Lose Weight and Sleep Better

insomniaA number of studies have indicated that increased weight is associated with a decrease in sleep at night. Now, new research suggests that losing weight can improve sleep as well.

In a recent study at John Hopkins, groups of type 2 diabetes patients were required to follow weight loss programs. The participants ended up losing an average of 15 pounds and 15 percent of their belly fat. In the process, they also reported a 20 percent boost in their “sleep score,” meaning they experienced less sleepiness and restless sleep.

John Hopkins researchers credited the lose of body fat, belly fat specifically, with these improvements in quality of sleep. It also did not matter if the weight loss came from diet alone or a mix of diet and exercise. Although, exercise is known to contribute to less sleepless nights.

Additional research out of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has shown similar benefits of weight loss to sleep. In their study, participants followed six month weight loss programs while the research team measured changes in weight, sleep duration and quality, and mood.

lose-weightThe UPenn researchers found that people who lost at least 5 percent of their body weight reported sleeping more than 20 minutes longer each night and improvement in mood at a higher rate than the group who lost less than 5 percent body weight.

Sounds like another reason to shed those extra pounds, especially if you have been experiencing any signs of insomnia lately.

PLUS: Losing weight can also better your sleep by relieving snoring and sleep apnea.

For more tips on improving your sleep visit: http://moyespharmacy.com/2014/07/sleep-tips-7-ways-to-improve-your-sleep/


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Fight Germs!

prevent-fluWhat You Can Do to Help Stay Healthy

Whether or not you got your flu shot last fall (and we hope you did!), you’ll still want to practice good health habits to help you avoid catching — or sharing — viruses this Spring. Here are some tips from Duke University Medical Center and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw the tissue in the trash after use and wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner. If a tissue if not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than on your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, where germs can easily enter the body.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who appear to be ill. (Sometimes easier said than done, we know.)
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.


Power Windows and Kids: A Dangerous Combination

power-windowsChildren can hurt themselves when using or playing with a vehicle’s power windows. Many kids are injured when a window closes on their fingers, wrist or hand. Some children have been strangled by power windows. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has these tips to help keep kids safe:

  • Never leave your children alone in a vehicle for any reason.
  • Teach your children not to play with window switches.
  • Teach your children not to stand on passenger-door arm rests.
  • Properly restrain your children in car seats or seat belts to prevent them from accidentally activating power windows.
  • Look and make sure your kids’ hands, feet and head are clear of windows before raising the windows.
  • Never leave the key in the ignition or in the “on” or “accessory” position when you walk away from your car.
  • If available, activate the power-windowlock switch so that your children cannot play with the windows.

All new vehicles will have “pull-to-close” switches, which, as their name indicates, require you to pull up on them to close the window. Older vehicles may have window switches that a child can accidentally step or put weight on, easily causing a window to close.


Protect Your Joints

protect-your-jointsTry These Tips for Managing Rheumatoid-Arthritis Pain

To avoid unnecessary joint strain and increased rheumatoid-arthritis pain, consider these tips, from The Mayo Clinic, for protecting your joints:

  • Move each joint through its full pain-free range of motion at least once a day. This will help you maintain the active motion of your joints. The amount you’re able to move each joint without pain may vary from day to day. Take care not to overdo it. Keep movements slow and gentle. Forcing a motion past the point of a tolerable stretch can damage your joints.
  • Learn to understand and respect your rheumatoidarthritis pain. Understand the difference between the general discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis and the pain from overusing a joint. By noting when an activity causes joint pain, you can then avoid repeating that movement or think of ways that you can modify the task. Pain that lasts more than an hour after an activity may indicate that the activity was too stressful. Remember that you’re more likely to damage your joints when they’re painful and swollen.