35% of U.S. adults do not get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep continues to be a problem in the U.S. 

Are you one of those adults? Learn more about your risk and how many adults don’t get enough sleep in the U.S.

How much sleep do we need and what can happen when we’re not getting enough?

Sleep is an important part of good health. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is linked to increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and poor mental health, as well as early death. Not getting the recommended amount of sleep can affect your ability to make good decisions and increases the chances of motor vehicle crashes.

According to professional sleep societies, adults aged 18 to 60 years should sleep at least 7 hours each night for the best health and wellness.

How much sleep are we getting?

About 1 in 3 (an estimated 83 million) U.S. adults reported usually sleeping less than 7 hours in a 24-hour period, based on data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey that was done in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Not getting enough sleep is a problem that affects a large number of Americans. If you are not getting enough sleep, you should make sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits. You should also talk to your healthcare provider about how much sleep you get and any other sleep problems you might have.

Who is at higher risk for not getting enough sleep?

Everyone is at risk of not getting enough sleep, but the risk is higher for shift workers. Shift work— any shift outside normal daylight hours, such as night shift, evening shift, or rotating shift — is more common for some occupations:

  • Medical professionals (doctors and nurses)
  • Emergency response workers
  • Transportation industry workers (truck drivers)
  • Workers in the manufacturing, hospitality, or retail industriesSome habits that can improve your sleep health.

How can you get healthy sleep?

  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature
  • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
  • Avoid tobacco/nicotine
  • Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.
  • Keep a journal of your sleep patterns to discuss with your doctor.
  • If you still have trouble sleeping, discuss your sleep with your doctor. Before your appointment, keep a 10-day sleep journal or diary to share with your doctor that includes when you:
  1. Go to bed
  2. Fall asleep
  3. Wake up
  4. Get out of bed
  5. Take naps
  6. Exercise
  7. Drink alcohol
  8. Consume caffeine-containing beverages

If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as snoring or being very sleepy during the day after a full night’s sleep, make sure to tell your doctor.


Source: http://www.cdc.gov/features/getting-enough-sleep/

February is National Children’s Dental Month

Sipping, Snacking and Tooth Decay

Many parents across the country will issue a common refrain at dinnertime tonight: You’d better eat that–it’s good for you! There’s another old favorite in the parental arsenal of dietary admonitions: Don’t eat that—it’ll rot your teeth!‖ Now more than ever, kids are faced with a bewildering array of food choices from fresh produce to sugar-laden processed convenience meals and snack foods. What children eat and when they eat it may affect not only their general health but also their oral health.

Americans are consuming foods and drinks high in sugar and starches more often and in larger portions than ever before. It’s clear that junk foods and drinks gradually have replaced nutritious beverages and foods for many people. For example, the average teenage boy in the U.S. consumes 81 gallons of soft drinks each year! Alarmingly, a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks can ruin teeth, especially among those who snack throughout the day. Common activities may contribute to the tendency toward tooth decay. These include grazing habitually on foods with minimal nutritional value, and frequently sipping on sugary drinks.

When sugar is consumed over and over again in large, often hidden amounts, the harmful effect on teeth can be dramatic. Sugar on teeth provides food for bacteria, which produce acid. The acid in turn can eat away the enamel on teeth.

Almost all foods have some type of sugar that cannot and should not be eliminated from our diets. Many of these foods contain important nutrients and add enjoyment to eating. But there is a risk for tooth decay from a diet high in sugars and starches. Starches can be found in everything from bread to pretzels to salad dressing, so read labels and plan carefully for a balanced, nutritious diet for you and your kids.

Reduce your children’s risk of tooth decay:

  • Sugary foods and drinks should be consumed with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
  • Limit between-meal snacks. If kids crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.
  • If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless – Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
  • Monitor beverage consumption – Instead of soft drinks all day, children should also choose water and low-fat milk.
  • Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits.
  • Schedule regular dental visits.


Source: www.ada.org

The Gift of Love

February 11th, 2016 | Posted by Kimberly Vanderpoel in Kim's Posts - (0 Comments)

As we all know, Sunday is Valentine’s Day. A day set aside to celebrate love and friendship. Did you know it is also National Donor’s day? I couldn’t think of a better day to celebrate and bring awareness to organ donation than Valentine’s Day.

Without organ donation…

  • my niece and nephew could be without a father.
  • my parents could be without a son
  • and my siblings, and I could be without our brother.

Five years ago, my sister was a “live” liver donor for my brother. What a gift of love!

Each day, an average of 79 people receive organ transplants. However, an average of 22 people die each day waiting for transplants that can’t take place because of the shortage of donated organs.

The Facts

These facts may help you better understand organ, eye, and tissue donation:

Fact: Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. The transplant team will determine at an individual’s time of death whether donation is possible.

Fact: Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the number one priority is to save your life.

Fact: When matching donor organs to recipients, the computerized matching system considers issues such as the severity of illness, blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information, and geographic location. The recipient’s financial or celebrity status or race does not figure in.

Fact: An open casket funeral is usually possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity.

Fact: There is no cost to donors or their families for organ or tissue donation.

Fact: Every state provides access to a donor registry where its residents can indicate their donation decision.

Fact: Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S. Violators are punishable by prison sentences and fines.

Fact: People can recover from comas, but not brain death. Coma and brain death are not the same. Brain death is final.

Organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation provide a second chance at life for thousands of people each year. We all have the opportunity to be one of the individuals who make these miracles happen.

By deciding to be a donor, we give the gift of hope … hope for the thousands of individuals awaiting organ transplants and hope for the millions of individuals whose lives could be enhanced through tissue transplants.

Well, it’s here….almost time for Super Bowl Sunday!

Super Bowl Sunday is as much about eating as it is about whether the Panthers or the Broncos score the first touchdown.

Commonly served Super Bowl snacks, however, are often loaded with calories, fat and salt.

But there are some easy ways to make game-day foods delicious and healthy.

  • Drink water. If you’re drinking alcohol, stay hydrated. Drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. Opting for other sugar-free drinks, like seltzer, can also slash calories.
  • Pace yourself. Eat normally before kick-off so you aren’t overdoing it even before higher-calorie foods are served.
  • Keep things simple. When choosing a Super Bowl party menu, stick with a few key dishes. This way you won’t be tempted to sample many different foods.
  • Fill up. High-calorie appetizers may not be satisfying, causing you to eat more. Instead, prepare satisfying main dishes, such as a batch of healthy chili.
  • Lighten up. Replace ingredients that are high in calories and fat with healthier alternatives. For example, swap out high-fat cheese or mayonnaise with low-fat cheese or plain Greek yogurt.
  • Limit portions. Exercise restraint at the buffet table. You can enjoy a variety of foods but don’t overdo the size of your portions.
  • Cut the chips. Replace salty chips with a variety of fresh veggies.
  • Be prepared. If you are a guest, bring along a healthy dish.
  • Try healthier crowd pleasers. Rather than ordering greasy pizza, make a healthier homemade version with flatbread, chicken, sausage or peppers.

And here are a couple healthy appetizers to try:

Skinny Crispy Mozzarella Sticks


  • 12 Wonton wraps, at room temperature
  • 6 String cheese of choice, cut in half
  • 2 TBSP Grated parmesan for topping
  • Optional: Marinara sauce for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet pan with foil, and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Lay a wonton wrap on a flat surface in front of you, like a diamond. Put the cheese stick (cut in half) in middle of the wrap.
  3. Take the bottom corner and fold it up over the cheese stick and tuck the side corners around cheese stick. Dab finger in water, and draw a line on the end flap of the wonton. Continue to roll until it is completely wrapped in wonton wrapper. (Note: The water acts like a glue to help the wonton stay wrapped.) Spray cheese sticks with cooking spray.
  4. Bake for 6 minutes, and then remove from the oven. Turn each cheese stick, and sprinkle parmesan cheese evenly over them. Spray with cooking spray, and return to the oven for 5-6 minutes, then broil for the last 45-60 seconds, or until the tops get lightly golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping if desired!

Recipe Source: www.dashingdish.com


Playoff Chicken Meatballs


  • 1 lb. ground chicken (or ground turkey)
  • 1/4 cup fine diced onion
  • 1/4 cup fine diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients. Use your hands (or a large fork) to mix together the ingredients until well combined.
  2. Shape into 1 inch balls. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs, and cook, turning frequently, until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain meatballs on paper towels, if needed.
  3. Then place meatballs in crock pot. Top meatballs evenly with favorite BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours in the slow cooker until meatballs are cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F.


Have a fun, game day!

Source: healthfinder.gov



National Wear Red Day Friday, February 5th


Women are strong. We are smart. We solve problems. Women can do anything men can do. And, there are some things we’re even better at – dying of heart disease and stroke. Like breaking barriers? Go Red! And help break the one against heart disease.

It’s not just a man’s disease. Each year, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke. But we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.

When it comes to beating heart disease and stroke, change can be the cure. Make a change at GoRedForWomen.org.

Go Red For Women is about much more than wearing red on National Wear Red Day. It’s about making a change.

Here are a few ways you can make a change today:

· Go to GoRedForWomen.org to learn what you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
· Encourage your family and friends to take small steps toward healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke, too.
· Explain “What it means to Go Red” by sharing the following acronym:
Get Your Numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
Own Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
Raise Your Voice: Advocate for more women-related research and education.
Educate Your Family: Make healthy food choices for you & your family. Teach your kids the importance of staying active.
Donate: Show your support with a donation of time or money.


FACT 1: Cardiovascular diseases cause one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
· An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases.
· 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
· 80% of heart disease and stroke events could be prevented.
FACT 2: Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease & stroke.
· Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack
· The symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood – even by some physicians.
· Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men.
· Each year, about 55,000 more women than men have a stroke.
FACT 3: Heart disease and stroke affect women of all ethnicities.
· Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for African-American women, killing nearly 50,000 annually.
· Only 43% of African American women and 44% of Hispanic women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk, compared with 60% of Caucasian women.
· Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 48.9% have cardiovascular disease. Yet, only 20% believe they are at risk.
· Only 50% of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
· Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.
· Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.
· Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.
FACT 4: Women who are involved with the Go Red For Women movement live healthier lives.
· Nearly 90% have made at least one healthy behavior change.
· More than one-third has lost weight.
· More than 50% have increased their exercise.
· 6 out of 10 have changed their diets.
· More than 40% have checked their cholesterol levels.
· One third has talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
FACT 5: When you get involved in supporting Go Red For Women by advocating, fundraising and sharing your story, more lives are saved.
· Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day
· Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.


Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women because it’s not just a man’s disease. In fact, more women than men die every year from heart disease and stroke. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red For Women advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s, with additional support from our cause supporters. For more information, please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278).

Source and Photo Credit: Go Red For Women