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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|

Make Your Bed and Change the World

In an airport shop, a small book titled “Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life … and Maybe the World” caught my eye. What a gem! This New York Times bestseller by Admiral William H. McRaven is a true inspiration. Of course, it’s the “make your bed” part that first got my attention.  McRaven wrote this book after his commencement address to the 2014 graduating class at the University of Texas at Austin. His address focused on 10 lessons he learned from his Navy SEAL training. Making your bed every morning, explains McRaven, is a way to start the day off right—with a task completed. This week, I’m spending time with some of my favorite people—the folks who literally made your bed. I am at a conference of the International Sleep Products Association, the trade association of mattress manufacturers and suppliers. My first connection with this group was in 1983 when I had the privilege of working with its consumer education arm, the Better Sleep Council (BSC). The BSC has worked tirelessly for decades to help people understand the importance of sleep—and the importance of sleeping on a good mattress. When you make your bed tomorrow [...]

By |2019-05-16T11:06:58-04:00March 14, 2019|