Category: Health

Study: One-third of Americans are sleep deprived

Study: One-third of Americans are sleep deprived

 

MUNCIE, Indiana – Nearly a third of Americans are getting inadequate sleep — including police offices, healthcare workers and truck drivers —  and it is getting worse with every passing year, says a new study from Ball State University.

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Short Sleep Duration in Working American Adults,” an analysis of more than 150,000 working adults from 2010 to 2018, found that prevalence of inadequate sleep — 7 hours or less — increased from 30.9% of respondents in 2010 to 35.6% in 2018. The study was posted Monday by the Journal of Community Health.

The study also found that the people who report getting the fewest hours of shut-eye include native born Americans, who are female, have children at home, work for the government, and live in the South.

“Inadequate sleep is associated with mild to severe physical and mental health problems, injury, loss of productivity, and premature mortality,” said Jagdish Khubchandani, lead author and a health science professor at Ball State. “This is a significant finding because the U.S. is currently witnessing high rates of chronic diseases across all ages, and many of these diseases are related to sleep problems.”

The study found that in 2018, professions with the highest levels of poor sleep including those in the police and military (50%), health care support occupations (45%), transport and material moving (41%), and production occupations (41%).

“There is no definitive cause found for these trends in sleep duration in working American population,” Khubchandani said. “We see the workplace is changing as Americans work longer hours, and there is greater access and use of technology and electronic devices, which tend to keep people up at night. Add to this the progressive escalation in workplace stress in the United States, and the rising prevalence of multiple chronic conditions could be related to short sleep duration in working American adults.”

The study also found:

  • For men, about 30.5% reported getting 7 or less hours of sleep in 2010 and by 2018 about 35.5% reporting inadequate sleep.
  • Among women, those reported too little sleep grew from 31.2% in 2011 to 35.8% in 2018.
  • By race and inadequate sleep prevalence, the trend from 2010-2018 was 29.2 to 34.1% for whites, 40.6 to 46.5% for African-Americans, 29.5 to 35.3% for Asians, and 35.2 to 45.2% for multiracial adults.
  • From 2010 to 2018, the largest increases in sleep deprivation were reported by men, multiracial individuals, older adults, those living in the western U.S., and widowed, divorced, or separated people.

Khubchandani believes that employers should take steps to make sure their workers are getting enough rest.

“Employers have a major responsibility and should use health promotion strategies to ensure that workers who struggle with sleep problems are assisted,” he said. “We all suffer when our bus and truck drivers, doctors, and nurses are sleep deprived.”

Khubchandani also warns that the use of over-the-counter medications may be making life miserable for millions of Americans.

Many of these medications can have side effects, including worsening of insomnia when inappropriately prescribed or used. Even in primary care, insomnia is frequently misreported, ignored, or the treatment could be suboptimal, despite access to standard treatment interventions, he said.

Khubchandani also suggests that from a public health perspective, chronic sleep problems need management by qualified professionals.

“There is a need for increasing awareness and improving the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders,” he said, “and there needs to be emphasis on public education, training for health professionals, and monitoring.”

Coronavirus: Healthcare Workers Most Vulnerable

Coronavirus: Healthcare Workers Most Vulnerable

“While everyone is worried about family, friends, and cases in the community, we ignore a very high risk and vulnerable group,” says Jagdish Khubchandani, a Ball State University health science professor. “Studies have consistently shown that healthcare workers frequently work long hours, don’t practice self-care, lack on hygienic practices, and work while being sick.

“Today, with coronavirus, there are additional challenges such as changing protocol, greater number of emergencies, shortage of medical supplies, and lack of preventive testing and protective equipment. Healthcare workers are at the frontline and often neglected during such times.”

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 Some key tips for healthcare workers:

  1. Practice self-care with good diet, daily exercise, enough sleep, and adding more protein and vitamins to diet.
  2. Buy your own protective equipment and sanitation supplies if not provided by workplace- masks and sanitizers.
  3. Practice frequent hand washing. Preferably, after each encounter with a client or patient.
  4. Hand washing is better than hand sanitizers. Or, practice both. Relying on hand sanitizers where optimum quantity is not used, or quality of sanitizers can be questioned, is not a good practice. Soap and water are highly recommended compared to casual use of sanitizers.
  5. Try to avoid overworking, watch your shifts, and working hours- exhaustion can make you weak and vulnerable to regular flu as well (in addition to the risk of coronavirus).
  6. Avoid personal contact with clients or patients as much as possible. Healthcare workers frequently shake hands, exchange greetings and hugs with clients who may do it out of affection or gratitude- a distant thank you is ok at this time.
  7. Check your own symptoms and signs for any illness (especially, flu like illness). Cough, runny nose, fever, headaches and body pains should not be ignored during this season.
  8. Ensure that coworkers don’t have these signs and symptoms- stay vigilant and help coworkers get care and rest if they have such symptoms. Be firm with colleagues who don’t practice good hygiene such as regular handwashing.
  9. Follow guidelines for clinical practice and personal protection from authentic sources such as CDC.
  10. Ensure that your facility is following best practices for infection control. It is appropriate now to educate colleagues and your managers, even if they are superiors or higher in chain of command (studies also show that most educated in healthcare professions could be least likely to practice personal hygiene).
  11. Disinfect your office and personal space- even if it is not being done by facilities and janitors.
  12. Call on facilities managers and ensure they are following protocols and daily cleaning and sanitation activities are ramped up.
  13. Ensure that clients are not surrounded by too many friends or family members and educate clients on avoiding too many frequent visitors.
  14. Pull up your training manuals and best practice guideline notebooks for infection control and review if needed.

Long School Days Booster

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I noticed shortly after I started taking them how alert I felt and no more 1:00 p.m. yawns! I feel as though I can make it through the day now.  These are made with veggie capsules so no yucky ingredients that you can’t even pronounce.

So if you are like me having trouble staying awake during the day and feeling drained all the time, you  should check them out!!

Kids CAN Eat Healthily With Your Encouragement

If there is one bugbear of every parent, it’s the picky eater. Almost every family has one and it’s the one thing that throws up roadblocks at meal times. Creating an environment where food is something that your children enjoy is so important for stress-free mealtimes. The most important thing is that your children are eating a healthy and balanced diet and encouraging this is going to be crucial for your child and their growth.

The difficulty comes where you have a picky eater who will only eat beige food. Or cold food. Or food from the freezer, because your homemade fries in the air fryer oven just aren’t the same as the ones from the bag. I know, it’s annoying and frustrating because you’re making your best homemade meals, and your children are turning up their noses. You need to think about how to encourage your children to eat well, and below we’ve got some tips to get you started.

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No Restrictions. When you sit at the table and you catch yourself saying no to dessert unless plates are clean, did you know you could be fostering bad habits for your child? Restricting certain sweet foods and fatty foods based on not wanting them to overeat is going to go against you in the future. Kids are susceptible to eating disorders and this has to be something that you avoid. Placing restrictions on food can lead to that. Instead, offer healthy swaps and allow sweet foods to be a part of their healthy diet.

Open Bowl. The fruit bowl on the table is always full, but if children don’t feel they can take without permission, there’s a problem. Opt for an open bowl policy, whereby fruits and vegetables can be eaten whenever they want them. Children will be far more relaxed about eating healthy food if they are allowed them whenever they like.

Praise, Don’t Nag. If you catch your child eating an apple, show them your approval at their snack of choice. Proud smiles, praise and an approving nod can go a long way to uplifting their self-esteem.

Cook Together. When it comes to the snacks that are under the ‘junk’ umbrella, why not cook together and create healthy versions of junk snacks. If you get them involved in making baked tortilla chips and homemade salsa, you can encourage healthy food while educating them on how to make an unhealthy snack healthier.

Control. Sometimes, children feel they have no control over their eating. It’s good to let them help you make the grocery list and the menu for the house when you write down the food you want to make for the week.

Children are intelligent, even the picky ones! The picky eaters in your home need to be taught about food; where it comes from and how to make it and the best food to eat. All you have to do is be the person educating them and give them some time to come around. It won’t happen overnight, so have patience.

5 Ways To Make Your Entire Family Healthier

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Having a healthy family is a priority for most parents. After all, being sick isn’t fun, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking to see those you love suffer from an illness, even if it’s just a cold or minor bug. That being said, few parents make the changes necessary for a healthier lifestyle, as they assume that they’ll be difficult to put into action and stick to. However, getting fit is rarely as difficult as you might think. If you’re hoping to make your entire family healthier, including your partner, kids, and pets, here are five things you need to do.

 

  1. Eat Three Healthy Meals

Most people assume that eating healthy means eating a lot less than they do right now. Thankfully, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Instead of cutting back on how much you and your family eat, you should focus on switching up your meals to include more fruits and vegetables. These provide vitamins and minerals that are vital in keeping you strong and fighting illness. You should also ensure that you feed your pets a balanced and nutritious diet.

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  1. Ensure You Exercise Together

When most people imagine working out, they picture jogging around the neighbourhood or visiting a local gym. This can really put people off from exercising, as these options aren’t particularly appealing to most people. However, there are plenty of activities that your whole family could enjoy, including swimming, dancing, playing football, or cycling. You should also walk your dog every single day and play with any of your other pets to keep them active.

 

  1. DNA Test Your Dog

If you have a mixed breed dog in the family, you might want to give it a DNA test. There are lots of brands you can choose from, so do some research and find out more information before you choose one. These DNA tests will, of course, tell you what breeds your dog is made up from, but it will also let you know what health conditions you need to look out for. This means that you can work on preventing these conditions and keeping your furry friend happy and healthy.

 

  1. Reduce Your Stress Levels

Stress is something that everyone has to deal with, kids and animals included. Unfortunately, if left unmanaged, it can lead to some pretty serious health problems, so it’s crucial that you work on keeping stress levels low. This means ensuring that everyone eats right, exercises every day, manages their time well, and goes to bed at a reasonable hour. You may also want to invest in a few plugins for around the house and create somewhere for your pets to be by themselves.

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  1. Go For Regular Checkups

Even if you and your family seem pretty healthy, it’s important that you all go for regular checkups at least once a year. Of course, for your pets, this will be with a vet, rather than the family doctor. It’s important that you do this, as the professionals may be able to spot something wrong that you haven’t been able to notice yet. They will also be able to suggest more ways to make your family a little healthier.

 

Making a healthier family really isn’t as difficult as you might think. Hopefully, the tips above will help you.

 

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