Are YOU Sleeping Well Enough

It’s been drilled into most of us from an early age. “Be sure to get enough sleep.” But do we get adequate sleep? Today, we look at the effects of sleep on our bodies and tips about sleeping.

It’s been drilled into most of us from an early age. “Be sure to get enough sleep.” But do we get adequate sleep? Today, we look at the effects of sleep on our bodies and tips about sleeping.

As Olivia DeLong writes for Sharecare:

“It’s a fact: Americans have trouble with sleep.  According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2018 Sleep Health Index, which is done quarterly, 41 percent of Americans said that poor or insufficient sleep had affected their daily activities at least once in the preceding seven days.”

“And when it comes to the type of trouble many of us are experiencing, sleep expert and clinical psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, thinks that most people deal with either acute or long-term sleep deprivation as opposed to complete sleep deprivation. In other words, most people are getting less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night over the course of one or more days rather than not getting any sleep at all.”

“The lack of sleep affects everyone differently.  And researchers don’t fully understand the short- and long-term effects of too little sleep. But the benefits of regular sleep are very much understood. Dr. Breus says there are three different areas of concern when we talk about sleep deprivation after acute or long-term sleep deprivation: emotional, physical, and cognitive. Here’s what you can expect after one or more nights of poor sleep—plus what you can do to improve your sleep.”

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Are YOU Sleeping Well Enough

Cancer Health

We highly recommend this FREE site.

Introduced in 2017, the Cancer Health Web site has information on a great many types of cancer. We highly recommend this FREE site.

Cancer Health empowers people living with cancer to actively manage and advocate for their care and improve their overall health. Launched in 2017, the Web site provides accessible information about treatment and quality of life for people with cancer and their loved ones, as well as information about cancer prevention and health policy for a general readership. The information provided on this site is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own medical providers.”

Click the image to see the latest information at the site.

Cancer Health

Increase Your Energy When You’re Too Tired to Workout

Many of us often feel tired. This may make us less motivated to exercise or even move. So, what can we do to increase our energy level?

Many of us often feel tired. This may make us less motivated to exercise or even move. So, what can we do to increase our energy level?

The American Heart Association has an excellent infographic: “Power Up to Move More.

 

We Are NOT Alone — Part 2

This is a continuation of yesterday’s excerpt from my book Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey. It is available FREE by clicking here.

In the U.S. alone, people share their lives with 70 million dogs (in 43 million households) and 74 million cats (in 36 million households) – as reported by the American Veterinary Medicine Association. We love our pets; and they love us in return.

Before getting to my personal pet story, let’s consider how vital pets are to our psychological and physical health. Over the past several years, we have witnessed the growth in companion pets. Although some individuals may stretch the rules in getting their “companion” pets onto planes and into other venues, the basic premise is sound: Pets can be soothing and calming.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says:

Studies show that the bond between people and pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. Some health benefits of having a pet include: Decreased blood pressure. Decreased cholesterol. Decreased triglycerides. Decreased feelings of loneliness. Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities. Increased opportunities for socialization.

A great example of the value of pets involves military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after returning home. There are several non-profits that help to enrich the lives of those veterans, including Companions for Heroes, Pets for Veterans, and America’s Vets Dogs. The dogs are well-trained and help vets to reduce stress.

Linda and I are cat lovers and have shared our home with many cats over the years. Yes, cats can be affectionate and intuitive. One cat, Tucker, will sit in my lap all day in my home office and lie on me for hours when I’m on the couch in the den.

When I returned home after my surgery, our cats KNEW I was sick. They lay in bed with me 24/7 and often cuddled next to me. They constantly nuzzled my hand. Their attention required no effort on my part and was crucial early in my recovery.

 

We Are NOT Alone — Part 1

This is another excerpt from my book Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey. It is available FREE by clicking here.

It may be hard for you to believe that I am a very private individual when it comes to all aspects of my personal life. After all, here I am opening myself up in a way I never would have dreamed of before. But my community helped to show me how cathartic it could be for me to share my getting pancreatic cancer with other people outside of the community. I’d like to think that in this intense situation I finally realized the true value of communication and sharing. It is only by letting others in that they may help us in our journey.

I also learned much more about how not to be so judgmental of others (and myself, too). We all approach good times and bad, adrenaline rushes, fear, thoughts of our own mortality, etc. in much different ways. It took me a while, but I finally got it that some of my friends did not want to think about the “C” word, and therefore avoided me.

This gave me greater thankfulness for those who were there with me through the toughest parts of my journey. It must have been hard for them to see me looking like a skeleton (due to my weight loss) with limited mobility and a variety of post-surgery side effects. They never turned away. They were my knights (of both genders) in shining armor.

These are vital socialization observations from “Life After Cancer Treatment: Social and Work Relationships” by Journeyforward.org. Keep them in mind when interacting with others – regardless of your role (survivor, caregiver, etc.):

Having cancer can change relationships with the people in your life. It’s normal to notice changes in the way you relate to family, friends, and other people that you are around every day. And the way they relate to you. When treatment ends, families are often not prepared for the fact that recovery takes time. In general, your recovery will take much longer than your treatment did. Survivors often say that they didn’t realize the time it took to recover. This can cause disappointment, worry, and frustration for everyone. Families also may not realize that the way their family works may have changed permanently as a result of cancer. They may need help to deal with the changes and keep the “new” family strong.

Most cancer survivors who are physically able to work do go back to their jobs. This can help them feel they are getting back to the life they had before being diagnosed with cancer. Whether returning to their old jobs or beginning new ones, some survivors are treated unfairly when they return to the workplace. Employers and employees may have doubts about cancer survivors’ ability to work.

Some friends, coworkers, and others may be a huge source of support, while others may be a source of anger or frustration. Some people mean well, but do not know what to say. Maybe they don’t know how to offer support. Others don’t want to deal with your cancer. If friends and coworkers seem unsupportive, it could be because they are anxious for you or for themselves. Your cancer experience may threaten them because it reminds them that cancer can happen to anyone. Try to understand their fears and be patient as you try to regain a good relationship.

Health and Alcohol — Another View

On Wednesday, we reported about the recent study about health and alcohol — and the effects of any alcohol. Today, we offer another view.

As reported by Aaron E. Carroll for the New York Times:

“A paper was published in The Lancet that claimed to be the definitive study on the benefits and dangers of drinking. The news was apparently not good for those who enjoy alcoholic beverages. It was covered in the news media with headlines like ‘There’s No Safe Amount of Alcohol.’ The truth is much less newsy and much more measured.”

“There are limitations that warrant consideration. Observational data can be very confounded, meaning that unmeasured factors might be the actual cause of the harm. Perhaps people who drink also smoke tobacco. Perhaps people who drink are also poorer. Perhaps there are genetic differences, health differences, or other factors that might be the real cause. There are techniques to analyze observational data in a more causal fashion, but none of them could be used here, because this analysis aggregated past studies — and those studies didn’t use them.”

“The news warns that even one drink per day carries a risk. But how great is that risk? For each set of 100,000 people who have one drink a day per year, 918 can expect to experience one of the 23 alcohol-related problems in any year. Of those who drink nothing, 914 can expect to experience a problem. This means that 99,082 are unaffected, and 914 will have an issue no matter what. Only 4 in 100,000 people who consume a drink a day may have a problem caused by the drinking, according to this study.”

NONETHELESS, “This message shouldn’t get lost in any argument: There is no debate, and this study confirms once again, that heavy drinking is really bad for you.”

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Health and Alcohol -- Another View