Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Adjusting to the School Routine

Whether your child is just beginning pre-K, has moved up a grade or is starting college, making the transition from summer vacation back to the school routine may be challenging. Instead of long summer days spent outdoors, students (and parents) must reorient to the hectic demands that come with the start of the school year. That means rising early, participating in classroom and after school programs, and completing homework.

Good nutrition, a quiet study area and a structured routine are essential for academic success. But most important is adequate sleep; without it, there may be poor cognitive performance, deficient physical ability and even behavioral issues. A study published in Science Translational Medicine (October 18, 2013) suggests that sleep purges the brain of toxins. Also, correlations have been drawn between sleep deprivation and weight gain, dulled memory and even life-threatening disease.

It’s common for teenagers to stay up late, have difficulty waking with the alarm clock and doze until noon on the weekends.  Adolescents often become “night owls” due to the lifestyle of this age group—with lots of homework and busy social lives—but another reason is a biological shift that occurs in the teenage years.

“Instead of feeling drowsy in the evening, teenagers actually tend to become more alert and have a hard time settling in to sleep, probably because melatonin is secreted later,” explained Dmitriy Vaysman, MD, director of Good Samaritan Hospital’s Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders. “In the morning, when people of other ages are awake and primed for the day, teenagers still have elevated melatonin levels and often feel groggy as a result. Many teens also feel drowsy in the middle of the day, regardless of their sleep habits.”

While the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night for adults, it advises at least 10 hours for school-age children and 9 to 10 hours for teenagers, noting that loss of sleep adds up in what is referred to as sleep debt. To stay healthy, students must get their rest each night, with a set bedtime.

“For teens, limiting screen time in the evening is important, since the blue light emitted by screens on electronic devices can send alerting signals to the brain,” Dr. Vaysman said. “It’s also helpful to try to maintain a similar sleep/wake schedule on weekdays and weekends/holidays. If a teenager is excessively sleepy despite what seems to be a full night’s rest, his or her doctor should be consulted for more guidance.”

For more information on a sleep center near you visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hurricane Safety Tips

This time of year tropical storms and hurricanes build along the coast line. Hurricanes are strong storms that have the potential to be life threatening, which is why it’s good to prepare in advance. The following is a list of helpful tips and procedures to prepare you and your family’s safety before and during a storm.

Be Ready:
  • Stock up on emergency supplies such as food, first aid kits, and medicine for your home and car.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them near every phone in your house or on the refrigerator.
  • Know where the nearest shelter is and the different routes you can take to get there if you leave your home.
  • Create and practice a hurricane evacuation plan with family members. Visit the CDC’s website to learn more:
If a hurricane is likely in your area:
  • Listen to the radio to keep informed.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities, if told to do so.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after an emergency.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors,secure and brace external doors.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Avoid elevators.

Visit The Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for more tips you and your family can use in the event of a hurricane.

Please visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.