Tips for Better Sleep

19 Mar


Good sleep habits (sometimes referred to as “sleep hygiene”) can help you get a good night’s sleep. Some habits that can improve your sleep health:

• Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends

• Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature

• Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom

• Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime

• Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health

Key Sleep Disorders

12 Mar


Sleep-related difficulties affect many people. The following is a description of some of the major sleep disorders. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing any of the following, it is important to receive an evaluation by a healthcare provider or, if necessary, a provider specializing in sleep medicine.

Insomnia is characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain sleep. It may also take the form of early morning awakening in which the individual awakens several hours early and is unable to resume sleeping. Difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep may often manifest itself as excessive daytime sleepiness, which characteristically results in functional impairment throughout the day. Before arriving at a diagnosis of primary insomnia, the healthcare provider will rule out other potential causes, such as other sleep disorders, side effects of medications, substance abuse, depression, or other previously undetected illness. Chronic psychophysiological insomnia (or “learned” or “conditioned” insomnia) may result from a stressor combined with fear of being unable to sleep. Individuals with this condition may sleep better when not in their own beds. Health care providers may treat chronic insomnia with a combination of sedative-hypnotic or sedating antidepressant medications, along with behavioral techniques to promote regular sleep.

Excessive daytime sleepiness (including episodes of irresistible sleepiness) combined with sudden muscle weakness, are the hallmark signs of narcolepsy. The sudden muscle weakness seen in narcolepsy may be elicited by strong emotion or surprise. Episodes of narcolepsy have been described as “sleep attacks” and may occur in unusual circumstances, such as walking and other forms of physical activity. The healthcare provider may treat narcolepsy with stimulant medications combined with behavioral interventions, such as regularly scheduled naps, to minimize the potential disruptiveness of narcolepsy on the individual’s life.

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
RLS is characterized by an unpleasant “creeping” sensation, often feeling like it is originating in the lower legs, but often associated with aches and pains throughout the legs. This often causes difficulty initiating sleep and is relieved by movement of the leg, such as walking or kicking. Abnormalities in the neurotransmitter dopamine have often been associated with RLS. Healthcare providers often combine a medication to help correct the underlying dopamine abnormality along with a medicine to promote sleep continuity in the treatment of RLS.

Sleep Apnea
Snoring may be more than just an annoying habit – it may be a sign of sleep apnea. Persons with sleep apnea characteristically make periodic gasping or “snorting” noises, during which their sleep is momentarily interrupted. Those with sleep apnea may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, as their sleep is commonly interrupted and may not feel restorative. Treatment of sleep apnea is dependent on its cause. If other medical problems are present, such as congestive heart failure or nasal obstruction, sleep apnea may resolve with treatment of these conditions. Gentle air pressure administered during sleep (typically in the form of a nasal continuous positive airway pressure device) may also be effective in the treatment of sleep apnea. As interruption of regular breathing or obstruction of the airway during sleep can pose serious health complications, symptoms of sleep apnea should be taken seriously. Treatment should be sought from a health care provider.

Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health

Sleep and Chronic Disease

8 Mar


As chronic diseases have assumed an increasingly common role in premature death and illness, interest in the role of sleep health in the development and management of chronic diseases has grown. Notably, insufficient sleep has been linked to the development and management of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including:

• Diabetes– Research has found that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes.

• Cardiovascular disease– Persons with sleep apnea have been found to be at increased risk for a number of cardiovascular diseases, notably, hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease and irregular heartbeats.

• Obesity– Laboratory research has found that short sleep duration results in metabolic changes that may be linked to obesity.

• Depression– The relationship between sleep and depression is complex. While sleep disturbance has long been held to be an important symptom of depression, recent research has indicated that depressive symptoms may decrease once sleep apnea has been effectively treated and sufficient sleep restored.

Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health

Talk To a HAWA Provider About Sleep Today!

1 Mar


Did you know that March is National Sleep Awareness Month?

Chronic sleep loss or sleep disorders may affect as many as 70 million Americans. This may result in an annual cost of $16 billion in health care expenses and $50 billion in lost productivity.

Schedule a consultation with one of HAWA’s nurses to learn about:

• What is normal sleep?

• Recommended hours of sleep you should get every night 

• Stages of sleep/physiological effects

• Sleep hygiene 

• Economic cost of sleeplessness

Need help scheduling a consult? Call our support team and we can walk you through the process:  855.888.7006.

Heart Healthy Honey Garlic Salmon

26 Feb



• 12 oz salmon, cut into 2-3 strips
• Pinch of salt and pepper
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• 2 T honey
• 1 T warm water
• 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
• 1 T olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 lemon, sliced into wedges


• Season the surface of the salmon with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

• Mix the honey, water, lemon juice and a pinch of salt together. 

• Heat up a skillet with the olive oil. Pan-fry the salmon until half done. Add the garlic into the pan until slightly browned. Add the honey mixture and lemon wedges into the skillet, reduce the sauce until it’s sticky.

•Finish it off by broiling the salmon in the oven for 1 minute or until the surface becomes slightly charred (optional step).


Symptoms of a Heart Attack

19 Feb


The National Heart Attack Alert Program notes these major signs of a heart attack:

• Chest pain or discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center or left side of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.

• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

• Shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort, but it also can occur before chest discomfort.

• Other symptoms. May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, you should call 911 immediately.

Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

About Heart Attacks

12 Feb


A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart is cut off. Cells in the heart muscle that do not receive enough oxygen-carrying blood begin to die.

The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart.

Every year about 790,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 580,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

• About 15% of people who have a heart attack will die from it.
• Almost half of sudden cardiac deaths happen outside a hospital.
• Having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, smoking, having had a previous heart attack or stroke, or having diabetes can increase your chance of developing heart disease and having a heart attack.
• It is important to recognize the signs of a heart attack and to act immediately by calling 911. A person’s chance of surviving a heart attack increases if emergency treatment is administered as soon as possible.

Content source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention