‘JAMA Internal Medicine.’ 

CHOOSE to SLEEP early, take VACATIONS, and to REST on the SABBATH day
Facts with Hope
FACT: Sleep-deprived teens make poor food choices. Researchers examined the association between sleep duration and food choices in a sample of 13,000 teens nationwide, and found that those who got fewer than seven hours of sleep per night were less likely than well-rested peers to eat fruits and vegetables and more likely to have eaten fast food two or more times in the past week. The results took into account factors such as age, gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, physical activity and family structure.1
HOPE:  Teenagers are especially vulnerable to staying up late at night. Helping them to establish healthy sleep habits now is a vital strategy in preventing obesity and other health risks as adults.
FACT: Multitasking negatively affects productivity and efficiency. A study conducted by the University of London found that workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers. Another study noted that multi-taskers had slower response times, perhaps due to information overload and the inability to quickly selectively filter out which is important. Multitasking also contributes to the release of stress hormones, which can lead to obesity, heart disease and decreased immune function.2
HOPE: Rather than multitasking, God holds to the practical power of “one thing.” Matthew 6:33 reminds us to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (NIV). Each morning, present your day to Him, trusting that what needs to get done will get done.   
FACT: People who eat a large variety of foods are also the ones with the healthiest sleep patterns. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that people who sleep 7 - 8 hours each night had a higher food variety (considered an indicator of a healthy diet) compared to people who sleep less or more, even when they took into account other factors that might explain this relationship, such as demographics, socioeconomics, physical activity, and obesity.3
HOPE: Although this research doesn’t indicate whether sleep duration is promoting a health diet, or vice versa, the bottom-line is that they are connected. To boost your health, consider positive changes in food choices and sleep habits.
FACT: Research has found that employee health and wellbeing improves even after short (4-5 days) vacations. Working during vacation, however, negatively influenced health and well-being after vacation.4.
HOPE: Centuries ago, Jesus also found that getting away for short periods rejuvenated Him to continue His demanding work of teaching and healing (Mark 6:31; Luke 6:12). Whether you are able to get away for a 4-5 day vacation, take a weekly Sabbath rest, or spend time in daily prayer, resolve to disconnect completely from work to maximize your health and wellbeing.

  1. Stony Brook Medicine (2013, June 20). Sleep deprivation in teens linked to poor dietary choices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com- /releases/2013/06/130620162746.htm
  2. Hallowell, E. M. (2006). CrazyBusy: Overstretched, overbooked, and about to snap. Strategies for coping in a world gone ADD. New York: Ballantine Books.
  3. Grandner, M. A., Jackson, N., Gerstner, J. R. & Knutson, K. L. Dietary nutrients associated with short and long sleep duration. Data from a nationally representative sample. (2013). Appetite 64, 71–80. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2013.01.004
  4. de Bloom, J., Geurts, S. A. & Kompier, M. A. (2012). Effects of short vacations, vacation activities and experiences on employee health and well-being. Stress Health 28(4), 305-18. doi: 10.1002/smi.1434. 


Promises-Promises Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. Matt. 26:41, NIV.

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