Stretching Before Bed Can Give You a Better Night’s Sleep

Finding a good night of sleep is sometimes a very difficult thing.  Many people wake up with aches and pains and stiffness even after a full eight hours of rest.  While lots of advice floats around in an effort to help you sleep better, this one may surprise you.  Doctors say spending five minutes stretching before crawling into bed can help you wake up feeling refreshed tomorrow morning.

For years, Yoga instructors have touted the benefits of a good stretch.  It’s not something that should hurt.  In fact, stretching should relax your muscles.  Deep breathing while stretching will help your body relax even more.  If you already have back problems, try lying down to do some simple stretches on your back.  One effective exercise is to lay on your back with a pillow under your head and pull your knees to your chest.  Try and grab your knees with your hands to keep your legs from bouncing.  Now, circle your knees counter-clockwise, and then clockwise pausing in between each direction.  This exercise will help loosen up your back, leg, and neck muscles before bedtime.  It’s important not to overdo the stretching.  Your body will let you know when you’re pushing too hard so listen carefully.

If you’re still having a hard time catching some zzz’s, try finding a regular bedtime routine.  Going to bed at the same time each night, and waking up at the same time each morning will help your body keep a good sleep routine that will help you fight insomnia.

Your Body Changes in High Altitudes

When an air ambulance dispatches to the scene of a crisis, the medical team on board is already gearing up for special precautions they must take and warning signs to spot to help them treat the patient while in flight.  The human body reacts differently when at high altitudes like they achieve in air travel.  Our bodies generally react just fine in flights reaching altitudes up to 12,000 feet above sea level, but that’s on a leisurely flight to a destination.  An air ambulance ride will not take patients to those heights, but they will be moving at a rapid pace so there is an adjustment the medical crew must make.

When an air ambulance takes off with a patient, its sole purpose is to get that patient into the hands of the receiving hospital as quickly and safely as possible.  With sudden changes in pressure from flight, the human body can react with symptoms like middle ear, sinus, and gastrointestinal pain.  In some cases, the patient can get sick and throw up.  The training these flight physicians and paramedics have undergone will help them wade through the aviation physiology and treat the trauma caused by the crisis.  Their effort is to help stabilize the patient by the time they reach the hospital.  Rapid changes in altitude can also give patients joint pain similar to the bends scuba divers experience when surfacing too quickly.

The crew on board the air ambulance is highly trained.  Flight nurses are registered nurses who are normally required to have at least five years of experience in critical care like in the emergency room or ICU.  Flight paramedics are also highly trained and normally hold some sort of pre-hospital trauma life support certification.

Traveling with Alzheimer’s Disease the decision to take a trip with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be a tough call.  Whether it’s a family trip to enjoy rest and relaxation, or traveling to a familiar family vacation home in hopes of bringing your loved one peace, or in search of medical attention, it’s important to weigh all your options with the patient’s physician. With Alzheimer’s disease, there is a point of no return where there is more harm than good to travel.  If you’re doctor is on board, there are some things to keep in mind as you plan your trip.

First, Alzheimer’s agencies like Fisher’s Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation says to keep things simple.  Don’t overwhelm your loved one with too much, too fast.  Limit the length of car and plane rides so they don’t get too confused or agitated.  If you’re flying, many airlines will accommodate medical tickets and allow special boarding passes to you and your family.  If the patient gets too upset or agitated during a car ride, it’s important to pull over and calm them down.  Alzheimer’s patients can be irrational when upset and they could try to leave a moving vehicle.

If you’re certain a trip would be a good thing for the patient, you might consider hiring a medical escort to ease the strain of travel.  Your options vary with your budget for medical escorts so find a company and ask lots of questions.  It’s important to have your physician in the know about this decision too.

Traveling with Alzheimer’s patients isn’t impossible.  It’s just important to minimize the risk and harm to a person who already feels lost in an unfamiliar world.  Talking to the experts can help you make the right call for your family.

Hospice Care for Your Loved Ones

Choosing to call in Hospice Care is one of the hardest decisions any family or caretaker must make.  If you’re unfamiliar with Hospice Care, you should understand it’s more of a comfort care for patients who have stopped fighting their illness and only seek comfort in their final days.  Hospice Care workers help not only the patients, but they take some of the burden from the caretakers as well.

If you’re struggling with calling Hospice, there are plenty of resources and blogs available online to give you direction and guidance.  The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization gives you three points to help know when it’s time to call in Hospice.  First, the illness is beyond cure and your focus turns to pain management and comfort.  Second, the patient decides to stop fighting, testing, and wants to go home and live the rest of their lives in peace.  And thirdly, you’re ready to let go and follow Hospice guidelines.

Hospice Care includes comfort care for patients no matter where they are housed. Hospice will tend to patients in nursing homes, private homes, and if hospitalized, they may talk to the family about moving the patient to a palliative care facility if a private home is not suitable.  Hospice helps patients be as comfortable as possible in their final days.  Their motto is, “no one needs to die in pain.”

Most insurance companies, including Medicare, will pay for Hospice care.  It’s important to talk with your insurance company before calling in Hospice to know what’s covered so you’re not hit with unexpected bills in an already tough time.

Weight Loss, Exercise, and New Year’s Resolution

Every time the calendar flips to January, millions of people try and make promises to do better, be better, and look better than they did last year.  So, how can you live up to those New Year’s Resolutions?

Make Obtainable Goals

Your first triumph will come with setting obtainable goals for yourself.  It’s not about shooting small; it’s about accomplishing small things that will lead to bigger victories.  If you’re looking at trying to be more fit in the New Year, start with a small obtainable fitness goal like 30 minutes more of “fun” exercise per week.  That would be something you actually enjoy doing.  Not everyone loves jogging on the treadmill, so shoot for a fun activity like playing Frisbee with your dog, or playing outside with the kids, or going with your girls-only gossip group to walk around the neighborhood.

Start Small

It’s important to start small, especially when we’re talking about dieting.  If you’re like many people, you can easily set yourself up to fail.  Give yourself small goals to jumpstart the new you.  Cut out sodas, bread, or sweets – but not all three at once.  Obtaining those small victories will give you the confidence and drive to do more.  Try using a free food-tracking program like  You simply input what you eat every day and you can track your calories, fat, and carbohydrates.

Increase Discipline

As you build your confidence, you build your drive to accomplish more.  This is where former couch potatoes will find the drive to increase discipline into their daily routines.  It’s easier to pass up on your favorite sweet because you want to see those results on the scale or in your jeans more than you want that cream puff.  Make success part of your New Year’s Resolution this year.