Trouble falling asleep? That could be my mantra. I am bone tired and yet as soon as I hit the pillow I am wide awake. I can feel myself starting to drift off and then, boom, my mind jerks me back awake and I just lie there. Ugh! Or I drift off to sleep only to awaken in the middle of the night unable to fall back asleep. Oh, what I would give for even 6 straight hours of sleep.
Trust me when I tell you this – I have tried everything. Sleepy time tea, warm milk with honey and nutmeg, no liquids after 8pm, meditation, relaxation exercises, breathing sequences, Benadryl. You name it, I have been willing to give it a try.
Blue light affects sleep
Ok, well almost everything. The experts are constantly saying that we need to turn off all devices at least 2 hours before bed. Seriously – 2 hours?! By the time I get home from work, do the dinner thing and whatever else needs to be done – that would mean no devices at all on the weekday evenings. Is that realistic? That’s when I catch up with my family on Facebook, play a couple of games, and read a chapter in a book. I also hold online chats with students a couple of nights a week and yes, computers and laptops count as devices.
So why the insistence that we turn off devices at least 2 hours before bed? It all has to do with blue light. According to Scientific American the blue light emitted from our devices has a higher concentration than natural light and this affects our levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Normally melatonin would be released naturally by our bodies a few hours before bedtime as the sun sets. The blue light from our devices, however, resets our body’s clocks to a later schedule which in turn interferes with our sleep.
So, what to do? I don’t know about you, but not using electronics after 8pm just is not practical – especially on those nights I meet with students. Turns out that there are several blue light filters out there that you can install on your devices, yes even your computer and laptop. These apps allow you to essentially implement a night mode by indicating your time zone and then automatically adjust the lighting of your device as the day progresses, from a strong blue light during the day to an amber color at night. When I get home tonight, I’m going to install one of these apps on my IPad and computer and give it a go. I’ll let you know the results in a couple of weeks.
We are constantly told to COVER OUR COUGH or to SNEEZE INTO OUR SLEEVE, but does it really matter? Is sneezing or coughing into my sleeve really any better than using a tissue, for instance? Mythbusters decided to put it to the test. They inhaled some dye and then sneezed, using different barriers, the hand, a hankie, and a sleeve. The results – SLEEVE! Not only did this result in the least amount of exposure, but the odds of passing it on to another person through a handshake or by touching another surface was infinitely less. You can view their test cases below.
Columbus State Community College (CSCC) is hosting a Dental Hygiene Student Board Screen Day at the Ohio State College of Dentistry. As part of clinical training, the CSCC's dental hygiene students will give one complimentary dental screening and two to four complimentary X-rays, under faculty supervision, to participants who are at least 18 years old and in good health. This event takes place Monday (1/23) 5-8 p.m. and is open to the public.
If they had an Olympic event for snacking I would definitely be on the podium receiving my gold medal! This past holiday season I must have seemed as if I was in training for such an event as I do not believe an hour went by where I wasn’t eating something. Now, I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy all of those munchies, but there comes a time when enough is enough.
If you, too, have determined to say NO to snacking (and give up your hopes for that Olympic gold medal), then here are some tips from Livestrong.com on how to avoid snacking.
Brush your teeth. When you feel the urge to grab a snack, reach for your toothbrush instead. Be real – nothing tastes that great when it follows toothpaste.
Avoid social media food temptations. A 2009 study by Yale University found a strong link between increased snacking and exposure to food advertisements.
Put cravings in “time out”. When you feel the urge to snack, change your focus. Go to a different room, take a short walk, listen to some music.
Give your food some love. Think of food according to its purpose – providing fuel and nourishment for your body. Pay attention to your food as you eat it by turning off distractions and focusing soley on the good.
Store trigger foods out of sight. Put healthy foods, such as fruits and veggies forefront so you’ll be more likely to reach for them as opposed to that hidden bag of chips.
Keep track of what you eat. There are several apps out there that will allow you to record what you are eating and will let you see what that high calorie snack looks like in conjunction with all your other food.
Invite your cravings into your daydreams. A recent study by Carnegie Mellon University found that imagining the food you’re craving can help you feel satisfied enough to forgo it altogether.
Make the most of your meals. Pack your meals with protein, fiber, and health fat. They provide satiety and help regulate blood sugar during and after eating.
If you must snack, mini-size it. If you just can’t get your mind off the tempting treat, then have just a small portion. Cornell University found that just a bite can greater satisfaction than eating the whole thing.