When counting sheep just doesn’t cut it – my tips for a better night’s sleep

sleep

Do you ever get into bed at night after a long day only to realize your body just won’t let you sleep? Or how about those nights where you can’t stay asleep and end up tossing and turning for hours on end? Lets face it, getting a good night’s sleep when you want, is beyond your control, so here are three helpful tips Dr. Pam says can help prevent those restless nights.

SET A BEDTIME

  • Sleeping at a set time may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s surprising how many people don’t. Routine is important when it comes to getting sleep, so make sure to stick to one.
  • Do you set an alarm in the morning? Try setting one when you go to bed, too. This alarm system will help you stay on schedule with your new routine. Though it may be tempting, stick to the schedule on weekends as well.

RAISE YOUR BODY TEMPERATURE

  • Raising your body temperature before going to bed can be effective because drowsiness sets in as your core body temperature cools down.
  • According to womenshealthmag.com, taking a hot bath or shower can exaggerate this effect. U.S. News Health also suggests drinking a hot cup of tea before bedtime—it has the same effect as a hot bath!

TURN OFF LIGHTS/ELECTRONICS

  • Having light on can be a distraction when it comes to getting some shuteye. When on, it sends a message to your brain that it’s daytime, according to U.S. News Health, thus making it more difficult to fall asleep and “disrupting the internal clock.”
  • TV’s, computers, and phones should be off until you wake up in the morning since they stimulate your brain. If you’re the type to use social media or play casual games before bed, do yourself a favor and try to resist the urge. Your body will thank you in the morning.

 

While these three simple tips can help improve your daily sleep rituals, they can also boost your overall health and well-being at any age. Happy sleeping!

 

Dr. Pam’s Tips for Using Internet Drugstores

drugIt’ll come as no secret to my loyal fratients (friend+patient) that I am an advocate for incorporating new technologies into modern-day medicine.  According to the March 2013 issue of Health Magazine, buying medications online is an up and coming trend.  There are many benefits to being able to medicate without leaving the house, but the internet can be a scary place.  Here are some tips on how to safely get your medications online.

1.     Don’t use an unfamiliar drugstore.  In 2010, the FDA shut down thousands of online pharmacies for selling illegitimate medications.  Many of these sites were advertising cheaper, generic versions of drugs that turned out to be different medications completely.

Dr Pam’s advice:  Look for the VIPPs seal, an indication that the pharmacy has passed a voluntary accreditation program established by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Legitscript.com is another online resource that can verify the store you’re choosing is legitimate.

2.    Know where to go.   Almost every popular, big-brand drugstore has an online pharmacy.  Using name-brand drugstores, even if you’re using generic medications, helps to ensure the validity of your medications.

Dr. Pam’s advice:  Use the same drugstore online that you use in person. You know you can trust these sites because you’ve probably been using their in-store pharmacies for years.

3.     Don’t Over-Order. Ordering over-the-counter medications online is easy, but consumers need to beware.  People sometimes think to order these products in bulk, but vitamins, allergy-pills, and even cough medicines have expiration dates.

Dr. Pam’s advice:  Only order what you see yourself using in the near future.  Ordering these medications online will be just as easy in a month when your supply runs low.  Some companies like Amazon even have programs where you can set up recurring deliveries.

You are what you drink: get on the green tea kick

teaThe next time you get a craving for the Starbucks drive-thru, remind yourself of the mantra – “you are what you drink.”

Tea is one of the most ancient and popular beverages consumed around the world. Green tea, specifically, has been researched for decades, and is widely recognized for its health benefits – particularly in its potential to fight heart disease.

 

A recent study that was conducted by Dr. Barbara Fuhrman of the National Cancer Institute claims that green tea has the potential to lower the risk of breast cancer in women. The study was published in Nutrition Journal on February 15, 2013, and it suggests that both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women who consume green tea on a daily basis can lower their levels of estrogen metabolites and simultaneously lower their risk of breast cancer.

 

This breakthrough small-scale study that Dr. Fuhrman has led is a fantastic contribution to medical research. Who would have guessed that such a simple additive to your daily routine could actually be a natural way of changing the way we metabolize estrogen? In the long run we will also be lowering the risk of developing breast cancer. All it takes is a daily ‘shot’ of green tea to keep you out of perilous territory. It is such an easy thing to do I do not know why we have not been consuming green tea all this time.

 

Keep in mind the next time Starbucks comes into view, take a couple minutes to pull up and park or swing by the drive-thru window and order an ice cold Tazo® ShakenIced Green Tea Lemonade, you won’t regret it!

 

Resources–

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/12/1/25/abstract

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/tazo-tea/shaken-iced-green-tea-lemonade

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/tea

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-green-tea