Thursday, November 1, 2018

The foundations of good sleep during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of drastic bodily changes, including leg cramps, nausea, heartburn, and a greater likelihood of having sleep disturbances.  Changes in sleep patterns can be caused by stress and anxiety, hormonal fluctuations, as well as the physical discomfort of childbearing.  But it’s not entirely impossible to enjoy a good night’s sleep while pregnant – here are tips to follow.

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Watch what you eat and drink
Cut down on caffeine-containing food and drinks.  Try to avoid heavy meals and spicy food before bedtime, as chili and acidic foods can cause indigestion and heartburn.  If you have heartburn, eat lighter meals and consume your last meal for the day two to three hours before heading to bed.  Drink plenty of fluids during the day, but cut down on it before bedtime to reduce nighttime urination.
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Keep moving
Improve circulation and overall health by exercising regularly.  But don’t do it late in the day, as exercise releases adrenaline, which can keep you awake throughout the night.

Use extra pillow
Pillows can be useful for supporting the tummy and back.  Place a pillow between the legs, too, to help support the lower back and make sleeping on your side easier.  Some ideal types are the wedge-shaped pillow and the full-length body pillow.

Manage stress
While worrying certainly won’t help, talking about your issues will.  Find a friend, family member, or professional who can listen and help if there are recurring sources of worry or feeling upset in your life, especially during pregnancy.

Get medical help
Your ob-gyne or a sleep specialist can outline the best steps to take if insomnia persists and even worsens during pregnancy.

 Dr. Lisa M. Cannon is a New Jersey-based physician.  She 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 in New York.  Learn more about her practice on this website.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Foods for healthier lungs

An average adult breathes 15 to 20 times a minute, amounting to 20,000 breath cycles each day.  When you breathe, the respiratory system (nose, throat, trachea, lungs) is responsible for transporting air throughout the body.  The lungs act as the main machine of the system, as it transports the oxygen to the bloodstream and to the cells.  In short, the lungs play a vital role in maintaining the body’s health and vigor.

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Aside from doing regular exercise to regulate breathing, you can also adjust your diet to make it beneficial for your lungs.  Here are examples of foods that will make your lungs healthier so you can breathe better.

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Beans, seeds, and most nuts are rich in magnesium, a mineral known to improve lung function.  The essential fatty acids found in legumes and nuts are also good for the cardiovascular system.

Kefir and yogurt are rich in protein, calcium, and digestion-promoting bacteria called probiotics.  Probiotics help prevent respiratory infections and keep colds at bay. Remember that 70 percent of the body’s immune system is stored in the gut area, which is why foods with active cultures work great to keep it healthy.

Good lung function has been proven to be associated with high intakes of vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, which are found in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and apples.  Greens such as broccoli contain antioxidants, which makes it ideal for individuals suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders.

Drinking plenty of water is the main cleanser of the body, and it is important in maintaining healthy blood flow in and out of the lungs.  Water keeps the lungs hydrated and the mucus flowing in the right consistency. 

Dr. Lisa M. Cannon graduated from New York Medical college in 1991. She received her pulmonary fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital and has ties with Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood. For more reading material on pulmonary health, visit this blog.

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.

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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.