Alternative Medicine / Home Remedies Newsletter
February 6, 2017
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
                                                            -- Viktor Frankl
In this Issue
• Sleep: The Great Motivator
• Even a Little Exercise Can Help With Arthritis, Study Says



Sleep: The Great Motivator

With adequate rest, you're more likely to stick to your resolutions, neurologist says

FRIDAY, Feb. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- If you really want to follow through on your New Year's resolutions, make sure you get enough sleep.

That's the advice of Michigan sleep specialist Dr. Cathy Goldstein.

Adequate sleep is a key component when trying to achieve goals -- whether it's healthier eating, more exercise, quitting smoking, improving relationships or getting ahead at work, she said.

"We definitely take sleep as a luxury; it's not," said Goldstein, an assistant professor of neurology in the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Centers.

People who don't get enough sleep are more likely to make poor food choices and to eat more, Goldstein said in a university news release.

They're also less likely to feel motivated to exercise or stick to their no-smoking plan; more likely to be in a bad mood; and they're probably less productive at work, she said.

Goldstein advised getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, going to bed at the same time each evening, keeping your bedroom as dark as possible, and covering up any direct glow from electronics or clocks.

"You're most sensitive to bright light in the middle of the night. Even low levels can have a negative effect," Goldstein said.

It's also important not to use your smartphone or tablet while in bed, and to set the phone to "do not disturb" mode to prevent sleep interruptions from late-night calls or texts, she added.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on sleep.

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Even a Little Exercise Can Help With Arthritis, Study Says

Just 45 minutes a week was related to better physical functioning among older adults

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Just a little physical activity seems to go a long way toward helping older adults with arthritis remain able to do daily tasks, a new study finds.

Older adults with arthritis-related joint pain and stiffness need to keep moving to remain functionally independent. But only 10 percent of older Americans with arthritis in their knees meet federal guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, the researchers said.

However, this Northwestern University study found that doing even about one-third of that amount is still beneficial.

The study involved more than 1,600 adults 49 or older who had arthritic pain or stiffness in their hips, knees or feet.

Those who did a minimum of 45 minutes of moderate activity -- such as brisk walking -- a week were 80 percent more likely to improve or sustain physical function and gait speed over two years, compared with those who did less activity, the researchers found.

"Even a little activity is better than none," said study first author Dorothy Dunlop.

"For those older people suffering from arthritis who are minimally active, a 45-minute minimum might feel more realistic," said Dunlop, a professor of rheumatology and preventive medicine at Northwestern's School of Medicine in Chicago.

She said the federal guidelines are important because the more you do, the better you'll feel and the greater the health benefits.

"But even achieving this less rigorous goal will promote the ability to function and may be a feasible starting point for older adults dealing with discomfort in their joints," Dunlop said in a university news release.

The study was published online recently in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on arthritis.

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