Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What constitutes a healthy sleep?

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Sleep is a cornerstone of good health that should never be neglected.  It is vital to both physical and mental wellness, and sleeping well means giving the body the time it needs to recharge and recover for another day.  But what can actually be considered healthy sleep – and how can it be achieved?

Adults, on average, are encouraged to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.  It should be known, however, that those needs actually vary individually.  Some people, for instance, are at their best with eight hours, while others are well on six hours alongside daytime naps.

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Aside from quantity, quality is a vital factor in determining healthy sleep.  A restful sleep should be free of common disrupters such as noise and daytime light.  Alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can also affect sleep quality and thus should be avoided. In addition, having a regular sleep routine will help one function properly, ideally waking up at the same time every morning and going to bed at night once sleepy.

Numerous benefits come with healthy sleep, including promoting peak performance and productivity, fighting off infection, and keeping a healthy weight.  It’s also crucial for sharp memory and focus, helping one excel in work or at school.  Healthy sleep balances one’s mood and emotions, and without it, one is more prone to struggle with anxiety and depression.

To achieve healthy sleep one should stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends or during vacations.  Establish a relaxing bedtime routine where the bed is only for sleep, the bedroom is quiet and at a cool temperature, and there’s little to no exposure to bright lights.  Turn off electronic gadgets at least half an hour before bedtime. 

Dr. Lisa M. Cannon graduated from New York Medical College in 1991. She received her pulmonary fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital and was affiliated with Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood and the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. She has since focused on developing her own private medical in New Jersey. For more articles like this, click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Clean Sleep: More Than Falling Into Deep Slumber

The quality of an adult person’s sleep may not always be good. Having disrupted or a few hours of sleep can affect health and productivity. These days, people are jumping into a health trend called “clean sleeping” where the goal is to have uninterrupted 8-10 hours of sleep.

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But what is clean sleeping all about? It is not just about falling asleep and waking up at the right time. It is also about having the right habits during the day that will facilitate uninterrupted slumber. Some of these habits include having a hearty breakfast before work, morning exercise, drinking the right amount of water, and consuming less caffeine. Some studies suggest that getting these tasks out of the way hours before bedtime will lead to clean sleep.

Sleeping clean is more than falling into deep slumber. Part of this practice also involves sleeping before midnight. Going to bed at 10:30 PM helps the body reach the crucial 90-minute stretch in order to reach rejuvenating levels during sleep that usually happen in the wee hours of the morning.

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Short, disrupted, or light sleep might be some of the causes for the body not to reach its peak recovery levels. The day’s activity and the body’s reaction to it can affect rest. This is why it is important to prepare the whole day to get quality shuteye. The practice of clean sleeping involves a holistic change of activities and health habits. From sunrise to sundown, it encourages a person to be conscious of how the body should be treated.

Dr Lisa Marie Cannon is an internist specializing in pulmonology, internal medicine, sleep medicine, and critical care. Visit this page for more information.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How To Deal With Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism or noctambulism, is a sleep disorder that affects an estimated 1.5 percent of adults. It is a bit more prevalent in children, among whom there is an incidence rate of five percent.

It typically occurs during the slow-wave sleep stage, or during the first third of the sleep, and causes the sleepwalker to act as if he is in a state of full consciousness for as short as 30 seconds or as long as 30 minutes. However, he would have little or no memory of what had happened.

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What the sleepwalker does are usually harmless, repeated activities such as walking to other rooms or even just sitting on the bed. However, there have been reports of dangerous behaviors, including cooking, violent actions, and driving, resulting in injuries to the sleepwalker or other people.

There is no clinically proven psychological or pharmacological intervention that can effectively stop the occurrence of sleepwalking.

However, there are different ways of minimizing sleepwalking incidences, such as increasing the length of sleep to achieve the right amount of deep sleep, avoiding possible triggers like fatigue, alcohol, and some medications, and creating a relaxing routine before turning in.

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Sleepwalking is also usually outgrown over time, so there is no need to worry about it. But if it persists, consulting a sleep specialist or physician is recommended to check for the possibility of underlying illnesses.

New Jersey-based physician Lisa Marie Cannon earned her degree in medicine from New York City College and her fellowship in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine from the renowned Mount Sinai Hospital. Read more about her medical expertise by visiting this blog.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Antibiotic-resistance and the need to revise lung treatment strategies

The proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is feared to be an event that might plague the 21st century if the problem is not addressed now. Desmond Heng Wen Chien of the A-Star Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences forewarns that antimicrobial resistance could be the leading cause of death by 2050 if proliferation cannot be stemmed.

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These superbugs have increased the mortality rate of respiratory infections to as high as 80 percent in some clinics. A study of antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacteria that causes lung infection, found that the bacteria has enhanced fitness and can survive in a host even with an onslaught of various antibiotics.

Awareness among the public is key to mitigate the indiscriminate consumption of antibiotics. Physicians should communicate to their patients that for non-fatal respiratory infections such as the common cold and cough, the illness often resolves over time without medication. Doctors recommend taking vaccines for common respiratory illnesses to defend against infections and their subsequent need for treatment.

Image source: medicalnewstoday.com

Dr. Lisa Marie Cannon is an internist based in New Jersey specializing in pulmonology, sleep medicine, and critical care. For more blogs on respiratory health, follow this link.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Recent Study Links Antidementia Drug With High Risk Of Pneumonia

Memantine, an antidementia drug, has been linked with a high risk of developing pneumonia, concludes a new study by the University of Eastern Finland. Rivastigmine patches, another treatment agent for mild to moderate cases of dementia, have been associated with high-risk factors as well. Authors of the study concluded the memantine and rivastigmine led to a 1.6 and 1.15 times high risk of pneumonia, respectively. However, authors caution that the number may be even higher since only cases of the condition that led to hospitalization or death were recorded.

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This is a breakthrough study since there has been no previous research on the link between different antidementia drugs and pneumonia risk. The authors began their study with the knowledge that there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and many of the patients often have comorbid conditions. Usually, these illnesses are related to their psychological well-being; a lot of patients with Alzheimer’s being diagnosed with anxiety or depression. However, most patients also complain of failing health.

For the most part, health practitioners attributed this to the patient’s inability to take care of themselves – their forgetfulness being used as a reason. Nothing was suspected of the patient’s treatment plan. Scientists then began to notice that pneumonia became one of the most common causes of hospitalization among patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It is also the leading cause of death in this population.

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These conclusions can be used to forewarn families of patients of the various side effects of their loved one’s medication. This can also be used by internal specialists when designing their treatment plan.

Dr. Lisa Marie Cannon specializes in pulmonary conditions such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. Learn more when you subscribe to this blog.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Physical Activities for Asthmatic People

For people with asthma, intense exercise can trigger coughing, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing. But experts have noted that asthmatic people do not necessarily have to give up physical activity. It has been found that the right kind of exercise can actually reduce symptoms and improve breathing. Furthermore, a recent study also shows that active asthmatic people showed slightly less lung decline compared to their inactive counterparts.

Image source: FitnessMagazine.com

The key is to exercise safely. The best type is one that is not too difficult and gets a person only slightly out of breath. When asthma is threatening to attack during the exercise, the person should stop immediately. It is strongly recommended to consult with a doctor before beginning any kind of exercise, and to always warm up before and cool down after working out.

Walking is a low-intensity and manageable exercise ideal for asthmatic people. Experts advise moderate to brisk walking for half an hour, thrice a week.

Yoga is not only a good source of physical activity; the breathing exercises expand the lungs and expose them to warm, moist air.

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Swimming is one of the best exercises as studies have shown that the sport increases lung function and improves cardiopulmonary fitness.

Dr. Lisa Marie Cannon received her pulmonary fellowship from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and has her own private practice in New Jersey. For more news about pulmonary medicine, visit this Twitter page.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Limit-Setting Insomnia In Children: What Is It About?

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Teenagers and adults are not the only ones who suffer from insomnia. Insomnia is a term for difficulty in staying or falling asleep. It is commonly caused by certain behaviors, and it can affect the quality of life of those who suffer from it.

Young children suffer from insomnia, too, be

Toddlers and young children do not recognize how much they need sleep to recharge their energy. When they are left unsupervised, they might develop varying sleep schedules which will disrupt their circadian rhythm. Children will feel tired day after day, and can get sick because of their lack of sleep.

A lot of parents see this as a difficult time for learning with their children. When the child refuses to sleep, parents give in to their demands by giving them food or toys, which can delay their progress in learning how to sleep on their own. To prevent this, parents must establish appropriate sleeping schedules even on weekends. Quiet activities like book reading before bedtime can also help children establish a sleep
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If the child continues to have difficulty in sleeping, it is best for parents to bring them to a board-certified sleep specialist and physician.

Dr. Lisa Marie Cannon is a New Jersey-based board-certified physician. She specializes in sleep medicine and pulmonary care. Visit this Twitter page for updates about her fields of specialization.