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sleeping

The process of getting healthy doesn’t start in the morning when your feet hit the floor, it actually begins with a good night’s sleep. My favorite health habit is lying in bed sawing off zzz’s, which you must admit is a lot easier (and more fun) than exercise or eating healthy. UNLESS you have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep.  Then you might rank it at the bottom of your efforts to get healthy.

How do you feel after a poor night’s sleep? Do you sleep well most nights? Hard to believe that something you do while unconscious is so important, but sleep is critical to your overall health.

A healthier sleep can be achieved by doing the following:

  • Stick to a schedule by going to bed and waking up the same time, even on the weekends. This helps regulate your body’s circadian clock, which in turn helps you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
  • Try a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoiding bright light helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety (which can make it more difficult to fall asleep).
  • If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.
  • Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Worried about whether it’s OK to exercise during the evening? Studies show that for most people, exercising close to bedtime doesn’t appear to adversely affect sleep quality.
  • Evaluate your room. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow. The life expectancy of a mattress is about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Check your pillow and make sure it is free of allergens that might affect your sleeping.
  • Avoid alcohol and heavy meals in the evening. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep.  If you can, avoid eating a large meal 2-3 hours before bedtime. Instead, try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.
  • Slow down before bed. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing some kind of a calming activity, like reading. Avoid things that may disturb your sleep. That means phones, a tablet, computers or a television that emit blue light. Don’t read with backlit devices. Tablets that are backlit are more disruptive than e-readers that don’t have their own light source.

Resources:

http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips

https://sleep.org/

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-better.htm

Author: Marie Economos, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Trumbull County, Western Reserve, economos.2@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, green.308@osu.edu

 

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We all have calendar dates which we can identify as “A day I will always remember!”  Well, I can say “On Friday, May 13, 2016, my life changed for the better because that is the day I began to get even more sleep!”  On May 13th, I attended the Global Brain Health and Performance Summit at The Ohio State University which was sponsored by The Ohio State University Neurological Institute.  Arianna Huffington, cofounder, president and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group and author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time was the Keynote Speaker.  Guess what I’ve been doing lately?  Getting More Sleep!

Sleep Deprivation can be associated with:

  • Injuriessleep1
  • Obesity
  • Mental illness.
  • Poor quality of life.
  • Increased healthcare costs.
  • Low work productivity.

Don’t Stay Awake, Get Help Today!

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 70 million Americans face chronic sleep problems.  Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep each night.  While some sleepless nights may be the result of too much caffeine or thinking about something that’s worrying you, chronic sleep deprivation is often the result of a sleep disorder.

The Sleep Disorders Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of sleep problem conditions which include insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome (RLS), snoring, narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder and unusual behaviors during sleep, known as parasomnias.  Remember that being involved in treatments and lifestyle adjustments will help you get the quality and restful sleep you need.

Arianna Huffington’s 12 Tips for Better Sleep!  (A Condensed Version)*

  • Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool (between 60 and 67 degrees).
  • No electronic devices starting 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Don’t charge your phone next to your bed.
  • No caffeine after 2:00 p.m.
  • Your bed is for sleep- no work.
  • No pets on the bed.
  • Take a hot bath before bed to calm your mind and body.
  • Pajamas, nightdresses, and special T-shirts send a sleep-friendly message to your body.
  • Do light stretching, deep breathing, yoga, or meditation to transition to sleep.
  • When reading in bed, make it a real book or an e-reader that does not emit blue light.
  • Ease yourself into sleep mode by drinking chamomile or lavender tea.
  • Before bed, write a list of what you are grateful for.

*For a complete version of “Arianna Huffington’s 12 Tips for Better Sleep” and “The Sleep Revolution Manifesto” go to:  ariannahuffington.com

One final thought about your Health and Sleep

In the words of Thomas Dekker, “Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together.”

Good Night!

Written by:  Janet Wasko Myers, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, myers.31@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, green.1405@osu.edu

Source:

The Sleep Revolution:  Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington, Published in the United States by Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  Sleep Disorders.  http://wexnermedical.osu.edu/sleep-disorders

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  Mindfulness Practices – Mindfulness practices can reduce anxiety, chronic pain, depression, insomnia and stress.  http://go.osu.edu/wexnermindful

onCampus.  February 11, 2016, 16th Annual Health and Wellness Guide, Wellness is a journey, Pages 7-18.  http://go.osu.edu/HealthWellnessGuide

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Sleep or Exercise? Both activities are critical for maintaining good health. But let’s be real; it’s much more fun to do an extra hour in bed instead of on the treadmill. Have you ever made the decision to wake up early in the morning to workout, only to find yourself feeling like an extra hour of sleep would be more beneficial to your body than forcing yourself to exercise?sleep

But how can you tell if the desire for sleep is biologically dictated and not just procrastination? Is exercise even beneficial after a short sleep cycle? There is no quick, one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but looking at sleep/exercise research may help you make an informed decision when faced with those groggy “Should I really get up to work out?” thoughts in your head:

  • Adequate sleep and exercise are both critical for optimum health
  • Sleep and exercise promote one another – physical activity promotes high-quality sleep, and high-quality sleep promotes physical performance
  • Adults need a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, but if you are averaging around this amount, it’s okay to skip a half hour of sleep a couple of times per week to get in a morning workout
  • The CDC and American Heart Association recommend a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week.
  • Some experts, when absolutely pressed to choose one that would be considered more important, choose sleep. But (and this is a big but), it simply is not advisable to recommend opting out of exercise completely, and exercise should be considered a “must” for a healthy lifestyle.

**These facts are based on average adults. Those with sleep disorders or other health conditions that affect their ability to sleep or exercise should consult a health care professional when making decisions related to these activities.

For those who cannot find time for adequate sleep and exercise, try to evaluate and organize your schedule to:

  • Go to sleep a little earlier so you don’t feel like you have to sacrifice sleep time.
  • Schedule time in the evening to allow for exercise so you can sleep longer in the morning.

Once you make a conscious effort to live in a way that allows you to practice habits that are healthy – and that includes both adequate sleep and adequate exercise – you will feel much more balanced. We can’t take best care of others and our responsibilities until we take best care of ourselves.

Written by: Joanna Rini, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Medina County

Reviewed by: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Sources:

http://time.com/3914773/exercise-sleep-fitness/

http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/how-many-hours-of-sleep-are-enough/faq-20057898

 

 

 

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Start today with a healthier lifestyle that includes sleeping tonight. Begin by assessing your own individual needs and sleep habits. How do you feel after a poor night’s sleep? Do you get a good night’s sleep most nights? Sleep is critical to your overall health.Young Girl Asleep on Pillow

A healthier lifestyle includes some healthy sleep tips :

  • Stick to a schedule by going to bed and waking up the same time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
  • Try a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoiding bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.
  • Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
  • Evaluate your room. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light.
  • Sleep at night on a comfortable mattress and pillows that are supportive. The life expectancy of a mattress is about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Check your pillows and make sure they are free of allergens that might affect your sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and heavy meals in the evening. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep.  If you can, avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.
  • Slow down before bed. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading. So avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night these things can disturb your sleep.

Stop and think about think how you can get a better nights rest you deserve it!
Resources:

http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips

https://sleep.org/

Author: Marie Economos, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Trumbull County, Western Reserve, economos.2@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Shannon Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County, carter.413@osu.edu

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After 21 years, I no longer resolve to be a morning exerciser. I have tried and failed numerous times. If others can do it, why can’t I? Simply because I AM NOT, nor ever will be a morning person.  Keeping New Year’s Resolutions realistic can be difficult for many people. We set goals to lose weight, start exercising, train for a marathon, stop smoking, have a cleaner house, pay off debt, spend more time with friends and family, sleep more, eat healthier….the list could go on and on, yet we achieve very few. New Year’s Day is a time to reflect back on our behaviors in the previous year and to take a look at small changes we would like to make. Promising yourself to overhaul your life will just result in frustration, disappointment and hopelessness by the end of January or February during the cold, grey winter months.

How can you prevent “failure” and achieve your goals? Consider these tips:

  • Start small. Aim for progress, not perfection. If you want to increase your exercise, start out with 3 times per week, not every day. Don’t punish yourself by taking goals to the extreme, this is not about deprivation. Saying you will never eat a cookie again is just not realistic!
  • Change one behavior at a time. This is not the time to seek out a total life transformation or overhaul. Choose one behavior to work on. Want to spend more quality time with your family? Agree to spend an hour 3 times a week in a tech-free zone.
  • Talk about it. Open up and share what your goal is. You might find others who want to achieve the same goal. Having others to share your struggles and success with makes achieving that goal easier.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Minor missteps are part of the journey. The most important aspect is to get back on track. We all make mistakes!
  • Have specific, measurable, attainable goals. Set a deadline for yourself. Track your progress so you have a visual indicator of your achievements. review your goals periodically and adjust if necessary.

fireworks-235813_1280

It’s ok if you choose not to have any resolutions surrounding January 1. It’s important to always be working on small goals at all times of the year, which will alleviate some of the stress and pressure.  Incorporating small changes in everyday life is much more manageable. Here’s to 2015-Happy New Year!

 

Writer: Melissa Welker, M.Ed., B.S., Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA , welker.87@osu.edu

Reviewer: Donna Green, MA, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, green.308@osu.edu

Sources:               www.apa.org

www.webmd.com

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Autumn

Stress often gets a bad rap. In small doses, stress serves as a motivator to get things done.  It also gives us the ability to run faster and think more quickly when facing an emergency. Yet, if you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.

Protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects. Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process.

Many health problems are caused or exacerbated by stress, including:

  • Pain of any kind
  • Heart disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Weight issues
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema

Managing stress is about taking control and taking charge. Take charge of your emotions, thoughts, schedule, and your environment.  Strengthening your physical health will help you cope with the symptoms of stress.

There are a number of techniques that are useful to reduce stress. Here are a few of these ideas:

  • Set aside relaxation time
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get plenty of sleep

Find something that calms you and get in the right mindset to face these challenges. Managing your stress will bring balance to your life.  While we may not be able to control all the stressors in our lives, we can change how we react to them!

Writer: Beth Stefura, MEd., RD, LD, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Mahoning County.

Reviewer: Liz Smith, M.S. RDN,LD, NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed

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When I was a young mother, the message that we received about keeping our babies safe as they slept was to have them sleep on their stomach. We also used crib bumper pads, small pillows, stuffed animals, and of course soft, fluffy blankets.

All of these recommendations have changed in the last few years. The message on safe sleep for a baby is as simple as ABC.baby in crib

A – ALONE! You should never share a bed with a baby nor take a nap on the couch or chair with the baby because you could roll too close or onto your baby, babies can get stuck between the mattress and the wall, headboard, footboard or other furniture or fall off of the bed. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in your room (within arm’s reach), but not in your bed.

B – BACK! Babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to choke than those who sleep on their stomachs. Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back. It’s safer for your baby to wake up during the night on his back. If he or she is sleeping on their tummy and needs to take a deep breath they might not be able to move their head and the baby’s mouth or nose could be blocked and they could suffocate.

C – CRIB! Place your baby to sleep in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet. Sleep clothing like fitted, appropriate-sized sleepers and sleep sacks are safer for a baby than blankets. Many parents think their baby won’t be safe and warm without bumper pads, blankets, pillows and stuffed animals, but these items can be deadly. Babies can suffocate on any extra item in the crib.

Some other general guidelines for a happy healthy baby:

  • Don’t smoke or allow others to smoke around your baby.
  • Try using a pacifier at nap and bed time.
  • Give your baby some “tummy time” when he is awake and someone is watching. This helps avoid flat spots on baby’s head and helps develop neck muscles.
  • Infants should receive all recommended immunizations.

While much of this information is shared with new mothers and fathers, often a grandma or baby sitter hasn’t heard the new safety recommendations. Be sure and share these guidelines with anyone caring for your baby.

Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Family and Consumer Science Educator, OSU Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Wood County,  zies.1@osu.edu

Sources:

http://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/infant%20safe%20sleep/SafeSleep_Brochure-TriFold-Print_5-6-14.ashx

http://columbus.gov/publichealth/programs/Safe-Sleep-for-Infants/Infant-Safe-Sleep/

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/Pages/default.aspx

 

 

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