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Lifestyle & Diet Tips for Better Sleep

20 May Better Sleep

Article By: Sara Siskind

Besides creating a comfortable, peaceful bedroom, there are many ways to help induce sleep, starting with diet and daily habits. Preparing for a good night’s sleep should begin at mealtime, especially as it gets closer to bedtime.

There are several foods that help create a calming effect on the brain and body. Here are some practical and easy tips for a restful night.

Rituals to Help Sleep Better
Creating a smarter nighttime routine is one secret to waking up well-rested. What I do in the evening impacts how I sleep.

Exercise at The Right Time
Among its many benefits, such as weight management, stress reduction, and disease prevention, exercise is important to sleep. Without daily exercise, I find myself out of balance.

Even what time I exercise has an impact.

When I exercise in the morning or early afternoon, it helps me fall asleep quicker.
When I exercise within an hour of my bedtime, my body becomes overstimulated, which can lead to insomnia.
I rest more soundly if I stick to a morning routine.

Be Consistent
Try to get up at the same time, whether it’s a weekday, weekend, or vacation. Our body’s internal clock (the circadian rhythm) becomes stabilized with consistent wake-up times. Give it a try for a least 21 days, and you’ll start feeling more rested.

Avoid Electronics and Screentime
I power off my electronics, especially my phone, at least an hour before I want to go to sleep. This helps calm my mind and reduces the strain on my eyes from staring at the screen.

Set the Right Temperature
Next, I make sure the temperature is just right. For me, the perfect temperature is somewhere between 60 and 68 degrees, so my body is neither hot nor cold.

Foods for Better Sleep
Certain foods may help induce sleep. Many of them increase the hormone melatonin that our bodies produce. Some people produce less melatonin than others, so I find it helpful to include these foods in my evening meal or snack.

Tart Cherry Juice
A morning and evening ritual of drinking tart cherry juice has helped me sleep better. Researchers from Louisiana State University found that drinking the juice of Montmorency tart cherries twice a day for two weeks helped increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes among older adults with insomnia.

Pistachio Nuts
Besides being a powerhouse of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber, pistachios also contain a significant amount of vitamin B6, which can help induce sleepiness. According to the Alaska Sleep Clinic, a deficiency in B6 has been linked with lowered serotonin levels and poor sleep. Deficiencies in B6 show symptoms of depression and mood disorders, which can also lead to insomnia. I choose high-quality pistachios like Setton Farms Pistachios sold in convenient 100-calorie packs so you don’t overeat them.

Bananas
Bananas contain magnesium and potassium, which are natural muscle relaxers.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a soothing herbal tea that naturally lacks caffeine. Having a hot cup before bed sets my body into relaxation mode.

Kiwis
These fruits contain a significant amount of serotonin. Researchers found eating kiwi daily improved both the quality and quantity of sleep.

No Caffeine After 2
Avoid coffee, tea, and sodas in the afternoon. These drinks can cause restlessness at night. I also avoid foods that contain hidden caffeine, including chocolate, protein bars, vitamin waters, and even decaf coffee. I don’t drink lots of fluids, even water, in the evening as it tends to wake me up at night and disrupts my sleep.

Benefits of Sea Moss The Aquatic Superfood on The Rise

20 May Sea Moss

Article by: Nan Fornal

Sea moss is surging in popularity, but is it for you?

What is Sea Moss?
Whether you call it by its Latin name, Chondrus crispus, or by one of its common names, sea moss or Irish moss, this type of red algae is surging in popularity.

Nutritional Benefits of Sea Moss
What Nutrients Are in Sea Moss?
Besides being loaded with fiber, which is good for digestion, sea moss contains vitamins, including antioxidants, trace elements, and minerals.

Why is Sea Moss So Good for You?
“Important minerals, such as calcium, accumulate in seaweeds at much higher levels than in terrestrial foodstuffs,” according to researchers led by Paul MacArtain, PhD.

Has Sea Moss Been Tested?
There have not been many human trials on sea moss, even on the bioavailability of its nutrients.

How to Use Sea Moss
Sea moss powder, available from natural products retailers, is easy to sprinkle into smoothies and oatmeal and to add as a thickener to sauces and desserts.

Precautions
Iodine
Like many seaweeds, sea moss is rich in iodine, which is critical for thyroid function.

“The goal with iodine,” says nutritionist Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, “is to consume a just-right amount, as both too little and too much can throw thyroid hormones out of whack.” Sass suggests using sea moss in moderation, adding it to smoothies from time to time, for example, rather than overdoing it.

Maternity
Check with your healthcare provider before adding sea moss to your diet, especially during pregnancy and nursing.

10 Tips to Get More Sleep

20 May Sleep

Article by: National Institutes of Health

Are you getting enough sleep at night? Do you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep? According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 1 in 3 American Adults do not get healthy amounts of sleep. And stress can make the problem even worse.

The NIH says adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night to stay in good mental and physical health, promote quality of life, and avoid an increased risk of injury. They recommend these tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.
Don't take naps after 3 p.m, and don't nap longer than 20 minutes.
Stay away from caffeine and alcohol late in the day.
Avoid nicotine completely.
Get regular exercise, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
Don't eat a heavy meal late in the day. A light snack before bedtime is OK.
Make your bedroom comfortable, dark, quiet, and not too warm or cold.
Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep (for example, reading or listening to music). Turn off the TV and other screens at least an hour before bedtime.
Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, do something calming until you feel sleepy, like reading or listening to soft music.
Talk with a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.

Teens and Sleep

Sleep problems are a special concern for teenagers. The average teen needs about 9 hours of sleep a night. Children and teens who don’t get that much may have problems getting along with others. They may feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation. They also may have problems paying attention, and they may get lower grades and feel stressed.

In addition to the sleep tips for adults, teens can also try:

Avoiding screen time at least an hour before bed.
Banning all-nighters (Don’t leave homework for the last minute!)
Writing in a diary or on a to-do list just before sleep, to reduce stress
Sleeping no more than 2 hours later on weekend mornings than on weekday mornings.

Sleep Tips for Cancer Patients

Sleep disturbances can be very common in cancer patients and usually have more than one cause. People in cancer treatment may sleep more than usual, or they may have trouble sleeping. Learn what patients and caregivers can do to help.

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What do I do if I Think I was Exposed to Coronavirus?

Mar Florida Health 1

Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. Here’s what to do if you think you may have been exposed to coronavirus.

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. These symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure.

Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
Cough
Shortness of breath

If you develop these emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately.
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or inability to arouse
Bluish lips or face

Call before you go
Call your doctor or your County Health Department if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing.
Tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested.
Consult your health care provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Florida Health Blood Pressure Numbers

How the DASH Diet Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

Mar Dash Diet

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may have advised you to cut back on your sodium and start the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

High blood pressure — readings higher than 130/80 — is referred to as the silent killer, often responsible for strokes and heart attacks. If your readings are high, you join the 1 in 3 Americans with this condition, according to the National Institutes of Health. The good news is that the DASH diet has been proven to help.

What Is the DASH Diet?
The concept for the DASH diet was born in April 1997 when the results of a study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers studied over 400 individuals with high blood pressure and found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy — but low in sodium — could substantially lower blood pressure.

Similar studies have consistently shown the same results over the last 20 years, which is why DASH remains the diet of choice for those struggling to bring down their blood pressure.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information also indicates that the DASH diet can help you control your blood sugar and lower your bad cholesterol and triglycerides. And it may even help you lose a little weight.

What to Eat on the DASH Diet

The DASH diet encourages eating mostly fruits and vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Beyond that, followers are told to keep their daily sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams. Processed foods — frozen meals, chips, crackers and other snack foods — contain a significant amount of sodium, so it's best to stay away from most of these foods, or to at least make sure you're reading nutrition labels with a careful eye.

Fresh is always best, but if fresh produce is not available, your next best bet is frozen. If fresh or frozen are really alluding you, though, canned works. When buying canned fruits and veggies, look for no added salt and no added sugar. Since the DASH diet is heavy on fruit and vegetables, try your hardest to get five servings of each every day.
Avocados,Bananas,Tomatoes,Greens/spinach,Cantaloupe,Potatoes,Oranges,Mushrooms,Unsalted Nuts/Seeds/Legumes

Always choose unsalted or lightly salted nuts at the grocery store. Do the same with canned beans. Buying dried beans is ideal, but they can be time-consuming to cook. When choosing canned beans, always grab the low-sodium version and rinse them before eating to knock the sodium level down further. You should aim to eat nuts, seeds and legumes at least three times per week.
Almonds,Peanuts,Walnuts,Lentils,All Beans (black, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, etc),Flaxseed,Lean Proteins

While there's no firm consensus on saturated fat's role in our health, it's still smart to limit your saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your daily calories, as recommended by the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute. So, limiting your red meat is a great idea, to no more than once per week to start. Two servings per day of lean protein is suggested.
Chicken breast,Lean pork,Fish,Turkey Breast

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Helping Veterans Combat Addiction

19 Nov Blog Post Mast

Article by: U. S. Congressman Brian Mast
The destruction and pain caused by the opioid crisis can shatter lives and devastate communities. Sadly, veterans are more likely to suffer from addiction or overdose than others in our community.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for shielding veterans from this epidemic, there’s absolutely more that can be done to solve the opioid crisis. That’s why I’m cosponsoring the VA Directly Returning Opioid Prescriptions Act to ensure veterans have a secure and accessible place to dispose of unused prescription medications.

We need to do more to help those who served and this bill will assist efforts to combat this crisis at every turn.