Tag Archives: heart

Sleep Is Important For A Healthy Heart

Not only is getting good, quality sleep important to your energy levels, it’s also important for your health, including your heart health.

Sleep plays a key role in helping your body repair itself. Getting enough good sleep also helps you function normally during the day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips on sleep.

How much sleep do I need?

Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Failing to get enough sleep over time can lead to serious health problems.

What health conditions are linked to a lack of sleep?

Adults who sleep less than seven hours each night are more likely to say they have had health problems, including heart attack, asthma, and depression.

What sleep conditions can hurt my heart health?

Sleep apnea happens when your airway gets blocked repeatedly during sleep, causing you to stop breathing for short amounts of time. Sleep apnea affects how much oxygen your body gets while you sleep and increases the risk for many health problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Insomnia is trouble falling sleep, staying asleep, or both. As many as one in two adults experiences short-term insomnia at some point, and 1 in 10 may have long-lasting insomnia. Insomnia is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Over time, poor sleep can also lead to unhealthy habits that can hurt your heart, including higher stress levels, less motivation to be physically active, and unhealthy food choices.

What can I do to get better sleep?

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
  • Get enough natural light, especially earlier in the day. Try going for a morning or lunchtime walk.
  • Get enough physical activity during the day. Try not to exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid artificial light, especially within a few hours of bedtime. Use a blue light filter on your computer or smartphone.
  • Don’t eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime, especially alcohol and foods high in fat or sugar.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information on getting good sleep.

Get Your Flu Vaccine Now. Protect Yourself. Your Family. And Your Community.

It’s flu season again. It’s recommended that you get your flu vaccine now, before the flu virus begins spreading in our community. Last year’s flu season was one of the worst we’ve seen in recent years, with a high number of deaths and hospitalizations here in South Carolina and across the nation.

Flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu. Some people are more likely to get serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia or blood infections. This includes infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women and anyone with chronic medical conditions like asthma, heart or lung disease and diabetes. By getting your flu vaccine, it helps to protect yourself and those around you!

Everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated every flu season. Each season a new flu vaccine is made to protect against the flu viruses for the upcoming season.

Flu vaccines are available now at all county health departments. Go to http://scdhec.gov/flu/FluClinics/ to find the location closest to you. There are programs that provide no- or low-cost flu vaccines for eligible children and adults. Call 1-855-472-3432 to make an appointment.

To find a non-DHEC flu vaccine provider, go to http://vaccinefinder.org/ to search for the location closest to you, or talk to your health care provider.

Physical activity has lots of benefits

It’s well known that physical activity can help you lose weight. But did you know that keeping it moving — your body, that is — also leads to other positive results? Here are 10 benefits of physical activity cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. Lower risk of type 2 diabetes or diabetes complications
  2. Better brain function
  3. More money in your wallet (due to better health and lower health care costs)
  4. Lower risk of some cancers
  5. Longer life
  6. Better mood
  7. Stronger bones and muscles
  8. Lower risk of heart disease and stroke
  9. Fewer sick days
  10. Better grades in school

Visit the CDC’s website for more detailed information on each of these benefits of physical activity.

DHEC in the News: Flu, heart health, safety of romaine lettuce

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

This flu season one of South Carolina’s deadliest in recent years

Though flu season isn’t over, this one marked one of the deadliest years for the disease in recent South Carolina history, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

As of last week, 271 people have died across the state during the 2017-2018 flu season, passing last season by 177 people, according to Department of Health records.

 Flu season’s 271 deaths in SC were most in years

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Officials say this flu season in South Carolina was the deadliest in years, with over 100 deaths (more) than the previous one that had the most.

General Interest

Increasing exercise over 6-year span protects the heart

Heart failure affects about 5.7 million adults in the United States.

The most salient risk factors for this condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are: hypertension, a history of coronary heart disease or heart attacks, and diabetes.

Since this condition, once acquired, has to be managed for life, healthcare professionals recommend preventive strategies.

These usually involve making more healthful lifestyle choices by acquiring good dietary habits and exercising regularly.

Romaine lettuce likely safe to eat again, CDC says

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they believe E. coli-tainted romaine lettuce blamed for more than 170 illnesses in 32 states is likely no longer in circulation.

From Other Blogs: Spring cleaning your medicine cabinet and pantry, varying your vegetables, understanding why sleep is important to heart health & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Spring clean your medicine cabinet

Spring cleaning—it’s a rite of passage as temperatures begin to heat up and the season starts to change. Remember to add your medicine cabinet, kitchen cupboard or wherever you keep medications to your spring cleaning list. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Planning Some Spring Cleaning? A Check List for a Food-Safe Pantry and Refrigerator

The refrigerator and pantry are where most people store their food. But these storage areas may also be one of the less frequently cleaned places in your home, which could be hazardous to your health. — From the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) blog

Why sleep is important to your heart

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, among men and women alike. Risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Family history

While you may be familiar with these risk factors, insufficient sleep can greatly impact your heart as well.  — From Flourish

Going Nuts for Calories!

We all love nuts, but we’re careful not to eat too many because of the high fat calories. Now, there may be less to worry about. In a series of studies, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) physiologists David Baer and Janet Novotny looked at how many calories of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are used by the human body. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as whether the nuts are raw, roasted, or ground, and how well they’re chewed. — From the USDA blog

Vary Your Veggies without a High Cost: Corn Five Different Ways

Frozen corn is just as nutritious as its fresh counterpart. Frozen corn is a great vegetable to incorporate into any meal or side dish; it adds a touch of sweetness to the dish it complements. It’s quick and easy to prepare—no washing or chopping needed (what a time saver), plus it’s versatile and delicious. There are many ways to prepare frozen corn—baking, roasting, steaming, microwaving or even thawing out and adding to a salad. — From the USDA blog

Tracking Network Data Spotlight Poisonings

CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network) connects people with vital public health information. It has data and information that can inform a wide variety of environmental and public health efforts. In recognition of National Poison Prevention Week, we’re highlighting data and information available on the Tracking Network that relate to poisonings. — From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health Your Environment blog