40 THE QUEENS COURIER • WELLNESS • JUNE 20, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
7 Steps Toward Superior Sleep
While it’s fairly common knowledge
that quality sleep is essential to overall
wellness, there are several factors that can
keep you from getting the rest you need.
However, overcoming them is well within
“A lack of sleep can oft en be the result
of poor habits, environmental variables
or a combination of factors,” said Dr.
Sujay Kansagra, an associate professor
at Duke University Medical Center and
sleep health expert for Mattress Firm.
“Undiagnosed medical disorders aside,
most people fi nd that overcoming their
sleep obstacles is very achievable.”
Try improving your sleep with these
seven tips from Kansagra:
• Create an atmosphere conducive to
sleep by choosing comfortable bedding
and setting the thermostat to a temperature
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Men’s Health Month in June: A time to take action
Th e statistics for men’s health are alarming.
For men, life expectancy is 76.3 years;
for women, it’s 81.2 years. Th e Kaiser
Family Foundation points out that nearly
71 percent of men are at risk of being
overweight or obese, compared to 59 percent
for women. Far more women than
men are likely to go to a physician offi ce
visit, according to the Centers for Disease
Th ese statistics may be worrisome for
men and their loved ones, but many of
the health risks men face can be prevented
by adopting a healthy lifestyle and getting
recommended and timely preventive
“It’s important for men to take charge
of their health,” said Dr. Chad E. Bittner, a
chief medical offi cer of OptumCare. “And
there are a number of things men can do
to get and stay healthy.”
Bittner off ers the following tips to help
men improve their health and well-being:
Physical activity: Regardless of gender,
Bittner said he gives people the same general
health advice, although men oft en
need more reminders. One focus area for
patients is physical activity. Regular physical
activity can control weight, reduce
risks of developing heart disease and
some cancers, and can improve overall
mental health and mood.
Nutrition: Another important priority
is nutrition. Eat a variety of fruits and
vegetables every day, and limit foods and
drinks high in sugar, salt, saturated fat
He points out other important reminders
Sunscreen: Don’t overlook the importance
of using sunscreen. Skin cancer is
one of the most common forms of cancer
in the United States.
Prescriptions: All patients need to work
with their doctors to get a full understanding
of the purpose and side eff ects of
the prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs
and supplements they take.
Depression: It’s important for men and
those close to them to be aware of the
warning signs for depression.
If you or the men in your life are not
making positive health choices, now is the
perfect time to take charge of your health.
More information is available at optumcare.
Editors Note: June is Men’s Health
Month – a perfect reminder for men to
make wellness a priority.
between 68-72 F. An ambient
noise machine may drown out traffi c
and other sleep-disturbing sounds. If it’s
not possible to completely darken your
room, try installing dark-out curtains or
wearing a sleep mask.
• Blue light emitted by electronic devices
and ambient light may delay or disrupt
your sleep. It’s best to remove or limit
cellphones and other sources of bright
light from the bedroom at least 30 minutes
before it’s time for you to fall asleep.
• Establish a bedtime routine and stick to
it. At about the same time each evening,
listen to soothing music, read a book or
take a warm bath or shower. Yoga moves
that relax muscles and promote steady
breathing can be helpful but avoid vigorous
activity that accelerates your heart
rate before bedtime.
• Be conscious of factors that may aff ect
the quality of your rest. If you have refl ux
or experience frequent back pain, your
sleep may not be as restful. Consider
upgrading your bed with an adjustable
base that allows you to change your sleep
position with the simple push of a button.
A slight elevation to your neck and
head can allow for a more open airway
and a quieter night of sleep. Adjustable
bases like those from Mattress Firm off er
a movable foundation for your mattress.
Because of its adaptability, an adjustable
base is suitable for sleepers with chronic
pain or refl ux, as well as the average
sleeper looking for more comfort.
• If your mattress shows signs of age, it
may be the reason you have trouble falling
asleep. Th ere are several factors that
determine the “shelf life” of your mattress,
including quality and usage, so it’s
important to evaluate your mattress regularly
to make sure it’s still giving you
the support you need for a good night’s
• If you are unable to fall asleep aft er
20 minutes, try getting out of bed and
doing something relaxing until you feel
sleepy. Staying in bed and watching the
clock increases your anxiety and can
make it more diffi cult to drift off .
• Remember that good daytime habits
promote better quality sleep at night.
You may be rewarded with a better
night’s sleep by exercising daily, maintaining
a healthy and balanced diet and
reducing or eliminating nicotine. Avoid
naps during the day if possible, but if
one is required, limit it to 30 minutes or
less and take it early in the aft ernoon.
Get outside during the morning to enjoy
the benefi ts of natural light, which is a
strong regulator of the biological clock.
Not getting an appropriate amount of
sleep can be detrimental to your physical
and mental well-being and may pose serious
health risks. Find more information
to help improve your sleep at mattressfi
Courtesy Family Features