Things You Should Know About Getting a Flu Shot During COVID-19

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While COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind as we wait for a vaccine and an end to the pandemic, we cannot forget about the common flu. It is more important than ever to get your annual vaccine. Fortunately, you can still get a flu shot, even during the pandemic.

Here are a few tips on getting your flu shot during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Protect Against the Flu

Fighting off the flu is just as important as fighting off COVID-19. It is vital to your health that you get a flu shot this year. People who got the flu shot last year are 363% more likely to get the flu shot this year in the wake of the pandemic. The flu is still lethal, killing many people each and every year. Do not forget about the flu because COVID-19 is getting all the attention.

Plan Your Flu Shot Ahead of Time

If you usually get your flu shot at a drugstore where you wait in a long line of people, things will be different this year. Pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and other flu shot locations are taking precautions this year to ensure there are not long lines of people waiting for their vaccinations. Social distancing because of COVID-19 is still important. Call ahead of time to the location where you are going to get your flu shot and make arrangements. In most cases, you will now need an appointment for your flu shot, even if you did not in years past. This is to enforce social distancing. 

Remain vigilant about COVID-19, but protect yourself against the flu by getting a flu shot. For more information about staying healthy during the pandemic, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog, and consider enrolling in a healthcare course at Avidity Medical Design Academy.

How To Rehydrate Fast If You Become Dehydrated

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Like many people, you probably let thirst dictate your fluid consumption. It’s simply too easy to neglect proper hydration when facing the seemingly endless responsibilities and demands of the day. What you may be surprised to discover, however, is that thirst is actually one of the first and most telling signs of dehydration. If you wait to tackle the problem until your lips are dry and your urine is discolored, you may find yourself struggling with lower levels of energy, emotional fatigue, and even dizziness – among many other uncomfortable symptoms. Fortunately, there are a few simple strategies that will help you set things aright fast. This way, you can greet the challenges of the day with good health, high confidence, and optimized cognitive and physical functioning. Read on to learn about hydration in a way that will totally change how you consider and treat this all-important aspect of your daily self-care. Read these four important tips that you can use to become rehydrated fast if you become dehydrated.

1. Don’t Drink Too Much Of The Wrong Fluids.

Drinking too much of the wrong fluids can leave you feeling anxious and unsure. Your body is constantly trying to alert you of problems. This way, you can implement natural mitigation strategies to bring your own health back into balance. When you ignore any early, initial warnings, the alerts that your body sends will become more severe. For example, with many problems, minor aches and pains tend to be replaced with inflammation and swelling, and slight dizziness or fatigue can evolve into fainting spells, vertigo, or other serious issues.

In the case of dehydration, thirst gradually evolves into dry mouth, cracked lips, and fatigue. If you don’t pay attention to your body at this point, your symptoms can escalate to include intense anxiety. If you’ve been suffering from severe anxiousness that lacks an apparent cause, check your hydration levels. Often, when dehydration is the cause of anxiety, we aren’t simply failing to drink fluids. Instead, we’re attempting to get by on the wrong fluids. Take note of how much coffee, sugary sodas, and energy drinks you’re consuming. The caffeine and excess sugars that many of these beverages contain can cause anxiety. Severe dehydration on its own can lead to heart palpitations and extreme nervousness. Calm your rapid heartbeat and frayed nerves with beverages that will actually restore hydration, rather than oppose it.

2. Eat Fresh, Water-Dense Foods to Rehydrate Fast.

Eating fresh water-dense foods is a great way to preserve your electrolyte balance and rehydrate fast. People who love the taste of water rarely get dehydrated. These individuals seem to always request water at restaurants in lieu of colas or iced teas, or they constantly carry their own water bottles with them. Conversely, those who routinely suffer from dehydration tend to prefer alternative beverages. In fact, many even have a self-professed aversion to water. The good news is that drinking more isn’t always the best solution. That’s because more than needing water, your body is crying out for electrolyte balance. This is the balance of minerals that determines blood pressure, blood viscosity, clotting abilities, and many other key factors of your health and well-being. If you drink too much pure water – you can develop a sodium-related condition called hyponatremia. Over-hydration is a common result of guzzling too much pure water too fast, and absence of the minerals that your body requires.

Fresh, nutrient-dense and water-dense foods provide the perfect balance of both hydration and electrolytes. Eat more berries, melons, apples, oranges, stone fruits, grapes, and watermelon. Fill your plate with lettuce, carrots, celery, leafy greens, and tomatoes. These foods will perfectly supplement the water that you are drinking by bringing a diverse array of minerals into your system. Eating for proper hydration is one of the fastest and most effective strategies for bringing your body back into a state of good health and optimum balance. If dehydration has caused constipation, hemorrhoids, or any other problems affecting the digestive system, the added fiber in your diet will quickly resolve these problems as well.

3. Consider Drinking Coconut Water to Rehydrate Quickly.

Coconut water is the world’s most effective natural energy drink. One little-known fact about coconut water is that it naturally offers the perfect balance of electrolytes for the human body. In fact, the mineral composition of coconut water is so similar to that of human blood plasma that it has been successfully used during wartime as a plasma substitute. If you want to rehydrate your body fast, sip on several ounces of coconut water. Make sure that the brand you choose does not have added sugar or any other added ingredients. Unlike sports drinks and energy drinks, pure coconut water lacks caffeine, excess sugars, and any additional additives that diminish its nutritional value. If you’re attempting to rehydrate after a night of drinking and partying, drinking coconut water is the best course.

4. Sip Your Water Bottle Rather Than Gulping It Down.

If dehydration is a persistent problem for you, you may be tempted to engage in an intense, water-drinking challenge. For instance, there are countless people documenting and touting the benefits of drinking a full gallon of water per day. However, just as dehydration can be problematic to your health, over-hydration can prove troublesome as well. When it comes to giving your body the water it needs, balance is everything. Thus, one of the easiest and most effective strategies for rehydrating is to keep a water bottle with you at all times. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to try gulping a ton of water down. Instead, sip at your water bottle throughout the day, and keep your diet filled with fresh, water-dense foods. 

For more important articles on healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To take a healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.

10 Ways to Avoid Summer Health Problems During and After COVID-19

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It’s summer. The days are long, the sun is shining, and all the kids want to do is play outside, in spite of COVID-19. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, in addition to the COVID pandemic, summer itself does pose its fair share of health risks, even if you are quarantining in your own backyard. Here are the top ten summer health issues and how to prevent and care for them, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. HEAT STROKE

Heat stroke is caused by the body overheating as a result of extended exposure to the sun or other forms of heat. Common symptoms include confusion, dry skin when you should be sweating, racing heart rate, and nausea. If you think you’re experiencing heatstroke, immediately get inside and douse yourself in cold water. If symptoms persist, head to your local emergency room. Avoiding heatstroke is as simple as staying inside on blistering days.

2. DEHYDRATION

When you’re losing more fluids than you’re taking in, your body is dehydrating and weakening. Although it’s more common in young children and older adults, dehydration can occur to anyone spending prolonged periods of time in high heat. Even if you wish you were sipping something sweet, the sugars in smoothies and fruit juices counteract the necessary water your body needs. Dehydration is solved by drinking water, Gatorade, or Pedialyte.

3. HEAT RASH

Exactly what it sounds like: a rash caused by sweat becoming trapped under the skin in humid conditions. Common in both children and adults, there’s no reason to seek medical treatment over the mild itchiness this rash produces. Use calamine lotion and spend some time in a cool location until it relieves itself.

4. SUNBURN

Everyone is at risk for sunburn. People with fairer skin and lighter hair are more prone to redness and peeling, along with people who repeatedly burn themselves on the quest for the “perfect” tan. Sunburns can lead to skin cancer, melanoma, cellular damage, and rapid aging. The easiest way to protect yourself from a sunburn is to use sunscreen frequently, check your skin routinely, and avoid exposure to high UV levels. If you do get sunburned, use aloe to reduce the burn.

5. ASTHMA AND ALLERGY FLARE UPS

If you find yourself wheezing within moments of stepping outside, you’re likely having an asthma or allergy flare up. Check the air quality before you head outside, always carry a rescue inhaler (if you have one) and avoid campfires and windy days that stir up mold and pollen. Ragweed and Bermuda grass are at the height of their terror in July and August; if these are known issues, stay inside.

6. BUG BITES

Mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders thrive in the heat. If you have type O blood, or you emit more carbon dioxide, you may be more prone to attract mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders. Protect yourself by burning citronella candles outdoors, using bug spray frequently, and not spending too long outside around dusk. Most bites will itch for 2-3 days and then fade, but if it persists beyond then and you develop a fever, rash, or other symptoms of infections, see your doctor.

7. FOOT PROBLEMS

Athlete’s foot, sprained ankles, blisters and more; summer offers it all. For many, flip flops seem like the easiest option when visiting a pool or beach. However, for those susceptible to falls and ankle twists, invest in a sandal that provides support. Avoid blisters and athlete’s foot by wearing protective footwear at all times—in showers, on beaches, pool decks, and other public places. If you do find yourself scratching and wincing at painful soles, home remedies such as creams and ice will heal you right up.

8. FOOD POISONING

The food truck right off the beach might seem convenient, but the stomach cramps later aren’t worth it. Food poisoning can occur from improperly cooked food, bacteria in water, and contamination from unsafe cooking conditions. Symptoms of food poisoning include a mild fever, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, sweating, and clutching the rim of the toilet for dear life. Avoid this summer health concern by only eating food you trust and drinking water from safe sources.

9. SUMMER COLDS

You can still develop a summer cold, with symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough, and mild fever, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with COVID-19. Children, or those in constant contact with small children, are at greater risk for developing a summer cold.

The key point to consider: summer colds resolve within a few days, while COVID-19 will take longer.

If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, don’t hesitate to get tested, even though it may take some time to get your test results.

10. EAR INFECTIONS

Due to increased activity in water sports in the summer, ear infections become more common in young kids, those who use hearing aids, and frequent headphone users. Ear infections can be treated with over-the-counter eardrops, pain medicine, and 48 hours of rest. If it’s still a problem, and you can’t keep the kids out of the pool, invest in some earplugs to prevent further infections.

All of these are easily treatable with home remedies. Staying safe this summer is the number one priority, especially in the midst of the COVID-19. To learn more about different healthcare topics, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To learn more about different areas of healthcare, sign up for a healthcare course offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

How to Make Your Own Comfortable Hypoallergenic Mask

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With facial coverings being mandated around the country, due to COVID-19, if you have an allergy, you want to look for facial coverings called hypoallergenic masks that can be worn comfortably and don’t cause an allergic reaction. To create your own hypoallergenic mask, all you need is a pattern, your chosen materials, and a little determination.

Here are some things you should consider if you choose to make your own hypoallergenic mask.

Hypoallergenic Mask Materials

One of the most popular materials being used in face mask coverings is cotton. Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic. The thicker the cloth, the more protection it will give you. If you are allergic to dye, don’t use printed materials to make your mask.

Another good material that you might want to consider is linen. Linen is an excellent alternative due to its natural hypoallergenic nature and antimicrobial properties. This material is commonly used in bed sheets because it can absorb more liquid than other materials before becoming damp to the touch. Linen keeps moisture away from your mouth while still being able to stand up to machine washes.

Avoid Elastics and Plastics

If you choose to use plastic elastic bands to hold your mask on, you may experience some skin irritation. Instead, try using tie backs or try making a wrap-around mask. Alternate materials for securing your mask are easy to obtain; you’ll just need a little creativity. Using the same material you used from your mask, you can create a tie to secure your mask and keep it from falling down. If you are not allergic to silk fabric, you can use ribbons to secure your mask.

To avoid strain on your ears, create a wrap-around mask that you can secure at the back of your neck with Velcro. You can use buttons and snaps also to secure your mask at the back of your neck. Use a shorter tieback also to create the same effect.

Alternative to Making a Mask

If you are not able to create their own hypoallergenic mask, there are several options available to buy them. Neoprene and surgical masks are popular for facial covers. Visit Amazon to see the different varieties of face mask that are up for sale. Be cautious when choosing your mask. Keep in mind your own allergies, and ask questions if you’re not sure about the mask you are considering buying.

Regardless of whether you choose to make your own mask, or to buy one online, don’t forget to wash your masks often to keep them clean. Remove your mask using the elastic band around your ears, or the tieback that is holding your mask on. Don’t touch your mask directly with your hands to avoid contaminating it. Make two masks if possible, so that if one needs to be washed, or is being washed, you can use the second mask as a backup while the first mask is being washed.

To stay up to date on the latest news in healthcare, pertaining to COVID-19, quarantining, face masks, and other hot topics, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To take a healthcare course, visit the Avidity Medical Design Academy website.

How to Protect Yourself From COVID-19 if You Share a Desk with a Coworker

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Shot of a group of businesspeople using their computers at a desk in a modern office

Sharing an office can be challenging under normal circumstances. Your coworker may leave the desk a mess, adjust the chair without putting it back, and constantly walk off with your favorite pens. Working during COVID-19 presents a new problem: how can you safely share a desk when you don’t know if your coworker is taking proper precautions? Here are three tips for protecting yourself in a shared office space, especially if you work a different shift, and you share a desk with another coworker who works an earlier shift.  

1. Keep Your Office Space Sanitized

Get into the habit of wiping down your desk, chair, computer keyboard, and other surfaces with Clorox wipes or disinfecting spray as soon as you arrive at work and before you head home at the end of your shift. These cleaning products will kill the vast majority of potential germs in your office space, which can significantly lower your fear of contracting COVID-19 at work. If you know your building’s custodian or the coworker you share your desk with well and trust them, you might consider working out a cleaning schedule to share responsibilities, but it’s usually a good idea to handle it yourself so that you know it was done right. 

2. Purify Your Air to Reduce the Spread of Germs

Because little is known about how long COVID-19 can live in the air, investing in a small air purifier can provide an extra layer of protection from viruses, especially if your shift begins immediately after your coworker’s. HEPA filtration is capable of blocking nearly all particles that are the size of the COVID-19 virus.  

3. Bring Your Own Office Supplies

Rather than trying to sanitize every pen, marker, and stapler in your desk, now is a good time to avoid sharing office supplies altogether. Consider storing a small bag of inexpensive personal supplies in your briefcase or purse to reduce the number of items you have to touch that may be harder to clean than larger surfaces.   

Sharing a desk doesn’t have to be unsanitary. Follow the Avidity Medical Design blog for more tips for managing COVID-19 risk.

Consider making the most of your free time by enrolling in one of our courses. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy for more information on the following courses:

  1. “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused By TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)”
  2. “How to Make Money in Healthcare (Working from Home) (Full Time!)”
  3. “How to Protect Your Own Medical Identity (in 8 EASY Steps!)”
  4. “How to Learn Basic Medical Terminology (in 5 EASY Steps) (and USE IT in EVERYDAY Living!)”
  5. “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!)” and many more. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy for more information and a complete listing of courses that are currently available.

Improving Family Spiritual Health During the COVID-19 Quarantine (Part II)

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While in quarantine, families are spending more time together, having meals around the dinner table, playing games, reading stories at bedtime.  There is no longer the hustle and bustle of getting from one activity to the next. In some cases, parents are working from home and kids are involved in e-learning.  It’s a way of life most of us have not experienced. Some may be enjoying this new, slower-paced life, while others are stressed out and struggling to cope with all the changes, including the fear of worrying about exposure to COVID-19.  In the midst of everything, it is important to maintain not only physical and emotional health but also spiritual health.  Now could be the time for your family to make a spiritual connection or reconnection to improve their overall health.  Here are 4 more ways to improve your family’s spiritual health:

1.  Pray Together

Saying a prayer of thanks at mealtime can be a good way to get your family comfortable with praying.  If you have younger children, you may also say a bedtime prayer with them, after a story, when tucking them in at night.  Older children can be encouraged to say a bedtime prayer on their own. You can suggest they pray for the safety and health of their friends and family, since they may have unspoken worries about them.

2.  Watch an Online Service or Devotion

Many spiritual leaders and churches are offering online services and devotions as an alternative to in-person meetings to comply with at-home orders during the quarantine.  Search for a service that meets the spiritual needs of your family and watch and discuss it together.

3.  Listen to Spiritual or Inspirational Music

In addition to listening to secular music, hymns and other spiritual music can be uplifting and relaxing.  There is an endless supply of children’s spiritual music, providing a positive message of love and peace and safety.  To appeal to adolescents, teens, and even young adults, search for current radio stations playing spiritual music or introduce them to familiar hymns.  Music “therapy” can be very beneficial to overall health.

4. Meditate Every Day

It’s wonderful having family togetherness, but everyone needs a little alone time once in a while.  Meditation is a great way to decompress. Each person should have the opportunity and freedom to find a quiet place, with no interruptions or distractions, to find peace and tranquility, reflect on the day, and re-center themselves for better spiritual health.

The stress of the quarantine and COVID-19 can take a toll on all members of the family, from infants and toddlers to teens and young adults.  Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are all important in coping with these stressors. For more information on healthy living visit Avidity Medical Design Academy or read more informative articles on our blog.

Beyond Washing Your Hands: COVID-19, Self-Quarantine, and Family Spiritual Health (Part I)

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With all of the focus on washing your hands, sanitizing, social distancing, and the medical considerations that go along with safeguarding your medical health in the age of COVID-19, it is easy to forget about other areas of health, such as spiritual health.

As you quarantine for medical health reasons, you may find yourself dealing with frustration when trying to follow the guidelines for social distancing or for self-quarantining in your home. You might miss your friends and coworkers due to the quarantine, and being forced to stay home with family. You might even feel cramped, crowded and scared. You might worry about getting sick, and washing and sanitizing your hands enough during the day. During this time, while everyone is self-quarantining, it is important to remember that protecting yourself and your family goes beyond just hand washing. Protecting yourself during this COVID-19 pandemic is also about maintaining family spiritual health. 

Let’s look at 5 ways that you can maintain your family’s spiritual health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Eat Together at the Table

Family connections often mean just existing beside each other instead of establishing quality time with each other. We sit under the same roof with very little contact and very little conversation with other family members, who may spend more time interacting on social media and less time interacting with other family members. The COVID-19 quarantine gives us an opportunity to change, and to grow into having meaningful family relationships. Eating at the dinner table means everyone sitting together and doing something we enjoy – eating. It also opens the door for stimulating conversation about what is (and was) going on in each others’ lives before the quarantine happened. Your family will become much closer when you have a family routine that everyone can do together. 

2. Give Thanks

The dining room table is an excellent place to recognize the things that are still good in the world, and there’s plenty. When our days are spent listening to breaking news about the quarantine, and stepping on each other’s toes due to being quarantined in the house together, giving thanks for what is going well in your family’s life is a great way to stay positive during the quarantine. 

3. Take Deep Breaths

Meditation is another great way to relieve stress. When you are anxious and stressed, take a few minutes and breathe deeply. Inhale slowly, then exhale slowly. Spend some time on self-reflection and self-appreciation. Take the time to live in the present by practicing some meditation exercises. Life will feel much more relaxed and your family’s spiritual health will benefit. 

4. Laugh

Play some board games with your family, like Monopoly, Twister, Chess, or Checkers. If you have children in the household, listen to some old music that your children may not know about, to stimulate laughs and good conversation about fun social events that happened before they were born or when they were little. Do things that make you and your family smile. The power of fun and recreation will reduce feelings of isolation during the quarantine, and improve your relationship with other members in your family. 

5. Keep a Schedule

Lastly, maintain your schedule, eat right, and exercise. This is not the time to sit on the couch and eat or drink too much. Remain active by exercising at home. Encourage your family to keep living their life and appreciating their life. It will help you and your family remain mentally and spiritually healthy, centered, and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Remember that maintaining your family’s health is important to help ease the pain and frustration of dealing with the pandemic. Remember that keeping your family strong when times are hard, does not happen by accident. It requires a conscious effort. These five tips are a good starting point, and they can transform this scary and negative time into a positive opportunity to make your family more close knit and unified for years to come.

For more informative articles on healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

To take an online healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.

10 Easy Exercises You Can Do if You Are 65 or Older

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Exercise is important at all stages of life, but it is especially important if you are a senior.  Seniors need exercise to maintain muscle mass, strengthen aging bones, increase circulation for blood flow to both the heart and the brain, and to help maintain balance to prevent falls.  You should try to exercise thirty minutes each day.  Here are 10 easy exercises you can do if you are 65 or older:

1.  Push the Wall.

Wall pushes strengthen your arms and chest.  To do a wall push, stand about three feet away from the wall, place your hands flat on the wall, then lean in and push back from the wall.  Complete this movement 10 times.

2.  Stand on One Foot.

This exercise is often called “The stork” and is used to improve balance.  Stand straight, and then lift one foot by bending the knee.  Hold the position for 30 seconds, then switch feet.  If you have trouble maintaining your balance, use a chair or the wall for support.

3.  Do Dumbbell Curls.

Dumbbell curls will strengthen your biceps.  Start with a light weight, such as 2 or 5 lbs., and then lift the weight toward your shoulder by bending your elbow.  Repeat 10 times with each arm.

4.  Lift Your Heels.

Heel lifts will stretch and strengthen your calves.  From a sitting position, keep your toes on the floor and lift your heels.  Repeat 20 times.

5.  Sit…Then Stand.

The sit/stand exercise is great for balance, but it will also strengthen leg muscles and the buttocks.  Start in a sitting position, then without using your hands, rise to a standing position.  Hold for 5 seconds, sit, and repeat 10 times.

6.  Do Toe Laps.

Toe taps will strengthen your lower legs and also increase blood flow.  Sit with your feet on the floor, and then with your heels still on the floor, slowly lift your toes until you can feel a comfortable stretch in your leg muscles.  Repeat 20 times.

7.  Stretch Your Neck.

Stretching your neck will release tension in your neck and shoulder area and increase strength.  Start by tipping your head forward until your chin touches your chest to stretch the back of your neck.  Next, tip your head to each side, leading with the ear to the shoulder.  Hold each stretch for 3 seconds.  Repeat 10 times.

8.  Lift Your Knees.

Knee lifts will strengthen your thighs.  From a sitting position, raise your knee so that the back of your thigh is 2-3 inches off the chair.  Hold it for 3-5 seconds, then place it back down.  Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other leg.

9. Raises Your Arms.

Arm raises will stretch your arms, shoulders, and back.  Place your arms at your sides from a sitting or standing position, then slowly bring them up, pausing for 3 seconds when they are extended out, then continue to lift them straight above your head, pausing for another 3 seconds when they are straight up.  Slowly return them to your sides and repeat 10 times.

10. Squat at Your Chair.

Stand with your feet apart, in front of a chair. Raise your arms, then squat down slowly in front of your chair. As you slowly move down to your chair, slowly return to a standing position. Chair squats help strengthen your hamstring muscles, as well as other key muscle groups.

In addition to these easy exercises, you can take daily walks, swim laps at the pool, or participate in senior group exercise classes like yoga or low impact aerobics at a local gym.  Staying active will lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, dementia, stroke, and other debilitating diseases and improve your overall quality of life.  For more information on other areas of healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

10 Easy Things You Can Do To Sleep Well Every Night

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Sleeping is one of the most important things we do. Sleepiness decreases work and school productivity and can be dangerous when working with heavy machinery or while driving. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 35% of adults in the US average less than 7 hours of sleep per night, and almost 70% of high school students average less than 8 hours of sleep every night. This is concerning since poor sleep raises your chance of alcohol and tobacco usage, obesity, heart problems, respiratory issues such as asthma, depression, arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer. Clearly, sleep is important, but it’s also pretty easy to change your habits to get better sleep–here are 10 easy things you can do to help you sleep well every night.

Tip #1: Set a Strict Schedule.

If you’ve ever slept in all weekend and then struggled to get up on Monday morning, you know just how hard it is to fight your wake/sleep schedule, or circadian rhythm. Your body quickly gets used to a set schedule of waking and sleeping that is tied to your activity patterns and the transitions between day and night. One of the most important tips for helping you sleep well is to set a regular schedule so your body will know when you’ll be sleeping.

Tip #2: Create Your Own Personal Bedtime Routine.

One of the most crucial parts of your day is the last hour before you sleep. You should try to do the same things every evening, such as taking a warm shower, brushing your teeth, and getting into pajamas, which will cue your body that you’re about to go to sleep.

Tip #3: Turn off the TV, Phone or Computer.

As you get ready for bed, try to avoid spending time looking into lights like your TV, phone, or computer. Though it may be tempting to watch videos as you relax in bed, this kind of light keeps your brain alert, so opt for entertainment like podcasts or audio meditations that don’t require a lit screen.

Tip #4: Go Somewhere Else If You Can’t Sleep.

If you really can’t go to sleep just yet, or if you wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep, go ahead and move to another room for work or entertainment. This will help remind your brain that bedrooms are for sleep, not for alert activities.

Tip #5: Make Your Bedroom as Dark as Possible.

At night in your bedroom, use blackout curtains and cover lights on electronics in the room to keep it as dark as possible for the best sleep. Conversely, during the daytime, stay in brightly lit rooms and get lots of sunlight to help align your circadian rhythm with the passage of time in nature.

Tip #6: Watch What You Eat.

Eating large meals, drinking alcohol or caffeine, and smoking cigarettes hurts your sleep quality. Whether you’re awake with jitters or indigestion, you won’t sleep as well as you would if you just drank water and ate a small snack in the evening.

Tip #7: Exercise Regularly.

By regularly exercising, you burn off excess energy and keep your mind and body active without the use of stimulants. 

Tip #8: Adjust Your Thermostat (Or Set a Thermostat Schedule).

Most people sleep well when the temperature of the room is in the mid 60s. Who hasn’t woken up in the middle of the night too hot or too cold? If you have a thermostat with a scheduling device built in, set the schedule to lower or raise the temperature at different time intervals during the night while you are sleeping.

Tip #9: Block Out All Noise or Use White Noise.

Whether it’s a dog barking or a partner snoring, noises tend to distract from a good night’s sleep. Use white noise from an app or fan to dull exterior noise, and wear earplugs if necessary. Also, if you have your phone at your bedside, make sure to silence it so you aren’t up all night with Twitter notifications.

Tip #10: Make Your Mattress and Pillow Comfortable.

Try to change your mattress out at least once every 10 years, and if you can’t afford a new one, you can make a firm mattress softer with a pillow-top insert or soft mattress firmer with boards under the bed. Find a comfortable pillow that fits your size, and spend a little extra on soft and breathable sheets and blankets. 

To learn more about different healthcare subjects, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

To enroll in a healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.