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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Is it time to come out of hibernation?

Published in Sleep Medicine Author: Piyush Das,MBBS

St. Cloud Hospital Sleep Center

No matter what Punxatawny Phil predicts, in Minnesota we know that winter is not over in February. We are not recommending hibernating until the spring, but are recommending three tips for how to sleep better during the winter. The quality of sleep at night depends on types of your daytime activities, the foods, and beverages you consume and your sleep environment. Hence, you may sleep better by making some changes to your lifestyle and bedroom.

1. Use in moderation.

  • Caffeine in foods (chocolate) and beverages (soda, coffee and iced tea) is a stimulant which can disrupt your sleep. Avoid caffeine use within eight hours of bedtime and limit to three cups of coffee equivalent of caffeine per day.
  • Alcohol can help you fall asleep but can affect sleep architecture by promoting more superficial sleep stages and causing sleep fragmentation, thereby making sleep less refreshing. So, avoid using too much alcohol in the evening or using alcohol as a sleep aid.

2. Get support for deeper nocturnal sleep.

  • Use supportive mattress, pillow, and comfortable bedding.
  • Exercise in the late afternoon or early evening.
  • Have a quiet and dark bedroom environment.
  • Try a light bedtime snack like cheese, milk or nuts.
  • Avoid napping during the day.
  • Limit fluid intake a few hours prior to bedtime
  • Empty bladder right before going to bed.

3. Tidy up.

  • Turn off all screens an hour before bedtime.
  • Read a book, have a quiet conversation or meditate to relax.
  • The best temperature to snooze is between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time during the week and stay within an hour of your weekday schedule on weekends.
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep every night (7-9 hours for adults aged 18-64 years and 7-8 hours for adults over 65 years).