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3 healthy habits for better sleep

Posted on September 20, 2013
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Sleep misses you.

When you were younger, you two spent a lot more time together. But as an adult, handing kids back to school, planning for the upcoming holidays, and keeping up with fall sports, your relation-sleep has become much more distant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30% of employed US adults are getting less than six hours of sleep per night, and more than 40% among those who work at night.

A little less sleep may not seem like a big deal, but this can be detrimental to a healthy lifestyle. There are many negative effects associated with a continued lack of sleep, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased weight
  • Headaches
  • Increased chance of heart disease
  • Depression

To help you and sleep get better acquainted, try incorporating these three healthy habits into your lifestyle. To save, union members should check out the Union Plus Health Club Discounts for real savings on gym memberships, nutrition programs, and other healthy living programs.

1. If you are having issues getting to sleep, try exercising. A study at Northwestern University examined the effect of aerobic exercise on middle-aged and older adults suffering from insomnia. Those poor sleepers who exercised to 75% of their maximum heart rate at least two times a week (20-minute sessions) were able to become great sleepers.

Looking for a gym near you? Get union member savings with the Union Plus Health Club Discounts through GlobalFit.

2. Need a more routine sleep cycle, get some sun! Although your bedroom should be a dark and quiet sanctuary, natural sunlight tells the brain when to wake up and helps regulate your internal clock. According to a study conducted at the 27th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, workers who get more sunlight in an office environment tend to be more physically active, happier, and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night!

3. If you are having problems waking up, try these seven energy boosting, coffee alternatives from Global Fit. Although coffee is an excellent stimulant when you are tired, too much caffeine will increase stress and cause you to have a harder time sleeping later in the day. Instead, these seven alternatives are nutritious and won't ruin your sleep cycle.

  • Citrus Fruits â€" the Vitamin C will increase your endurance.
  • Eggs â€" the Zinc, phosphorus, and chromium are energy-enhancing minerals
  • Garlic â€" sustains energy levels by controlling blood sugar levels with insulin
  • Green Tea â€" contains caffeine and antioxidants for energy
  • Lean Meat â€" the protein will help sustain energy levels and control blood sugars.
  • Kale & Spinach (green leafy vegetables) â€"packed with energizing nutrients like iron, magnesium, all of the B vitamins, and vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Beets â€"rich in nitric acid which helps make your muscles work more efficiently

Union families can get fit for less with the lowest rates on new membership fees at fitness clubs, saving an average of nearly $200 a year ($16 a month) with more than 10,000 gyms to choose. With the Union Plus Health Discounts, union members get the best prices on name-brand at home fitness products like Total Gym, Nutrisystem and Zumba DVDs.

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