What is Healthy Sleep?

healthy sleep leaves you refreshed
Dust Mites in Your Bed?

We spend one-third of our life asleep. Everybody wants a good night’s rest. Everybody wants to sleep healthy. We all agree on that. But what is “healthy sleep”?

The National Sleep Foundation defines “healthy sleep” as sleep that meets the following:

 

  • You fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of lying down
  • You regularly sleep a total of seven to nine hours in a 24-hour period.
  • While in bed, your sleep is continuous—you don’t have long periods of lying awake when you wish to be sleeping.
  • You wake up feeling refreshed.
  • You feel alert and are able to be fully productive throughout the waking hours. (
  • Your partner or family members do not notice any disturbing or out of the ordinary behavior from you while you sleep, such as snoring, pauses in breathing, restlessness, or otherwise nighttime behaviors.

 

The Harvard Medical School devotes significant resources to studying sleep and promoting healthy sleep. They have an extensive video library here if you would like to hear from medical experts about the important of healthy sleep.

 

Tips for Healthy Sleep

 

Most experts agree that there are steps you can take to get to sleep, stay asleep, and wake refreshed.

 

  • Avoid caffeine late in the day
  • Limit your exposure to light
  • Establish a bedtime routine and keep it
  • Exercise daily, but not just before bedtime
  • Keep your room dark and cool
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and heavy meals just before bedtime

 

Healthy Sleep Hygeine

 

The debate rages about whether to shower or bathe at night before fight over shower at night or in morningyou go to bed or in the morning when you rise. That is one sleep hygiene fight we will not wade into. If it helps you sleep, bathe or shower before you sleep. If not, do it in the morning.

 

However, bathing at night does reduce the amount of skin and body oils in your bed. Those are just dust mite food.

 

Speaking of dust mites, it is important to control their population if sneezing, wheezing, or coughing keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep. So, be sure to wash your sheets, pillow cases, and blankets every 7 days in hot water. This will remove the skin cells that are food for the dust mites as well as removing the dust mites themselves.

Protect your mattress and pillows with zippered dust mite proof covers. You’ll extend the life of your mattress and pillows and make it much easier to keep your bed clean.

 

zippered mattress covers promote healthy sleepFor temperature regulating comfort, choose natural fibers for sleeping. Cotton wicks away moisture to keep you dry. Both silk and wool fibers work to regulate body temperature as well. This makes these fibers great choices for comforters, blankets, and duvets.

 

If you’ve got any bedtime routines that work for you, drop us a line. We would love to hear what you do to get a healthy sleep.

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

Back to School with Asthma and Allergies

time-is-nowYes the calendar still says July, but its not too early to start thinking about your back to school strategies for dealing with asthma and allergies.   You and your doctor know what needs to be done to keep your child’s asthma and allergies under control, but do the people at school?

Your School Asthma and Allergy Team

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends that you enlist the help of the following school personnel:

Teacher – Your child’s teacher should know your child’s triggers. So, make sure you tell them.  Also, make sure that your child takes their medication BEFORE they leave for school. Don’t miss a dose.  Also, don’t let allergy control measures at home be lost in the back to school craziness that happens the first few weeks of every school year.

Room Parent – If your elementary age child has food allergies, be sure to let the room parent know.  This is especially important if the school allows treats to be brought in from outside.

School Nurse – Take time to discuss emergency procedures with the school’s nurse.  Even if your child is returning to the same school, it doesn’t hurt to provide a quick refresher.  Ever since 2010, all 50 states recognize a student’s right to carry and use emergency asthma and allergy medications such as rescue inhalers and Epi-pens.  If your child has been prescribed emergency treatment medication make sure your child and school staff know how to properly use it.

PE Teacher/Sports Coach – Asthma and allergies doesn’t mean your child must sit on the sidelines. If your child’s doctor has given the go-ahead for participation in sports, then make sure that the PE Teacher or Coach knows what to do in case of an asthma-related event.  Exercise-induced asthma events may signal that the asthma is not under control.

Boost the Immune System Before Back to School

It never hurts to start boosting the immune system before the back to school assault begins.  Be skeptical of remedies and treatments off the shelf that promise to increase immunity.  The tried and true methods are just common sense:

  • Make sure adequate hydration is maintained – that means drink water
  • Get plenty of rest – that means no more all night video game sessions
  • Eat right – that means more frozen juice bars and fewer ice cream cones
  • Play outside – just make sure to use sunscreen, then get some Vitamin D naturally
  • Wash your hands – that doesn’t mean drown in hand sanitizer, it means use soap and water after playing outside and again before eating

Continue to avoid allergy and asthma triggers as much as possible in the lead up to school.

Back to School Physical

Don’t delay in scheduling your child’s back to school physical.  This is a great time to discuss any changes in medication or treatment that may be necessary as your child grows.

Have Fun

Make the most of the remaining days of summer.  Don’t let asthma How to Send you child with allergies to campand allergies hold your child back from swimming, playing, and enjoying childhood.

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

 

 

 

Help! There’s a Dust Mite in My Bed!

dust mites got you crazyOh No!  You’ve just learned that you are allergic to dust mites.  Even worse, your doctor handed you a pamphlet or handout that assures you that your bed is loaded with thousands of these horrid insects.  As you drive home,  you start thinking about all those dust mites hiding in your bed….just waiting for you.  One moment you live in ignorant bliss of dust mites, the next moment the blinders come off and the truth comes crashing down on you.  You have dust mites!

Dust Mites Don’t Mean You Are Dirty

Those dust mites aren’t in your bed because you are dirty, they are there because you are human.  Those dust mites just want the little pieces of skin you leave all over the bed.   As long as you have skin, you have food for dust mites.  Just a fact of life.  However, if you are a dust mite pictureslob, you will want to try to keep your bedroom tidy going forward.   The less clutter you have, the easier it is to keep clean.  The easier it is to keep clean, the better the chances are that you will keep it clean.  The cleaner it is the less dust and skin bits floating about.  The less you have of these particles, the fewer dust mites you will have.   If you don’t already know enough about dust mites, just click here to get some dust mite facts and fiction.

You Versus the Dust Mite

If just the thought of a bed full of dust mites has you speeding to the mattress store, cool your jets.  A new mattress is not going to solve your dust mite problem.  What will help is much less expensive and completely more effective.

Take Cover – Just get a dust mite mattress cover and some extra zippered dust mite covers for your pillows.  WOW! That was pretty easy.  You just won round 1 of the battle of the dust mite.  By using the special zippered covers, you will put a barrier between you and the dust mite allergens.  You’ll also be putting an end to the all-you-can-eat buffet that you were providing to the mites.

Wash Wash Wash – No, you don’t need to start washing your bed linens three times, but you do need to make sure you wash your sheets, wash your pillow cases, and wash your blanket at least once a week.  Round 2 of the battle of the dust mite is staying on top of all new allergens that come into the bed once you have the zippered covers in place.  Wash in hot water (140°F) or add a little De-Mite or some Allergen Wash if you don’t want to use hot water.

Breathe Deep – Still feeling panicked?  Don’t let the thought of dust mites bring on a panic attack.  Calmly dial 1-800-771-2246 and ask to speak to an Allergy Store allergy specialist.  We can walk you through the steps to vanquishing the dust mite.

We’ve been helping people banish dust mites since 1989.  We can help you too!

Cheryl Krause

The Allergy Store

1-800-771-2246

allergustore.com