Sleep. Everyone needs it and so few of us get it, especially pregnant women and new families. Dr. Robyn Stremler has dedicated herself to studying sleep and how to equip families with abilities to improve their sleep and overall health. Her work on the Sleep TYME (Sleep Throughout Your Motherhood Experience) Study was a perfect fit to engage the minds of enthusiastic attendees at the popular Alumni Lifelong Series seminar held on November 20, 2012.
It is unsurprising that women experience more issues with healthy sleep and that they make it a low priority but as Dr. Stremler pointed out, seventy-five per cent of sleep research has been conducted on men. With that startling statistic, it’s no wonder women, especially pregnant women, are given little advice on how to get proper sleep and avoid the negative health effects of not getting the proper amount of shut-eye.
Judi Kauffman, BScN class of 1970, knows a thing or two about limited sleep with her 20 years of experience at Mt. Sinai as a home care coordinator and pursing her master’s among other things. She rallied some of her BScN 1970 classmates Janice Dunk, Beverly Jones, Catherine Brown and Marilyn Willekes to come out and give their support to the new nurse researchers from Bloomberg Nursing and to also hold a mini-reunion.
“We’re always hungry for knowing the latest in nursing and this series is a great way to stay connected,” said Judi Kauffman, BScN class of 1970. “We feel strongly that it’s our responsibility to support new nursing projects and we make a point to attend these lectures when we can.”
“Once a nurse, always a nurse,” said Catherine Brown, BScN 1970. “It’s fun to get together but it’s also fun to learn about new nursing research.”
These alumni have remained in touch ever since graduating with their class of 70 other students and their University of Toronto academic experience has kept them a close-knit bunch during their rich careers in nursing.
“We were taught how to learn when we did our nursing degree through University of Toronto,” said Beverly Jones, BScN 1970. “This gave us the ability to adapt to any job and apply our skills in a number of ways.”
The discussion portion of the two-hour seminar provided a fantastic opportunity for attendees to ask Dr. Stremler questions about her work. There was great interest in what was worse for sleep health – fragmented sleep or short sleep: according to Dr. Stremler’s work sleep fragmentation is a bigger problem for postpartum women. But for pregnant women in third trimester, anything less than six hours of sleep a night is associated with a potential host of issues including longer labour, caesarean section delivery, and more complications post-birth.
The Alumni Lifelong Learning Series provided the valuable opportunity for alumni to connect, reunite and most importantly, keep abreast of the new developments in nursing through these topical and informative seminars.
The next Alumni Lifelong Learning Series lecture takes place on January 22, 2013, and features Dr. Michael McGillion and his work on persistent cardiac pain.
Alumni Lifelong Learning Series is proudly sponsored by Manulife Financial.