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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 [...]

By |2020-01-07T07:40:33-05:00January 7, 2020|

7 Eye-Opening Stats for Better Sleep Month 2019

May was established as Better Sleep Month in 1985. In the decades since, study after study has confirmed the importance good sleep plays in good health and feeling good each day. When you think of self-care, getting enough quality sleep is just as important—if not more important—than good nutrition and exercise. In honor of this special month, here are some eye-opening stats about sleep: Roughly 20% of Americans have a sleep disorder—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls insufficient sleep a public heath epidemic. About 87% of high school students in the U.S. are chronically sleep deprived, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Nearly 40% of people unintentionally fell asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month, an American Sleep Association study found. An estimated 100,000 deaths occur each year in U.S. hospitals due to medical errors, reports the National Academy of Medicine. Sleep deprivation has been shown to be a contributing factor. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes; 44,000 injuries; and 800 deaths in 2013. The American Psychology Association says sleeping 60 to 90 minutes more each night can improve happiness and health. Insufficient sleep [...]

By |2019-05-20T13:24:13-04:00May 20, 2019|

Poor Sleep Can Ruin Relationships

Lack of sleep can hurt your relationships—and your health, according to new research conducted by The Ohio State Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. People who don’t sleep well or don’t get enough sleep tend to be grouchier, moodier and more likely to pick a fight. The study analyzed couples’ behaviors—particularly how they handled disagreements—based on how well they slept. This video provides a short overview of the study results. As Tara Parker-Pope writes in her New York Times Well column, “A large body of research suggests that sleep-deprived people are more unpleasant and even hostile in their social interactions than those who get adequate sleep. People tend to use more negative words when they are sleep deprived than on days when they have had a full night’s sleep. A 2010 survey found that men were more likely to fight with their wives after a night of disturbed sleep. In a 2014 study, couples who reported poor sleep during a two-week period reported more daily marital conflict than those who got better sleep.” In this new study, participants also gave blood samples before and after they fought with their partners. Those who got less sleep and fought more were also [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:52:53-04:00October 11, 2017|