48 Words: Rx for Health

48 Words: Rx for Health

Thank you to Yoni Freedhoff, MD, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, for providing us with a simple recipe for health. Just 48 words. Freedhoff’s 48 words eschew “fad diets and fitness gimmicks. Just stick to the basics,” he writes in an op-ed piece in the New York Times on January 3. With such a sparse list, I was happy to see that “nurture sleep” was included as one of the most important actions we can take to maintain our best health.

The importance of sleep is so underestimated in our society. I am guilty of (in the past) boasting about how little sleep I need—as have so many other people. If you’re like me, I suggest you try sleeping more for a few weeks. It will probably surprise you just how much getting a few extra hours of sleep can do for your general health, happiness and work productivity.

Freedhoff’s advice for improving sleep includes the usual suspects: light and noise control in the bedroom, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, decreasing caffeine intake and taking steps to be sure you don’t suffer from sleep apnea, a life-threatening sleep disorder (snoring being just one symptom) that affects an estimated 12 million people in the U.S. — more than 80 percent of them undiagnosed!

I would also add that to get your best night’s sleep it makes sense to invest in a supportive mattress and do some research on how to choose a mattress that is best for you.

Here’s a link to Freedhoff’s article that includes “nurture sleep” (two words) and the 46 other words to consider if you want to improve your health in 2020. Happy New Year!

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