CONDITIONS 101

What causes insomnia, and what can one do about it?

Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep, or cause one to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. Those with insomnia may still feel tired when they wake up. The condition can negatively affect health, energy level, mood, work performance and quality of life.

According to the Mayo Clinic, common causes of chronic insomnia include:

— Stress.

— Travel or work schedule.

— Poor sleep habits.

— Eating too much late in the evening.

— Mental health disorders.

— Medications.

— Medical conditions including chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), overactive thyroid, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

— Sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.

— Drinking caffeine, nicotine or alcohol late afternoon or evening.

The following healthy sleep habits can help prevent insomnia:

— Maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time every day (yes, weekends, too).

— Engage in regular physical activity, which helps promote a good night’s sleep.

— Check the side effects of medications you’re taking — they may be contributing to insomnia.

— Try not to nap during the day.

— Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol.

— Do not use nicotine.

— Do not consume large meals or beverages before bedtime.

— Develop bedtime rituals that help you relax.

NUTRITION STATION

Want to be healthy?

Avoid pressed juices

Though they may seem healthy, some beverages are deceptively sugary.

Juice has to be healthy, right? After all, it comes from fruits and vegetables! Unfortunately, pressed juice — often touted as healthy or helpful for weight-loss — can contain between 20 to 23 grams of sugar in a single cup and very little fiber, according to Eat This, Not That. In addition, those who drink pressed juices frequently are at higher a risk of developing fatty liver disease, heart disease and diabetes.

HEALTH STAT: 95

According to the CDC, in lab tests, exposure to potentially infectious aerosols decreased by about 95% when people wore tightly fitted masks.

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