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Top 4 tips to help you
get the sleep you need
(BPT) If you¡¯re reading this, there¡¯s a good
chance you¡¯re not getting enough sleep. You
could probably use a nap, and you¡¯re not alone.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) shows that about 70 million
U.S. adults report sleeping six hours or less on
This is well below the seven or more hours of
nightly sleep that the American Academy of Sleep
Medicine (AASM) recommends for optimal health.
It¡¯s important for you to get the sleep you need.
No matter the age, children and adults report
improved alertness, energy, mood and well-being
when enjoying healthy, consistent sleep.
However, with different sleep needs for each fam-
ily member, making sure that everyone gets the
sleep they need can be a real challenge.
Therefore, families should make it a priority to
adopt routines that fit each individual¡¯s unique
lifestyle and sleep needs.
Whatever your situation, these four tips can help
you and your family get on a consistent sleep
schedule, sleep better, and in the process, lead
healthier lives:
1. Use a bedtime calculator. The National
Healthy Sleep Awareness Project has developed a
bedtime calculator that can help you generate a
customized sleep plan.
Simply visit and
enter your age and wake-up time. The calculator
will tell you what time you need to go to bed to
get an adequate amount of sleep.
This personalized calculation can help you and
your loved ones keep a schedule that allows ev-
eryone to get the sleep they need.
The AASM recommends that each age group get
the following amount of sleep on a regular basis:
* Infants 4 to 12 months old: 12 to 16 hours
(including naps)
* Children 1 to 2 years old: 11 to 14 hours (in-
cluding naps)
* Children 3 to 5 years old: 10 to 13 hours (in-
cluding naps)
* Children 6 to 12 years old: Nine to 12 hours
* Teens 13 to 18 years old: Eight to 10 hours
* Adults: Seven hours or more
2. Limit your screen activity. It may be tempt-
ing to watch television and scroll through apps
until you fall asleep, but this is one of the worst
bedtime habits.
The blue light emitted from phones, tablets and
laptops resets your circadian clock and ¡°tricks¡±
your brain into thinking it¡¯s time to be awake.
and trans-fats
cause inflam-
mation and
disease while
others like
omega-3 and
fats prevent
disease and
lower inflam-
mation. Oils
such as olive
and canola
are healthy
oils and can
lower the
¡°bad¡± LDL
when used
in place of
butter and
2017 October/November
Pg 6 - The Sunshine Express
Health & Nurturing
The ¡°extra-virgin¡± oils are cold processed, have
a longer shelf life, and provide more of the anti-
oxidant plant compounds that make these oils
so healthy.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, lake trout, herring,
sardines, and albacore tuna, are rich sources of
omega-3 fatty acids, which lower triglycerides,
decrease blood clotting, improve the health of
your blood vessels, and help moderate blood
They are also associated with decreased sudden
heart attack. Fish is eaten on a regular basis in
the Mediterranean diet, at least 2-3 times per
Nuts provide more healthy oils, especially
almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans. Nuts
are high in calories so a handful is a good daily
serving, and nuts make a great snack instead of
chips or sweets!
Wine, in moderation and particularly red wine,
has been associated with a lower risk of heart
disease. Moderation means no more than a few
glasses of wine per day, as more than that be-
gins to have negative effects on health.
Of course it is not recommended if you have a
history of problems with alcohol, and consump-
tion of grape juice or supplementing with grape
seed extract or resveratrol is an alternative
method for getting the health promoting com-
pounds in red wine.
Many studies confirm the benefits of the Medi-
terranean diet, including a reduced risk of
heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson¡¯s
and Alzheimer¡¯s diseases. Consider the recent
¡°Prevention with the Mediterranean Diet¡± study,
which showed a 52% reduction in the risk of
diabetes in those following the diet.
A review of close to 200 studies, published
in the April 13, 2009 issue of the Archives of
Internal Medicine, found ¡°strong evidence that
a ¡®Western¡¯ diet - which is high in processed
meats, red meats, butter, eggs, refined grains,
and high-fat dairy products - is associated with
an increased risk of heart disease.
So we could say [to patients]: ¡®You should con-
sume less of those types of foods and gravitate
more toward a ¡°prudent¡± diet or a Mediterra-
nean diet, which are both high in fruits and
legumes, whole
grains, and
fish¡± accord-
ing to senior
author Dr Sonia
Overall, the di-
etary pattern is
what needs to
be emphasized
and not sim-
ply good foods
or bad foods.
It¡¯s what the
overall quality
of the diet is.
The Western
diet pattern is
high in saturat-
ed fat, trans-
fat, and choles-
terol, whereas
a Mediterranean diet and ¡®prudent¡¯ diet include
more monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats,
and there is more fish consumption.
Emphasize the fruits and vegetables and cut out
the sugar.
How you eat is also important.
Taking time to really enjoy meals, slowly and
deliberately, savoring the experience, with friends
and family, is all part of the lifestyle of the Medi-
terranean diet culture.
You don¡¯t have to be in Rome, just bring home
the elements of the Mediterranean diet and enjoy.
(Scott Rollins, MD, is Board Certified with the
American Board of Family Practice and the
American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative
Medicine. He specializes in Bioidentical Hormone
Replacement for men and women, thyroid and
adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia, weight loss and
other complex medical conditions. He is founder
and medical director of the Integrative Medicine
Center of Western Colorado (
and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (www.bellezzalaser.
com). Call 970.245.6911 for an appointment or
more information.)
In Harmony
by Scott Rollins, M.D.
The Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
If you¡¯re working on a healthier diet plan,
the Mediterranean diet might be right for
you, by incorporating the basics of healthy
eating, a splash of flavorful olive oil and per-
haps a glass of red wine, among other items
characterizing the traditional cooking style of
countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
The traditional Mediterranean diet includes:
*Eating plenty of plant-based foods, such as
fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes
and nuts
*Using healthy fats such as olive oil and
canola oil in place of butter and margarine
*Using herbs and spices to flavor foods
instead of salt
*Eating fish and poultry at least twice a
*Limiting red meat to no more than a few
times a month
*Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the corner-
stone of the Mediterranean diet, provid-
ing the vital nutrients and disease fighting
anti-oxidants that help keep cancer at bay
and protect our arteries from the oxidized
cholesterol that causes plaque.
The best sources are leafy greens, and
brightly colored red, yellow, orange and pur-
ple veggies, with a recommended amount
of 8-10 servings per day. When able, buy
fresh, seasonal, organic and local.
Whole grain pastas are prominent with
homemade sauces featuring fresh tomatoes,
spices and herbs, with little to no salt.
Bread is typically dipped in olive oil thus
adding heart healthy monounsaturated oils
rather than the artery clogging saturated or
trans-fats found in butter or margarine.
The Mediterranean diet is not a low-fat diet.
What you say? How can it be healthy as
we¡¯ve been brainwashed into thinking fat is
It depends on the type of fat as saturated
Healthy Sleep Is Not A Luxury