sleep

Six Tips for Better Napping

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Cute family sleeping together in bed

6 Tips for Better Napping

Hear what our experts have to say about improving Phoenix home health care with smart napping. Read our tips for better napping and give a pop quiz to your home care Phoenix providers. You will understand why our company is the best of the best when it comes to offering quality Phoenix Home Health Care. 

A Few Words about Sleep AND Naps

Sleep is an everyday pursuit that promotes physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. No matter how young or old you are, having quality sleep during the night will ready you for a whole new day. While a good night’s sleep is important, recent studies have found that snoozing away on the couch in the afternoon can make for a more functional body. According to scientists and psychologists, napping can improve your cognitive memory processing and give your alertness level a quick but generous boost. However, as with everything, there is a way to nap right as there is a way to nap wrong. To maximize your napping experience, here are 6 tips that will steer you to a better and smarter napping routine: 

Tip #1: Know Your Nap Time

The ideal nap time generally falls between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Because most people start to lose their energy after a hearty lunch, Mayo Clinic recommends people to nap around 2 or 3 p.m. Anytime after 4 p.m. will likely interfere with your bedtime. Don’t let your nap turn you into a miserable night owl with a low energy level the following day.

Tip #2: Plan Your Nap

Planning your nap for the same time everyday will keep your body’s circadian clock in tune with your energy flow and recuperation need. Be consistent with your nap by setting apart a time to let your body relax and steal a few snoozes. Experts have also found that a regular nap can help you to sleep faster and wake up quicker!

Tip #3: Watch Your Time

Timing is everything when it comes to napping. As a government study finds, “long naps are often associated with a loss of productivity and sleep inertia.” Short naps that last under 30 minutes are said to promote alertness, performance, and learning ability. Plan you nap and set an alarm for 20 or 30 minutes to reap the full benefits of napping.

Tip #4: Set the Stage

According to National Sleep Foundation, the environment you choose to nap plays a role in determining the quality of your nap session. Make sure that the room is at a comfortable temperature and try to rest in an area where noise is at the minimum. A quiet and dark room instills a feeling of calmness that is perfect for a cozy rest.

Tip #5: Watch Your Caffeine Intake

Having that second coffee in the morning may not be the best idea if you plan on napping later in the day. Caffeine may not be able to keep you going all day but it can definitely impede your ability to sleep in the afternoon. So, keep your caffeine intake down and help yourself to nap more soundly.

Tip #6: Find Your Personal Balance

It is important that you find your personal sleep balance. The recommended amounts of sleep (8 hours each night) is a guideline not a rule carved in stone. If you find that your afternoon nap is impeding your ability to get a good night’s sleep, then try napping a little earlier in the afternoon. Remember, sleep is not like a bank account so even if you make a deposit in the afternoon, you still need to sleep at night. So plan accordingly and have a great nap!

For more tips on how to keep your body rested, visit us at MD Home Health, and don’t forget to rest and find your balance.


Not Enough or Too Much Sleep

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Young Woman Sleeps In Bed In The Bedroom.

Not Enough or Too Much Sleep

Sleep is important especially for those involved in home care. As a Phoenix Home Health Care provider, we encourage both our staff members and clients to practice a healthy sleep routine. Because we are passionate about home care in Phoenix, we have decided to share some tips about sleep deprivation and oversleep. Enjoy and have a sweet dream!

Sleep, Drowsiness, and Drunkenness

Everyone needs to sleep. A good night’s sleep will not only keep your body healthy but also your mind alert. Sleep deprivation, according to WebMD, will “dumb you down” by interfering with your ability to process efficiently. Because lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving, drowsy people are more prone to accidents than those with sufficient sleep. In fact, drowsiness can impede reaction time the same way as drunkenness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “cognitive impairment after approximately 18 hours awake is similar to that of someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05%.” When that is extended to 24 hours, the impairment is equivalent to a BAC of 0.10%! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also finds that fatigue is the cause behind 100,000 auto crashes that take place in the U.S. annually.

Sleep for Your Body and Mind

However, insufficient sleep can also take a toll on your body. As Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observes, insufficient sleep is associated with a myriad of chronic diseases and conditions. Diabetes, cardiovascular and obesity are some common physical problems incurred by sleep deprivation. Neuroimagining evidence has also shown that not having enough sleep also negatively affects a person’s prefrontal cortex, compromising critical cognitive capacities such as attention, memory and judgment. When it comes to the relationship between sleep and mood, you can only imagine that sleep deprivation is the cause behind depression and other mood disorders. Simply put, it is difficult to be happy when you are tired. Sleepiness turns a sweet little baby into a crying bundle of unhappiness. If you want to be liked and perform well in school, at work, or anywhere else, get some sleep!

How Much Sleep is Needed?

“How much sleep is needed” is a topic subject to debate. Generally, newborns are recommended to sleep between 16-18 hours; preschool-aged children should have around 11-12 hours of sleep. School-aged children demand at least 10 hours of sleep, while teens require 9-10 hours of rest per night. By the time you reach adulthood, you need only 7-8 hours of sleep. Nonetheless, these breakdowns are just government guidelines, not laws. A pregnant woman, for example, may need a few more hours of sleep per night and a couple of power naps throughout the day. And when you get sick, your doctors always tell you to “get as much rest as possible.” To make sure you get enough sleep, adhere to the guidelines with discretion and flexibility. No one knows your body better than you do, so watch for signs of yawning, feelings of drowsiness, and other suspicious physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms to determine whether your body covets a few more hours of sleep.

Too Much Sleep

While someone can suffer from sleep deprivation, another may fall victim of oversleep. In fact, hypersomnia, a fancy way to say “oversleep,” is actually a medical disorder. Instead of feeling better, people who suffer prolonged oversleep, actually wake up feeling tired and disoriented. Anxiety, restlessness, loss of appetite and other memory problems are common symptoms for someone who sleeps too much. If you are someone experiencing any of these, please contact a medical doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. Remember, you know your body better than anyone else in the world. Listen to what it says and plan your sleep accordingly!

For more tips on how to keep your body healthy, visit us at MD Home Health, and make sure you are getting the right amounts of sleep.


How to Make Your Mind Happy

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Make your mind happy

Most of us go throughout our day thinking several thoughts, allowing our minds to take over our ability to be aware. A person could be generally happy but spend most of the day stressing over life, or constantly thinking ahead to the future and then wonder why they don’t feel so good. When we allow our thoughts to take over, we don’t allow our mind to be aware, at peace and happy. To make your mind happy, is to be healthy in soul and spirit.

If you would like to start to give your mind a break and “live in the moment” as they say, read our tips for mindful happy bliss:

Meditate – “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh
You are never too young or too old to start meditating. Meditation will help to clear your mind and calm you down. There have been several studies proving how meditation is the single most effective way to live happier! A recent study published in the neuroscience journal Brain Research Bulletin showed how the brains of people who meditated had elevated alpha rhythms. The alpha is part of five different wave frequencies that occur in the brain, and most of us are usually in the beta state, where we are very alert but “too much time spent in the beta state can lead to excess stress, worry, and anxiety.” When we meditate and turn on the alpha state, studies have shown we can experience extreme focus, relaxation, learning, creativity, and peak performance.

Make your mind happy

Exercise – Even if you only have ten minutes, a walk can do much to relax your mind and body at the same time. Take in long, slow breaths and look at everything around you. If you can’t get outside, get out your headphones and put on some classical music as you walk (or anything soothing, preferably without words). If you’re a savvy boomer and have a Smartphone, make sure you know how to you turn off ALL notifications from your phone, including incoming calls, text messages, FaceTime from the grandkids or social media.

Sleep – “Many people are surprised to learn that researchers have discovered a single treatment that improves memory, increases people’s ability to concentrate, strengthens the immune system and decreases people’s risk of being killed in accidents.” It’s free and it’s called sleep. Sleep researchers and doctors say that getting between seven to nine hours of sleep per night can greatly impact health and happiness. Getting enough sleep is not only refreshing; it can also help you to deal better with negative situations, making you less likely to overwork the mind by sending stress signals to the brain.

Eat – Choose foods wisely! Many people do not think about the foods they put in their mouths and how food affects our bodies and emotions. Processed, packaged, sugar or foods with hormones do not supply enough of the vitamins and nutrients you need. Choose mood-boosting foods to help keep your mind happy. Drew Ramsey, MD, coauthor (with Tyler Graham) The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body says: “The moment you make a better food choice you are instantly building a better brain.” When in doubt, make sure you are drinking enough water and then reach for leafy greens, bright fruits, lean protein or organic fair-trade dark chocolate!

Create – “Positive emotions and creativity make us feel interested in the world around us.” You can take your mind off of just about anything if you start a creative project. Creativity can come from writing, cooking, baking, gardening, drawing, painting, photography, dancing, singing, playing music, or making things like furniture or jewelry. If you have grandchildren or any friends of whom you like to spend time with, find a fun craft or project you can do together.

Socialize – Put away your computer and phone and set up a date with friends or family. Ask everyone at the table to put their phones away and take advantage of your time together by keeping the digital distractions at bay. Go out for a healthy dinner, on a hike or play an outdoor sport. Your mind will be connected, stimulated and most of all, happy.

And our last tip? SMILE! Smiling triggers activity in your brain and the act of smiling can actually make you feel happy even when you’re not happy at all. When you’re happy, your body releases endorphin’s, or brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which function to transmit electrical signals within the nervous system, allowing us to feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.

For more tips on a happy mind, visit us at MD Home Health, until then take a deep breath into mindful bliss.  


Sleep and Aging

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Sleep to your Health

As we get older many changes happen to our body, both physically in appearance and durability and mentally in our memory and our sleeping patterns.sleep

The older people get, the harder it is to not only fall asleep, but to stay asleep once they do. Although some may think that as we get older we need less sleep, the truth is that people need to have consistent sleep throughout adulthood.

There are different stages of sleep in the sleeping cycle beginning with light dreamless stage and venturing into a deep sleep where active dreaming can occur. These stages of sleep continue during the night as you sleep, but as you get older, you tend to stay in the lighter sleep stage a lot more. This causes you to wake up and still feel very tired and stay tired in the middle of the day.

It also takes older adults a lot longer to fall asleep and once they do it takes away deep sleep time which can cause you to wake up in the night and feel tired the next day.

There are numerous sleep disorders that are more prone to older adults that can seriously affect the amount of sleep they get. One such disorder is called “advanced sleep phase syndrome” in which they become tired and fall asleep very early in the evening and wake up much earlier than everyone else. They get the same hours of sleep but the sleep is not as good and once in the cycle it is hard to break. Exposure to light makes it harder to fall asleep and therapy for this syndrome typically involves light therapy to help keep them awake a bit later and get their sleeping schedule back to normal.

Insomnia is very high among older adults and can be extremely detrimental for your health. The 2003 Sleep in America poll by the NSF showed that nearly half of older adults have symptoms of insomnia. The loss of sleep caused by insomnia can make life very complicated as well. People who experience it can go without sleep for up to a week or more if they do not have any treatment for it.

If you feel that you may be having any symptoms relating to sleeping disorders it might be worth it to speak with your doctor to find out more information and your doctor can make a sound assessment to determine if there is a problem or not. If you can’t get through to your doctor and would like some immediate information please visit us at mdhomehealth.com.