Lecture aims to wake people up about sleep | ParkRecord.com

Lecture aims to wake people up about sleep

Woodward will talk how sleep affects health

Dr. Kelly Woodward, medical director for Park City Hospital’s LiVe Well Center, will give a lecture on sleep for Connect’s Mental Health Awareness month.

Dr. Kelly Woodward compares sleep to a symphony. He said the brain has a series of orchestrated parts to play throughout the process.

"Sleep is not merely the absence of being awake," Woodward said. "Sleep is not a passive process. It's a very active one. When we're sleeping, all kinds of things are happening that are very important to our bodies."

The medical director for the Park City Hospital's LiVe Well Center, Woodward said sleep is an important component of someone's overall health. Something humans are supposed to spend one-third of their lives doing, sleep not only affect's people's physical health, but also their mental and emotional well-being.

Hoping to shed some light on how important sleep is, Woodward will give a lecture on the subject.

"Sleepless in Summit County," one of many events for nonprofit Connect's Mental Health Awareness Month in May, will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, at the hospital's Blair Education Center.

Visit http://www.connectsummitcounty.org to RSVP for the free lecture and to learn about the month of events.

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"People who don't get adequate sleep — whether it has to do with the amount of sleep or the quality of sleep they're getting — are at an increased risk of serious conditions, such as an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity or high blood pressure," Woodward said. "That's the problem with sleeplessness or poor quality sleep. It keeps us from having the energy to stay healthy or to feel like we can charge into our day the way we would like."

Woodward has a list of talking points for the lecture. He plans to explain what research says about sleep. For instance, he'll describe findings that say sleep is important for weight loss or that suggest it may have a connection to dementia.

One important topic he plans to cover is how to prepare for a good night's sleep.

"We'll talk about things that need to be avoided, because they interfere with the quality of sleep," Woodward said.

The doctor will also cover what causes sleeplessness or poor sleep. He also hopes to answer questions about what makes someone stay awake when he or she is attempting to rest.

Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy, will be defined as well.

"I'll also explain restless legs syndrome and nighttime muscle cramps," Woodward said.

The most important thing Woodward hopes people will take from his lecture is how sleep is connected to many things.

"It's like a circle," he said.

For instance, sleep can cause stress. But stress can also make it difficult for someone to get some shut eye once his or her head hits the pillow.

"Get physical activity and you'll sleep better," Woodward said. "Sleep better and you'll get better physical activity."

Kelly Woodward's "Sleepless in Summit County," a lecture that is part of Connect's Mental Health Awareness Month, will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, in the Blair Education Center at the Park City Hospital.

Connect is a nonprofit working to overcome the challenges of mental illness. The goal of its Mental Health Awareness Month is to show people ways to maintain mental and emotional stability. There are about 20 free talks, films and panel discussions planned throughout May.

Visit http://www.connectsummitcounty.org to RSVP for Woodward's lecture and to learn about Connect and its month of events.