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News from the International Stroke Conference

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To Your Health

 

FYI, this week is American Heart Association/American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in Houston. Thousands of stroke healthcare providers and scientists come together to share research, learn, and be inspired by their peers in stroke care.

Why report on stroke? (more stroke facts on attached sheet, FYI)

• Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke.
• Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people a year (128,978). That’s 1 in every 20 deaths.
• Nearly 800,000 (approximately 795,000) people in the United States have a stroke every year, with about three in four being first-time strokes.
• An estimated 6.6 million Americans 20 and older have had a stroke.
• Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability and the leading preventable cause of disability.
• Total direct medical stroke-related costs are projected to triple by 2030, from $71.6 billion in 2012 to $184.1 billion.
• Stroke is more disabling than it is fatal. Early recognition and treatment can save lives and prevent long-term disability.

 

Defining Stroke
• Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die.
• 87% of strokes are classified as ischemic. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot or a mass blocks a blood vessel, cutting off blood flow to a part of the brain.1
• A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel, or cerebral aneurism, ruptures, spilling blood into the brain. Like ischemic stroke, a major cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled hypertension.
• A cryptogenic stroke is a stroke of unknown cause. About 1 in 3 ischemic strokes fall into this category.2
• A TIA (transient ischemic attack) is often called a “mini stroke” or “warning stroke”. The difference between a TIA and a stroke is that the blockage is transient, or temporary. Symptoms are exactly the same as stroke, but usually last less than five minutes. Even if symptoms go away, emergency help should be called immediately.

Stroke Incidence, Mortality and Disability
• Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke.1
• Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 130,000 people a year (128,978). That’s 1 in every 20 deaths.1
• Nearly 800,000 (approximately 795,000) people in the United States have a stroke every year, with about three in four being first-time strokes.1
• Stroke deaths are higher in the southeastern U.S. in an area known as the “Stroke Belt”: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas.1
• Stroke is more disabling than it is fatal.1
• An estimated 6.6 million Americans 20 and older have had a stroke.1
• Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability and the leading preventable cause of disability. Stroke, or vascular dementia, is also a leading cause of memory loss.1
• Projections show that by 2030, stroke prevalence will increase by more than 20 percent over 2012.1
• Total direct medical stroke-related costs are projected to triple by 2030, from $71.6 billion in 2012 to $184.1 billion.1

Stroke Warning Signs and Treatment
• Stroke patients who receive tPA within 90 minutes of symptom onset are almost 3 x more likely to recover with little or no disability.3
• AHA/ASA updated guidelines for acute ischemic stroke to recommend the use of stent retrievers for eligible patients. While tPA is a drug to dissolve a clot, a stent retriever is a medical device used to pull it out. Guidelines recommend using them together in eligible patients at capable facilities.4
• Only 9 percent of Americans can identify each letter in the F.A.S.T. acronym for stroke.5
• Most people say they would call 9-1-1 for stroke,6 but fewer people are arriving at the ER by ambulance after suffering stroke symptoms.7
• Ethnic minorities and rural residents are less likely to call 9-1-1 at the onset of a stroke.8
• For stroke, someone other than the patient makes the decision to seek treatment in a majority of cases.
• Telestroke allows neurologists to deliver remote treatment to stroke patients through interactive videoconferencing.
• One study found telestroke increased use of tPA by two to six times.9
• Telestroke has proven effective in reducing racial and ethnic disparities in access to stroke care.10

Stroke Prevention and Risk Factors
• More than half (58%) of Americans don’t know if they are at risk for stroke.11
• 80% of strokes can be prevented.12
• What’s good for your health is good for your brain. The American Heart Association recommends following “Life’s Simple 7” to achieve ideal health: don’t smoke, be physically active, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy body weight, and control cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
• About 15% of strokes are heralded by a transient ischemic attack (TIA), aptly known as a “warning stroke”. People who have a TIA are more likely to have a stroke within 90 days. 1
• High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke
• Atrial fibrillation, which causes the heart to beat irregularly or rapidly, raises stroke risk up to 5 times. It’s often difficult to detect because it is sporadic and may not have symptoms. 1
• Stroke risk is 2 to 4 times higher among smokers than nonsmokers or those who have quit for more than 10 years. 1
• Exposure to secondhand smoke is a risk factor for stroke. 1
• Moderate to vigorous physical activity may reduce ischemic stroke risk by 35%.1
High Blood Pressure
• About three in every four people (77%) who have a first stroke have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg. 1
• One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure. 1
• Nearly 1 in 5 (17.2%) American adults with high blood pressure don’t know. 1
• Nearly half of people with high blood pressure (46%) do not have it under control. 1
• At age 50, total life expectancy is 5 years longer for someone without high blood pressure, compared to someone with it. 1
• A 10-mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in your reading), or a 5mmHg drop in diastolic pressure (bottom number) can cut your risk of stroke death in half.13

Stroke in Women
• More women than men have strokes each year, in part because women live longer. 1
• Each year, about 425,000 U.S. women have a stroke. 1
• There are about 3.8 million women stroke survivors in the U.S.14
• More women die from stroke than from breast cancer. 1
• A woman’s risk for stroke is affected by hormonal status, pregnancy, childbirth and other gender specific risk factors. 1
• Preeclampsia doubles the risk of stroke later in life.15
• Risk factors such as high blood pressure, migraine with aura, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, depression and emotional stress are stroke risk factors that tend to be stronger or more common in women than in men. 1
• Stroke during pregnancy affects 34 pregnant women out of 100,000, compared to 21 women out of 100,000 who are not pregnant.15

Stroke in Multiculturals
• African-Americans are more impacted by stroke than any other racial group within the American population. 1
• African Americans have nearly twice the risk for a first-ever stroke than white people, and a much higher death rate from stroke. 1
• African-Americans are more likely to suffer a stroke at a younger age. Among people ages 45 to 64, African Americans are two to three times more likely to have a stroke compared to Caucasians. 1
• African-American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled and have difficulty with activities of daily living than their white counterparts. 1
• Stroke prevalence is projected to increase the most among Hispanic men between now and 2030. 1
• Lack of English proficiency is strongly associated with lack of stroke knowledge among Hispanics. 1
• Hispanics are less likely than whites or blacks to know know stroke warning signs. 1
• Diabetes increases stroke risk at all ages. African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and other ethnic minorities bear a disproportionate burden of diabetes in the U.S.
Stroke in Children
• Estimates of the overall annual incidence of stroke in US children are 6.4 per 100 000 children (0 to 15 years), with approximately half being hemmorahgic strokes. 1
• Compared with white children, black children in the U.S. have more than 2 times the risk of stroke. 1
• Maternal health and pregnancies are normal in most perinatal stroke cases1
• Children with congenital heart disease have 19 x the risk of stroke. 1

Stroke Policy Work
• The Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act is a bill currently in Congress that would require Medicare to pay for telestroke consultations regardless of where the patient lives.
• President George H. W. Bush first declared May National Stroke Awareness Month, also known as American Stroke Month, in 1989.
• The AHA/ASA will continue to urge Congress to repeal Medicare’s harmful caps on outpatient rehabilitative therapy for all Medicare beneficiaries, including stroke survivors.
• Among other things, the AHA/ASA is also working to address inappropriate limits imposed on therapy services by private insurers, to support the Credit for Caring Act to provide a tax credit to family caregivers who are caring for stroke survivors or others with disabilities, and for policies to prevent stroke and its risk factors.
• Numerous state legislative and regulatory policy advancements have been achieved around the recognition by state health departments of all three tiers of stroke facilities and require EMS authorities in the states to develop and implement transport protocol plans for acute stroke patients. As of March 2016, 12 states and the District of Columbia have enacted these important policies.
• As of March 2016, 12 states and the District of Columbia have enacted policies across the country for the requirement of statewide stroke registries that collect nationally approved consensus measures and metrics.

Research
• The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association funds more research into cardiovascular diseases and stroke than any organization except for the federal government.
• In 2014-2015, AHA/ASA committed to funding 926 new research projects worth more than $149 million. However, we did not have the resources to fund an additional 1,121 worthy projects worth $189.6 million. This means that many scientific projects must be shelved, deferring the knowledge that would result from their completion.
• For fiscal year 2016, Congress gave the National Institutes of Health (NIH) an additional $2 billion in funding. Despite this increase, NIH invests only 1 percent of its budget on stroke research.
About the American Stroke Association
• The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association was created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Sources:
1. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2016 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=2712533; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=16874357
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11113218
4. http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/06/26/STR.0000000000000074
5. Ad Council Stroke Continuous Tracking Results March 2016
6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24926394; http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/42/6/1697.abstract?sid=1250e75e-19df-4188-bf01-746a3a69928c
7. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db194.pdf
8. http://circoutcomes.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/04/29/CIRCOUTCOMES.113.000089.full.pdf+html
9. http://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/24968197
10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26116854
11. AHA/ASA Stroke Discovery Research, Ad Council, 2011
12. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/stroke/preventing_stroke.htm
13. http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/65/6/1372.full
14. http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2014/02/06/01.str.0000442009.06663.48.full.pdf+html
15. http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2014/02/06/01.str.0000442009.06663.48

February 23, 2017 |

Make Time for Family Meals

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Juggling jobs, kids and the demands of a busy, modern life often come at the expense of family mealtime at home. Even though life never seems to slow down, now is the perfect time to renew your commitment to creating and serving meals at home that nourish your kids’ brains and help them flourish.13366_aPO

Not only is time together around the table an opportunity to catch up and reconnect, numerous studies provide evidence of the positive, lifelong benefits of family meals. Regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes that ensure a bright future for children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and less risky behaviors.

For example, according to research published in the “Journal of Pediatrics,” kids and teens who share meals with their families three or more times per week are significantly less likely to be overweight, more likely to eat healthy foods and less likely to have eating disorders.

Other studies have shown that children who grow up sharing family meals are more likely to exhibit positive social behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness and respect.

On the other hand, research also suggests that aside from missing out on the benefits, families that share fewer meals together can also experience adverse effects when it comes to certain risky behaviors. A study on the relationship between certain family characteristics and adolescent problem behaviors, published in the “Journal of Adolescent Health,” found that teens who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are 3.5 times more likely to have abused prescription drugs or have used an illegal drug; 2.5 times more likely to have used tobacco and 1.5 times more likely to have used alcohol.

Meal planning

Planning for family meal time can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. Promoting one more family meal each week is an educational program created by the Food Marketing Institute Foundation and the nation’s grocery stores. Take the stress out of planning and preparing family meals with these tips and begin reaping the benefits of more time together around the dinner table:

  • Commit to having one additional meal with your family each week at home. It doesn’t matter whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. The benefits are the same. After a month, you may be surprised by how easily your new commitment has become a habit for the entire family.
  • Rely on the resources available at your local grocery store. Even when you don’t feel like cooking, there are countless meal-planning solutions such as pre-prepped fresh ingredients, delicious ready-made entrees and wholesome heat-and-eat dishes.
  • Make meal planning a family affair. List each family member’s favorite foods in each of the main food groups and see how many combinations you can create. Then ask your children to accompany you to the store to help select the ingredients (and use the trip for age-appropriate learning, such as comparing prices, reading labels, etc.).
  • Save time by engaging the whole family in meal preparation. Even the littlest hands can help with tasks like setting the table.
  • Set a regular meal time so you can plan other activities around it. Sit around the table, turn off the TV and put away phones and electronic devices. Keep the focus on each other.

Learn more about the positive impact regular meals at home together can have for your kids’ emotional, intellectual and physical well-being at nationalfamilymealsmonth.org.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

 

 

February 22, 2017 |

A Total Body Approach to a New You

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do more in the New Year

(Family Features) New Year’s resolutions typically focus on reactive goals like losing weight or getting back into that workout routine. However, thinking about resolutions in a more proactive, long-term way can give you more motivation and the willpower to stick with it.13566_AR 13566

A commitment to proactive total body care, including these tips from Massage Envy, can keep your body and mind tuned up, allowing you to do more of what you love in 2017 and beyond.

Feel confident by upping your skincare

Skin is an organ – the body’s largest organ, in fact. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to it. Regular skincare can help you feel good on the outside by reversing signs of aging, improving skin tone and texture, moisturizing skin and reducing blemishes and breakouts, and better on the inside, as feeling good about how your skin looks can boost your confidence.

A daily hydrating moisturizer with SPF does double duty to protect and hydrate. Regular facials that cater to your skin’s unique needs can also help minimize wrinkles, cleanse pores, encourage skin cell renewal and improve overall tone and texture.

Live happier and stress free

The Statistic Brain Research Institute reports that 77 percent of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Spending time with friends, meditating and practicing mindfulness can help, but there are also physical ways to soothe stress. A quick walk can do wonders for clearing your head, and a single massage session can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase the production of endorphins, your body’s natural “feel good” chemical. Stress relief is one of the benefits of regular massage therapy, and a key component for anyone trying to achieve a lifestyle that gives them the freedom to do more of what they love.

Veg out on the good stuff

A healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, feel good and boost your body’s immunity so you can stay well. Occasionally, indulging your sweet tooth or salty cravings is OK, but to really take care of your body, leading health-focused agencies recommend piling your plate high with colorful fruits and veggies, lean meats like chicken and fish, and whole grains.

If you started off with a commitment to eating better in the New Year, push hard to stick to it. Before long, you’ll find yourself automatically making smarter choices when it comes to mealtime, and when you put good fuel in your body, you get better results.

Including total body care in your resolutions this year and beyond can create positive changes that last a lifetime. Visit MassageEnvy.com to learn more about steps you can take to boost your overall well-being.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

February 15, 2017 |

3 Ways Seniors Can Control Prescription Costs

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) For 55 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, the New Year means any new Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plans, or any changes to your existing plans, take effect. If you signed up for coverage, it’s important to understand how your prescription drug costs may be affected.13504_A

Even if you did nothing to alter your coverage, some features of your plan may have changed for 2017. Getting a handle on Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage is important to your health as well as your pocketbook.

“A survey by Walgreens showed that in order to manage prescription drug costs, some people have delayed filling a current prescription or occasionally skipped prescribed doses to stretch medication,” said John Lee, senior director of Medicare at Walgreens. “This is a real concern as it can pose significant health risks, so it’s vital to evaluate your medical situation, have a plan that best fits your needs and then understand how to get the most value from your plan and pharmacy.”

The survey shows that even though prescription drug costs are among the top concerns for Medicare beneficiaries, approximately one out of every five beneficiaries lacks a good understanding of their insurance plan. Roughly the same percentage falsely believes that all pharmacies charge the same copay and one-third of respondents didn’t know they can switch pharmacies at any time, including outside of the annual enrollment period. The survey reinforced the need to educate beneficiaries about how plans and coverage can and do change from year to year. To make the most of your benefits and find potential cost savings for your prescription medications under your Part D coverage, here are three easy steps to get started:

Use a less expensive brand or generic. The brand-name drug your doctor prescribed can do wonders for your symptoms but be worrisome for your budget. Many brand-name drugs have generic or other brand substitutes. First, make sure your doctor considers generic options. If those options aren’t available, there may be lower-cost brand-name drugs used to treat the same condition. Ask your pharmacist if you have that option then talk with your doctor to see if switching brands makes sense in your situation. Finally, whatever your prescription may be, a 90-day supply from your pharmacy can be less expensive out of pocket than refilling every 30 days.

Verify whether your plan has a preferred pharmacy network. Many prescription drug plans have a preferred pharmacy (preferred cost share) network where you can pay a lower out-of-pocket copay for the exact same drug. Walgreens is in the preferred pharmacy network for many of the largest Medicare sponsors and, effective January 2017, offers copays as low as $0 on generic medications for select plans.  Filling a generic medication at a non-preferred pharmacy could cost you $3, $5 or even $10 for the same drug.

Seek Medicare’s Extra Help program and other ways to save. Medicare offers an Extra Help program to help people with limited income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug program costs, like premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of your insurance coverage, which may cover non-prescription items, like vaccinations and certain over-the-counter medications.

Medicare beneficiaries seeking help navigating prescription drug costs can find additional resources and a list of Medicare plan sponsors at walgreens.com/medicare.

 

Walgreens_Medicare_Infographic_v10

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

February 8, 2017 |

Stay Young at Heart (and in Body and Mind)

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 
(Family Features) When joints ache and you don’t move as fast as you used to, it may seem that growing old is anything but graceful. While you can’t stop the hands of time, there are ways you can keep your physical and mental well-being in tip-top shape for years to come.13505_aPO

Even if you’ve spent a lifetime practicing healthy habits, your senior years are no time to allow those practices to fall to the wayside. On the other hand, if you put off quality self-care for later in life, rely on your experience and maturity to know that taking care of yourself is as important as, well, life itself.

Eat balanced meals. It’s never too late to begin paying more attention to what you eat. Seniors may be prone to poor eating habits for the sake of convenience or because it’s not as much fun cooking for one or two when you once had a full house to feed. Actually, as you age, keeping your weight in check and continuing to fuel your body with essential nutrients is more important than ever.

Keep moving. It’s true that aches and pains may keep you from being as spry as you once were, but limiting your movement can actually create a snowball effect that results in even less mobility over time. Muscles that aren’t used regularly can weaken and restrict your movement even more, so work with your physician to determine an appropriate amount of activity for your condition.

Mind your mind. When you’re in the workforce, or while you’re tending to the needs of a growing family, you rely on your brain to power through, probably without even thinking about it. Yet over time, most people experience some degree of cognitive deterioration, partially from basic biology and partially from lack of “exercising” that vital muscle. Keep your mind sharp by communicating regularly with your family and friends, and seek out activities that put your brain to use, such as crossword puzzles or word games.

Be a social butterfly. A common lament of middle-age is the lack of time to nurture friendships. With an empty nest and an open calendar, there’s no time like the present to strengthen long-term bonds or seek out new companions who share life experiences and a desire to age with grace. Close connections with friends and family members will not only boost your emotional well-being, they can ensure there are others watching out for you on a regular basis.

Do as you’re told. When you’re younger, skipping an annual checkup here and there seems like no big deal. As you age, those regular assessments are more important. They serve an important role in identifying potential issues and introducing treatments before big problems arise. Honor your regular medical appointments and heed the advice you’re given – including taking any medicines as prescribed.

Find more tips for living healthy as you age at elivingtoday.com.

3 Ways Seniors Can Control Prescription Costs 
For 55 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, the New Year means any new Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plans, or any changes to your existing plans, take effect. If you signed up for coverage, it’s important to understand how your prescription drug costs may be affected.

13505_bPOEven if you did nothing to alter your coverage, some features of your plan may have changed for 2017.

A survey by Walgreens shows that even though prescription drug costs are among the top concerns for Medicare beneficiaries, approximately one out of every five beneficiaries lacks a good understanding of their insurance plan. Roughly the same percentage falsely believes that all pharmacies charge the same copay and one-third of respondents didn’t know they can switch pharmacies at any time, including outside of the annual enrollment period. To make the most of your benefits and find potential cost savings for your prescription medications under your Part D coverage, here are three easy steps to get started:

Use a less expensive brand or generic. The brand-name drug your doctor prescribed can do wonders for your symptoms but be worrisome for your budget. Many brand-name drugs have generic or other brand substitutes. First, make sure your doctor considers generic options. If those options aren’t available, there may be lower-cost brand-name drugs used to treat the same condition. Ask your pharmacist if you have that option then talk with your doctor to see if switching brands makes sense in your situation.

Verify whether your plan has a preferred pharmacy network. Many prescription drug plans have a preferred pharmacy (preferred cost share) network where you can pay a lower out-of-pocket copay for the exact same drug. Walgreens is in the preferred pharmacy network for many of the largest Medicare sponsors and, effective January 2017, offers copays as low as $0 on generic medications for select plans. Filling a generic medication at a non-preferred pharmacy could cost you $3, $5 or even $10 for the same drug.

Seek Medicare’s Extra Help program and other ways to save. Medicare offers an Extra Help program to help people with limited income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug program costs, like premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of your insurance coverage, which may cover non-prescription items, like vaccinations and certain over-the-counter medications.

Medicare beneficiaries seeking help navigating prescription drug costs can find additional resources and a list of Medicare plan sponsors at walgreens.com/medicare.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images
#13505
Source: eLivingToday.com

February 1, 2017 |

5 Tips to Stop Waking Up Exhausted

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) It’s no secret that finding time for the recommended eight hours of sleep is easier said than done. More often than not, your time asleep is limited by your busy schedule. If you are lucky enough to squeeze in a full eight hours of shuteye, you are still not guaranteed to wake up feeling refreshed.

While some responsibilities are hard to shake, setting yourself up with the right routine can vastly improve your quality of sleep and combat the issues keeping you up at night:

1.     Lighten up: If it’s never light in your bedroom, you may be confusing your body’s circadian clock. The circadian clock regulates how alert you are due to the light and darkness in an environment. If you keep your bedroom dark during the day or use black-out curtains, this can act as a signal to your body that it should be asleep. Swap out your curtains for a lighter color or keep your shades partially open –natural sunlight in your room can help you wake up in the morning.

13578_B2.     Out with the old: Approximately half (49 percent) of Americans have had their mattress for five years or more and while people struggle with sleep for a variety of reasons, your mattress could be keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. A quality mattress, like the Beautyrest Platinum Hybrid Mattress can give you the support you need to wake up feeling refreshed. It offers a “cool to touch” surface while also providing the support and pressure relief necessary to make sure that once you fall asleep, you stay asleep.

3.     Tune out: Everyone’s guilty of binge-watching their favorite TV shows from time to time. While you may satisfy your curiosity by catching the ending of your favorite series, you may not be so happy when you wake up groggy after staying up too late. Set an alarm for 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep and when the alarm goes off turn off your TV and get ready for bed. Limiting screen time before you fall asleep can also avoid disrupting your body’s level of melatonin, which controls sleep cycles.

4.     If you snooze, you lose: Hitting the snooze button even once in the morning can make you feel groggy throughout the day. By hitting snooze, you are prompting your body to start another stage in your sleep cycle without giving it enough time to fully recover. Try downloading an app with a smart alarm to make sure that you are waking up during a lighter stage of your sleep cycle.

5.     Cut the caffeine: While there is nothing quite like coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up, having caffeine after 2 p.m. can impact both your sleep quality and quantity. Instead of having a cup after lunch, take your coffee break earlier in the day or consider switching to decaf.

 

For more tips to wake up feeling refreshed, visit beautyrest.com.

January 25, 2017 |

Healthier Living Made Easy

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Living a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge when faced with a lack of time and the ease and availability of convenient foods. There’s no time like the present, however, to get your body in tip-top shape. The impact of good health on your quality of life, regardless of age or physical ability, can be far reaching. From controlling weight by eating right, even on a busy schedule, to making that smile shine a little brighter, use these ideas to help you become a happier, healthier you.

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Balance Brings Results

Managing your weight doesn’t mean giving up flavor and convenience. Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating is designed for busy lifestyles, providing healthy food choices that take the work out of planning. Each week, 21 freshly-prepared, portion- and calorie-controlled meals are delivered to your door, from crunchy salads to stuffed peppers. Unlike other prepared plans, meals include fresh fruits and vegetables, and come in a variety of delicious options. To learn more, visit seattlesutton.com or call 800-442-3438.

Clean Your Teeth with Style

Only 1 in 10 moms feel like they have bathroom clutter under control, according to a survey conducted by Kelton Global. With the new REACH Complete Care 8-in-1 Mouth Rinse it’s easy to transform clutter and chaos into clean and serene. Featuring a convenient toothbrush holder for the REACH Curve Toothbrush, the bottle’s sleek design upgrades your normal routine while looking great on the counter. Both are available at Walgreens and CVS for $6.99, or visit www.Reachtoothbrush.com to learn more.

Stretch Your Limits

Aside from the physical benefits associated with yoga, including weight loss, increased energy and improved flexibility, it can help manage stress and the effects it can have on the body and mind. Because of its rise in popularity and the different ways to practice yoga, it has never been easier to do in the comfort of your home. Getting your own yoga mat, available at local sporting goods stores, is an inexpensive way to help sculpt your mind and body.

Monitor Activity on the Go

Keeping track of your personal metrics, such as steps walked in a day, quality of sleep, heart rate and calories consumed, can be time consuming. Wearable wireless-enabled activity trackers automate this task and allow you to easily log your data on your smartphone or computer while also keeping up-to-the-second track of your progress. Fitness trackers, which are available at most local sporting goods and electronics retailers, can help you identify areas for improvement and reach your goals.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

January 18, 2017 |
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