Hitting the Snooze Button Takes a Hit on Your Health and Productivity

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Hit Snooze To Lose 300x300 Hitting the Snooze Button Takes a Hit on Your Health and Productivity

Hit Snooze To Lose

When the alarm clock goes off in the morning most of us will hit the snooze button so we can get a few extra minutes of sleep before facing the day, and we do so without ever stopping to think about what kind of negative consequences that hitting snooze could have on our health or productivity throughout the day.


Experts are now saying that hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep actually does more harm than it does good.


For starters, those few extra minutes of sleep don’t allow you to get the quality of sleep that is required for you to awaken feeling refreshed and ready to get on with the day, and the experts say that coffee and a shower aren’t enough to snap you out of what they call the ‘sleep-inertia grogginess,’ which they say can take up to an hour and a half for the body to recover from.


Furthermore, hitting that snooze button for a few extra minutes of sleep interrupts your normal sleeping patterns by initiating a new sleep cycle that will inevitably be ended abruptly when the alarm goes off again.


According to the experts, a few of the effects of hitting snooze include:

* Grogginess and disorientation upon awakening

* Persistent fatigue

* Inhibited decision making abilities

* Impaired memory

* Reduced productivity

* An overall dampened general performance

* Disrupted sleeping patterns

* Off-beat circadian cycle

* Chronic sleep deprivation

* A higher body-mass index

* Elevated risk of diabetes


The best way to help avoid feeling the need to hit the snooze button every morning is to implement a healthier sleep cycle, allowing yourself to achieve at least the 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, as is recommended for adults by the National Sleep Foundation. Here are some tips that can be implemented to help ensure you’re receiving the quality of sleep your mind and body require.


* Start a new routine that will allow you to get to bed earlier. A good way to ease yourself into an earlier bedtime is to start by going to bed 30 minutes earlier than you normally would. Then if you still feel sleep deprived, try moving bedtime back to an hour earlier.


* Try not to eat anything during the 2 hours prior to your desired bedtime


* Allow 90 minutes of technology-free time before going to bed each night. Experts say the overstimulation and blue light from devices like smart phones, laptops and TVs inhibits your sleep by delaying melatonin production.


* Choose an alarm sound/tone that you won’t be able to sleep through and move the alarm clock to a location that requires you to get up and out of bed to turn that annoying beeping sound off.


* Do something non-stimulating before bed, like reading a book, magazine, or the newspaper.






Reducing Adolescent Sodium Intake = Reducing Obesity Risk

Posted by admin in Exercise and Fitness, Featured

Adolescent Sodium Intake and Obesity 300x300 Reducing Adolescent Sodium Intake = Reducing Obesity Risk

Adolescent Sodium Intake and Obesity

In a recent study that was published online Feb. 3 in the journal Pediatrics, researchers examined the week-long eating habits of more than 760 black and white high school kids between the ages of 14 and 18, making an alarming discovery revealing that 97 percent of today’s teens are consuming an average of 3,280 milligrams (mg) of sodium (salt) every day, which far exceeds the American Heart Association’s recommendations for a maximum of 1,500 mg of sodium per day.


Researchers also uncovered a direct link where excessive sodium intakes lead to a higher risk for adolescent obesity, even after accounting for other factors that could cause obesity (such as the quantity of sugar-sweetened beverages and calorie-laden foods consumed and activity levels). Even when the participants’ lead more active lifestyles and had healthier eating habits, excessive daily salt consumption still lead to an increased risk for obesity.


While more research still needs to be conducted in order to determine the exact causes and mechanism for how high levels of sodium consumption lead to obesity, the important take aways from this study highlight the importance of providing our youth with better education on the importance of good nutrition and following a healthier lifestyle. A good place to start is at home, leading by example.




New Vaginal Cream Using Silver Nanoparticles Might Prevent the Spread of HIV

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HIV statistics 300x300 New Vaginal Cream Using Silver Nanoparticles Might Prevent the Spread of HIV

HIV statistics

New research is underway to test a new vaginal cream that has been developed using silver nanoparticles to block the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says has infected more than 1.1 million people in the United States.


Using the results of prior studies conducted by the University of Texas and the University of Monterrey in Mexico, which showed promising results indicating that silver nanoparticles may be the key to helping prevent the spread of HIV, researchers developed a new vaginal cream.


While further research is still being conducted to determine any possible contradictions and side effects, laboratory studies using human tissue samples from the cervical mucous membrane have shown very promising results where the silver nanoparticles have halted the spread of the virus by adhering to the GP120 protein (which the virus uses to bond with an individual’s immune cells) blocking the protein from being able to enter an individuals immune cells and infect them.


Current research thus far indicates that this new cream could provide effective protection for both sexual partners, and may also be an effective defensive against the spread of other types of sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), such as the human pappilloma virus (HPV). While more research is still being done, current studies have found that the cream is fast-acting, providing effective protection within less than 1 minute after being applied, and provides a somewhat extended time period of coverage that lasts for up to 72 hours.





Concussion Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by admin in Featured, Medical Equipment, Medical Supplies

brain nerve cell synapse receptor 300x278 Concussion Linked to Alzheimer’s DiseaseHave you ever had a concussion or injured your head in such a way that made you lose consciousness or require medical attention? If so, you may be at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

Recent research published in the journal Neurology suggests that a history of concussion and mild cognitive impairment in elderly shows increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, a type of cognitive decline.

According to the study, severe head trauma was linked to a build up of a protein in the body called amyloid, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, among other neurological disorders. A variety of people were tested who either  only had a history of serious head trauma, or that coupled with mild cognitive decline. Results showed that the brains of those with both cognitive impairment and a history of serious head trauma yielded high amounts of amyloid proteins in the brain.

How does do amyloids link to Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be caused by two abnormal brain structures, called plaques and tangles. Plaque forms as a result of beta-amyloid, protein fragments that build up in the brain between nerve cells. The tangles are fiber twists resulting from another protein called tau that builds up in brain cells. While the exact function these abnormalities play in Alzheimer’s disease is currently unknown, it is believed that they play a major part in hindering nerve cell communication, a process that causes memory loss, personality changes, and other Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Holiday Health Tips

Posted by admin in Featured, Medical Equipment, Medical Supplies

christmas tree Holiday Health Tips

Happy Holidays!

‘Tis the season! Christmas is finally upon us, and it’s a busy time of year. With family traveling to be closer together, cookie baking, and present wrapping, where’s the time for you?

Whether it’s eating healthy or finding time to exercise, many people find it difficult to stay healthy during the holidays. We have some tips on how your can improvise on the go and keep your mind and body in check this holiday season:

Anticipate the Menu.  Planning on feasting on a multitude of delicious holiday eats? If you’re worried that rich holiday food will ruin your waistline (or doctor-recommended diet plan), try investigating the menu ahead of time. If you don’t see very many options for healthy meals, offer to bring a dish to share that you can eat.

Watch Proportions. While there may be so many great foods to try during the holidays, trying them all in one meal is probably not the best idea. Try eating reasonably proportioned servings during mealtimes. There’ll be plenty of time to try everything over the course of the holiday – why try to jam it all in one meal? Remember, you can always take some leftovers home for later!

Keep a Food Journal. This is an especially good idea for diabetics or those watching their heart health and anyone else on a doctor-recommended diet plan. The many opportunities for grazing and eating leftovers presented by the holidays can make keeping tabs on your diet difficult. Keeping track of what you eat on paper or in your phone is a great way to keep your diet in check and plan for the upcoming days of celebrations.

You are Your Gym. If you’re traveling and there isn’t much time for hitting the gym for your usual work out (or there isn’t a gym where you you’ll be), try doing a few body weight exercises in your room first thing in the morning. Whether it’s planking, push-ups, or yoga, using your body as your gym is a great way to stay in shape, exercise off the extra food you ate and cut down on packing by skipping the weights.

Plan Downtime. Because there’s so much hustle and bustle and family time, many find that taking a time out can really help them to decompress and feel more ready for the celebrations ahead. Whether you’re waking up before everyone for a quiet cup of coffee, or offering to pick up that last minute treat at the grocery store, make sure to get some quiet time in this holiday season.

Mountainside Medical Equipment wishes you and yours a happy and healthy Christmas this year!

Tips for Preventing Choking During the Holidays

Posted by admin in Featured, Medical Equipment, Medical Supplies, Respiratory Supplies

child cutting food 300x207 Tips for Preventing Choking During the HolidaysWith the holidays upon us and friends and family gathering together it’s important to still keep certain safety measures in mind. Did you know that every five days at least one child dies as a result of choking on food? Make sure to heed regular food safety measures during the holidays to ensure the safety of little ones!

Choking Statistics Tips for Preventing Choking During the HolidaysYoung children have an increased risk of choking because they have a smaller windpipe (about the width of a drinking straw), which makes it easier for them to inhale and choke on food and small objects that can get lodged in the airway.

Since it only takes about 4 minutes of oxygen deprivation for permanent brain damage to occur, knowing how to prevent choking and how to act quickly and effectively in the event of a choking emergency can be a matter of life and death. As such, here are our top 10 tips for preventing choking:

1) Don’t let children eat while playing and doing activities

2) Don’t let children eat while riding in the car

3) Cut small items, such as grapes, in half before giving them to young children

4) Cut hot dogs lengthwise and into small pieces for children under 4

5) Cook, mash or finely grate fruits and veggies

6) Don’t introduce puréed foods until after 6 months of age

7) Always supervise mealtime and snack time

8) Keep hazardous objects (such as those in the list below) out of reach of small children

9) Know what presents a choking hazard for children and learn choking first aid to stay prepared in the event of an emergency (classes are available through organizations such as the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association)

10) Educate caregivers and the community about choking hazards and precautions to take to prevent the occurrence of a hazardous choking incident.

Some of the foods most commonly choked on by young children include:

- Hot dogs - Cheese cubes - Hard candies & lollipops
- Meats - Popcorn - Gum
- Sausages - Chips - Jelly beans
- Fish with bones - Pretzel nuggets - Raw vegetables
- Marshmallows - Whole grapes - Peanut butter
- Cherry tomatoes - Nuts - Ice cubes

Some of the objects most commonly choked on by young children include:

- Coins - Marbles - Small balls
- Buttons - Deflated balloons - Watch batteries
- Jewelry - Pen caps - Paper clips
- Arts and crafts supplies - Small toys - Detachable toy parts

Be prepared when an emergency strikes to ensure the safety of your loved ones by taking a course on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and choking first aid. Keep a first aid for choking poster around to serve as a quick reminder of the first aid for choking techniques.




Chikungunya Virus Detected in Caribbean

Posted by admin in Featured, Medical Equipment, Medical Supplies

mosquito 300x199 Chikungunya Virus Detected in CaribbeanPlanning a trip to the Caribbean this year? You may want to bring some mosquito repellant. The CDC just posted a travel advisory for those vacationing in warmer US tourist areas as a mosquito-born virus has been spotted for the first time in that area.

Historically, the chikungunya virus has generally been restricted to African and Asian areas and has been detected in Europe, however, it hadn’t reached the Western Hemisphere until recently – more specifically, 10 unconfirmed cases were detected on the French area of the St. Martin.

Though rarely deadly, the disease is spread via the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms of the chikungunya virus can include:

- Fever
- Headache
- Fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle and joint pain
- Rash

According to the CDC, this virus potential to keep making it’s way through the Caribbean, as it is a highly traveled area. The organization recommended that travelers pack mosquito repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants , use either air conditioning where available and/or mosquito netting.

Stress Gene Linked to Heart Attack Risk

Posted by admin in Featured, Medical Equipment, Medical Supplies

Heart DNA 238x300 Stress Gene Linked to Heart Attack RiskResearchers are making new strides in the field of cardiovascular health. The stress gene, 5HTR2C, has been found to link to an increased risk of heart attack.

This gene contains a variation in the DNA that was linked to a high bodily reaction to stress – increased amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. Studies show that men with this gene type produce twice as much cortisol than men without.

Heart Disease Statistic Stress Gene Linked to Heart Attack RiskThis recent study performed by the Duke University Medical Center led researchers to suspect that the higher risk of heart attack and death associated with the genetic variant in 5HTR2C is due to MMP9, a compound in blood that increases as cortisol levels in the body increase. This compound is responsible for making arteries more susceptible to bursting or clotting by softening arterial plaque, oftentimes leading to serious heart attacks and death.

It is the hope that this discovery will help doctors be better able to assess patient risk and provide a treatment strategy better suited to their risk for cardiovascular complications. Talk to your doctor about your blood pressure and overall heart health and risk factors to ensure you are on the healthiest path for your future.

Studies Show Health Benefits of Taking B-12 with Antacids

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pepto bismol extra strength 8 oz wintergreen Studies Show Health Benefits of Taking B 12 with Antacids

Peopto Bismol

Are you one of the millions of people in the United States who take antacids? If so, new research suggests that you might want to consider adding a B-12 vitamin to your daily regimen.

A new study recently published in JAMA found that there is a correlation between a two year use of antacids and a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Antacids offer relief by inhibiting the formation of gastric acids in the stomach. However, this action may also inhibit the formation of proteins that help the body absorb vitamin B-12. This suggests that are benefits to be gained from taking a vitamin B-12 supplement if you regularly use antacids.

Antacids, such as popular brands like Tums and Prilosec, are available in both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription forms and are said to be one of the most widely taken pharmaceutical drugs in the United States. Coupling these medications for acid reflux or heart burn with a B-12 supplement can help ensure that you’re getting the relief your body needs while ensuring optimal health.





Manufacturers Now Required to Prove Antibacterial Soap Claims

Posted by admin in Featured, Medical Equipment, Medical Supplies

soap hand washing 300x300 Manufacturers Now Required to Prove Antibacterial Soap ClaimsMillions use antibacterial soap at home, in schools and medical facilities under the premise that it safely kills unwanted germs to help stop the spread of infection. Unfortunately, there is currently no concrete data to support that claim. Manufacturers have yet to be required to submit studies and data to the FDA proving that their product does in fact safely and effectively posses antibacterial benefits.

Triclosan and Triclocarban Info Manufacturers Now Required to Prove Antibacterial Soap ClaimsAdditionally, some ingredients currently found in antibacterial labeled soaps and body washes have been found to be harmful after long-term exposure. Two such ingredients include triclosan in liquid soaps and triclocarban in bar soaps, which encompass about 2,000 products total on the market today. Those particular ingredients have been found to create a resistance to bacteria and yield some hormonal effects in humans.

It is because of chemicals like triclosan that prompted the FDA to put manufacturers’ antibacterial claims to the test. June 2014 is the target deadline for the rule, and manufacturers will have the 6 months following to submit data and studies supporting antibacterial product efficacy.