Back To School – Time To Reestablish Your Child’s Sleep Schedule

Summer vacation is an opportunity for children to extend their bedtimes at night and sleep a little later in the morning. While most parents tend to be a bit more flexible with their kid’s sleeping habits during this time of the year, it’s important to remember that back to school is just around the corner and now is the time to reestablish a proper sleeping routine for your children.

After a relaxing summer, children might need some time to adjust to a regular schedule. Here are some tips to help your child ease into his or her school-time sleep pattern and to maintain healthy sleep habits throughout the year:

  • Every night, beginning 1-2 weeks before school begins, set an incrementally earlier bedtime and wake-up time.
  • Once your child’s sleep schedule is established, stick with it! Don’t use the weekend to “catch up on sleep.”
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to allow your child to unwind including a bath and a bed-time story (for young children) or a reading time (for older children).
  • Limit television, video games, and other electronic distractions before and during bedtime.
  • Avoid big meals and caffeinated beverages close to bedtime as they may prevent your child from falling asleep.
  • Maintain a peaceful bedroom environment which includes a comfy bed, appropriate room temperature and lights turned off, or with a night light if your child needs one.
  • Be a role model by setting a good example for your child. Establish your own regular sleep schedulec and maintain a home that promotes healthy sleep.

Getting your child back on track at bedtime will allow for a smooth transition for the first day of school and will help your children reach their full learning potential.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Do You Keep Your Immune System Strong?

Our immune system protects our bodies from illness and infection. While having a strong immune system is important all year long, there are times of the year that its effectiveness is tested more than other.

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With cold a flu season upon us, Flushing Hospital wants to offer some day-to-day lifestyle tips to avoid weakening your immune system and keep you healthy.

STRESS
Prolonged periods of intense stress can affect the immune system. Stress causes the brain to boost the production of hormones that weaken the function of the infection-fighting T cells. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, try to adopt stress-relieving activities to boost your immune system.

POOR SLEEP
Poor sleep is strongly associated with a weak immune system as it reduces the number of killer cells needed to fight germs. Recent research has suggested that the amount of flu-fighting antibodies produced was cut in half in those who were sleep deprived.

ALCOHOL
Excessive intake of alcohol may reduce the immune system’s response to invading pathogens because alcohol contains ingredients that impair lung functionality, making us more prone to viral or bacterial infections.

POOR DIET
Excessive consumption of refined sugars and highly processed food containing pesticides, chemical additives and preservatives can weaken the immune system. In addition, obesity can lead to a weakened immune system as it affects the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies and prevent inflammation.

By adopting some healthy lifestyle practices and avoiding certain others, we can give our bodies the best chance of staving of illness this cold and flu season.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Benefit of the Annual Physical

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The greatest benefit of an annual physical is knowledge for both you and your physician.  An annual visit establishes a baseline for your personal health.  Armed with this information, your doctor can detect unhealthy trends before they become risk factors.

Nearly one third of the population with a chronic disease is unaware that they have the disease.  According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, as many as 100,000 lives could be saved each year by increasing preventive care services.

Health screenings, such as blood glucose and blood pressure tests can easily detect the two most chronic conditions, diabetes and hypertension before they cause serious health issues.  The Centers for Disease Control cites that seven out of every 10 deaths are caused by chronic disease.  Proper management of these conditions can prevent unnecessary hospitalization.

In order to get the most out of your annual physical, take a moment to prepare:

  • Make a list of your health concerns
  • Make a list of all the medications you are taking
  • Get a copy of your medical records and your family medical history

Dozens of Patient Care Specialists, on staff at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, are ready to provide you with your annual check-up.

Flushing Hospital is a certified Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) in its Ambulatory Care Center. The Center offers more than 50 outpatient general and specialty services for children adolescents and adults.

Flushing Hospital’s ambulatory care services accepts most major insurances, is centrally located and has convenient patient hours.  Call 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Spring Forward This Weekend with a Good Night’s Sleep

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Daylight savings time begins at 2:00 am on Sunday, March 8. Remember to set your clocks forward and try to get to bed a little earlier to compensate for that lost hour. The food you eat this weekend might be the key to giving you a better night’s sleep.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 to 70 million people in the United States suffer from a wide variety of sleep disorders.

Studies show that certain foods tend to produce a more restful night’s sleep. Foods that you can pick up at any local grocery store that are likely to give you a deeper sleep are:
• Milk
• Turkey
• Honey
• Nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, etc.)
• Kale
• Rice (or other forms of carbohydrates)

The secret to these foods are the vitamins they contain, as well as the hormones they help the brain produce. The old wives’ tale of drinking a warm glass of milk before bedtime is not all that inaccurate. Calcium is a natural sleep inducer, especially when consumed with magnesium, which can be found in bananas. Melatonin is a hormone the brain produces naturally that also greatly contributes to a good night’s sleep. Calcium and magnesium both naturally produce melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain that promotes sleepiness, so eating dairy products, wheat, and beans can all lead to a more restful sleep. Additionally, some proteins, such as lean meats, produce tryptophan, an amino acid that causes sleepiness. Carbohydrates, such as starches and fibers, can also cause fatigue because the body breaks them down into sugars that become glucose, which ultimately becomes blood sugar. Some healthy carbohydrates can be found in whole grain, cereal, and vegetables.

While some foods can help you get a better night’s sleep, other foods and eating habits can reduce your amount of sleep. Some of these include:
• Eating too much or too little
• Caffeine (after lunchtime)
• Fatty foods (fast food, junk food, etc.)
• Eating late at night
• Alcohol (in large doses)

Try to avoid these bad eating habits and replace them with healthy foods that are high in calcium, magnesium, healthy carbohydrates, and protein.

For more health and fitness information, join us on Facebook.com/FlushingHospital or follow us on Twitter @FHMC_NYC

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Can Your Diet Affect Your Sleep?

food-300x200Do you suffer from a sleep disorder? Your diet may be the key to giving you a better night’s sleep. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 to 70 million people in the United States suffer from a wide variety of sleep disorders.

Studies show that certain foods tend to produce a more restful night’s sleep. Foods that you can pick up at any local grocery store that are likely to give you a deeper sleep are:
• Milk
• Turkey
• Honey
• Nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, etc.)
• Kale
• Rice (or other forms of carbohydrates)

The secret to these foods are the vitamins they contain, as well as the hormones they help the brain produce. The old wives’ tale of drinking a warm glass of milk before bedtime is not all that inaccurate. Calcium is a natural sleep inducer, especially when consumed with magnesium, which can be found in bananas. Melatonin is a hormone the brain produces naturally that also greatly contributes to a good night’s sleep. Calcium and magnesium both naturally produce melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain that promotes sleepiness, so eating dairy products, wheat, and beans can all lead to a more restful sleep. Additionally, some proteins, such as lean meats, produce tryptophan, an amino acid that causes sleepiness. Carbohydrates, such as starches and fibers, can also cause fatigue because the body breaks them down into sugars that become glucose, which ultimately becomes blood sugar. Some healthy carbohydrates can be found in whole grain, cereal, and vegetables.

While some foods can help you get a better night’s sleep, other foods and eating habits can reduce your amount of sleep. Some of these include:
• Eating too much or too little
• Caffeine (after lunchtime)
• Fatty foods (fast food, junk food, etc.)
• Eating late at night
• Alcohol (in large doses)

Try to avoid these bad eating habits and replace them with healthy foods that are high in calcium, magnesium, healthy carbohydrates, and protein. If you think you are suffering from a sleep disorder that cannot be helped by your diet, consult a physician for an assessment  or to discuss treatments for possible sleep disorders. To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.