4 Must-Know Sleep Practices for 2022

Sleep Awareness Week is next week from March 13th– 19th. The National Sleep Foundation created this week to reemphasize the importance of the connection of sleep and health. Their theme this year is “Best Slept Self”.

The Chapters Health system has outlined some sleep practices for you to start implementing and achieving the best quality sleep:1

#1: Have a Bedtime Routine

It’s important to have a bedtime routine, so your body recognizes that you are starting to wind down and you can peacefully drift off into a sleep.

What might this look like?

  • Take a warm bath or shower with calming soap scents.
  • Write out any current worries that you may have in a list form and decide to deal with them the next day.
  • Listen to meditating music.

#2: Watch What You Eat and Drink

Eating heavy before bed can hinder sleep. When you consume a heavy meal towards the end of your day, your stomach and intestines must start working on digesting it which can take multiple hours. You should also avoid fatty, acidic, and spicy foods that can irritate the stomach and cause heart burn.

So, what if you are craving a late-night snack, what can you eat before bed? The Huffington Post asked nutritionists to provide some of their top picks which are as follows:

  • Banana
    • Contains potassium and tryptophan. Potassium is a natural muscle relaxant which helps with sleep. Tryptophan helps make melatonin and serotonin which is necessary for the sleep cycle.
  • Rice Cake with Peanut Butter
    • The peanut butter contains protein and fat while the rice cake has carbs. This combination will help balance your blood sugar throughout the night.
  • Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
    • These are the best go to snacks to have before bed. They contain Vitamin-D which has an important role in the production of melatonin. You want to make sure you have enough Vitamin-D in your body before you go to bed.

You can find the full list of recommended snacks here.

#3: Limit Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is a drug that increases the activity in your brain and nervous system. It can remain in your system anywhere from 3 to 5 hours after consumption and can cause your deep stages of sleep to be disrupted. The Daily Meal gives examples of foods and drinks that you may be surprised contain caffeine:2

  • Oreos: One Oreo contains 1.3 milligrams.
  • Decaf Coffee: One cup contains between 8 to 14 milligrams.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies: One cup of milk chocolate chips contains about 33.6 milligrams.

You may be thinking that just one Oreo wouldn’t hurt before bed, but even a small amount of caffeine can affect your sleep. The average amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee is 95 milligrams. It’s best to limit or avoid these types of food and drink items before bed.

#4: Exercise Consistently

Exercise has been known to improve sleep. However, the types of workouts you do can affect how well you sleep. It is not recommended to exercise intensely 3 to 4 hours before bed because it will increase your heart rate and make it more difficult to sleep. If you choose to exercise before bed, try yoga so that your body starts to wind down and prepare itself for rest.

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program

Tria Health offers Chronic Condition Management through our Pharmacy Advocate Program. Clinical Pharmacists provide one-on one telephonic counseling for members and are their personal advocate to help them navigate through the health care system. Through reviewing a member’s medications and lifestyle, including their sleep habits, Tria Pharmacists can make recommendations that will help control their chronic conditions and help them feel better!

Sources

  1. https://www.chaptershealth.org/chapters-of-life-blog/families-caregivers/better-sleep-tips/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjbHj76i09gIVmBfUAR0ZSAdqEAAYAiAAEgJSr_D_BwE
  2. https://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy-eating/20-foods-and-drinks-you-didn-t-know-had-caffeine-slideshow

New Year, New You?

It’s the time of year for New Year’s resolutions—or, more accurately, the time that most people have given up on those resolutions. You know the kind of resolutions we mean: “I’ll exercise more”, “I’ll start eating better and watch my portion sizes”, “I’ll quit smoking”. To ditch the resolutions by mid-January is par for the course. We understand, change is hard. However, your friends at Tria Health want to help you take back control of your resolutions and your health—and deliver the why behind it.

These lifestyle changes like losing weight, eating well-balanced nutritional meals and exercising can prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. In fact, these lifestyle changes are part of the recommendations our pharmacists are making to our patients through our Pharmacy Advocate Program.

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate program helps people with Chronic Conditions

In addition to lifestyle changes, most chronic conditions require medication to effectively treat and manage. Tria Health’s pharmacists make sure patients are receiving the best benefits from their medications. They work with patients and their physicians to identify, prevent and resolve drug therapy problem’s related to a patient’s medications.

Tria Health’s pharmacists provide one-on-one telephonic counseling for members to discuss how lifestyle and medication impact chronic conditions. They provide valuable, clinically based information on how to improve your health. And, they will coordinate any recommendations with the members’ physician and/or pharmacy.

You Have the Power to Prevent Chronic Disease  

The CDC reports that, “chronic diseases and conditions—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis—are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.” This year, and always, we encourage you to resolve to live a healthy lifestyle. These lifestyle changes will help you feel better today—and for many tomorrow’s:

  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Eat a nutritious diet of whole foods.
  • Watch your portion sizes.
  • Be active.
  • Quit smoking (and other tobacco products).
  • Limit your alcohol use.

Change IS hard, but if you consider the possibility of preventing chronic disease, it’s an easy decision to attempt to make these lifestyle changes. Your friends at Tria Health hope you will resolve to commit to living a healthy lifestyle to prevent chronic conditions.

 

For more information on CCM, please visit our website at www.triahealth.com or call our help desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

 

What is a heart healthy diet?

Has a physician ever recommended that you follow a heart healthy diet?  A lot of people with heart disease or diabetes are encouraged to eat a heart healthy diet but aren’t given guidance on what this means. We’ve compiled some of the best tips here so you can get started on your heart healthy lifestyle.

DO eat:

  1. Fruits and vegetables
  2. Whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal
  3. Low-fat dairy such as cheese, milk, or yogurt
  4. Poultry such as chicken and turkey
  5. Fish
  6. Beans and peas
  7. Vegetable oils such as canola or olive
  8. Nuts

LIMIT the following:

  1. Sweets like candy, ice cream or baked goods
  2. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, sweet tea or coffee drinks
  3. Red meats such as beef and pork
  4. Saturated fats found in processed meats, animal fat, coconut oil, etc.

Reducing sodium intake is an important component of a heart healthy diet. Aim for no more than 2400mg of sodium or one teaspoon of tablet salt, per day. For most people, the salt in their diet doesn’t come from the salt shaker but from certain foods they buy. Use these tips when shopping and cooking:

  1. Buy fresh, plain frozen, or canned “no salt added” food. Avoid canned or processed foods.
  2. Cut back on frozen dinners, pizza, canned soups or broths, and salad dressings.
  3. Rinse canned foods to remove some salt.
  4. Choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals low in sodium.
  5. Remember the kind of food that has more than 1000mg of sodium: fast food burger or hot dog, one large slice of pizza, or one can of soup.

The following apps can be helpful to track what you eat:

  1. MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker for iphone
  2. MyDashDiet for iphone
  3. Sodium Tracker for iphone
  4. EZ Sodium Tracker for iphone and Android

Following a heart healthy diet is good for anyone, whether or not your doctor has recommended one. A healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, is the first line of defense for many common health conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. The American Heart Association also lists guidelines for a heart healthy diet and simple healthy recipes to try.

For more information about Tria Health, visit our website.