It's one o'clock, you've finished eating lunch and now you're in an afternoon meeting. It's boring, and so you start to nod off.
By Danielle Zorn
According to Dr. Darius Zoroufy, MD, Physician Medical Director of Sleep Medicine in Issaquah, this actually isn't a normal reaction to boredom. "Think about a child's reaction [to boredom]," Dr. Zoroufy says. "They typically get irritable or agitated."
Dr. Zoroufy therefore deduces that falling asleep during the day shouldn't be, and in fact isn't, a natural reaction—it is a symptom of dysfunctional sleeping habits.
Without a healthy amount of rest, people are more susceptible to cognitive impairment, reduced physical capabilities and a change in cellular metabolism.
We've all experienced cognitive impairment to some extent. Dr. Zoroufy explains, "It's much harder to remember names, complete simple math or problem solve when you're tired."
Similarly, there's a negative effect on physical abilities. For an average person who does not get enough sleep, there's a lack of interest or motivation in accomplishing tasks outside of one's daily routine. Competitive or high-level athletes can credit a good night's sleep to improving performance five to 10 percent.
More noticeably, and quite surprising, a lack of sleep can have a significant effect on metabolism. "Your body is unable to burn fat as well when you're tired," Dr. Zoroufy says. "Even if you're dieting, weight gain is still possible because it's harder to be motivated to exercise."
In fact, patients wanting a gastric bypass are required to go through a sleep evaluation beforehand because the surgery won't necessarily work if sleeping patterns are not consistent.
In order to get better sleep, make sure you're scheduling enough time to do so. "Recognize and plan on a certain time every day to stop daily tasks," Dr. Zoroufy says.
Consistency is key.
If you're often alternating your sleep schedule, it's hard to get good quality sleep. Teachers no longer find it unusual to see students dozing during class, because over the weekend, late nights and sleeping late throw off the consistent routine made during the week. They are always playing catch up.
Although some recommend no television 30 to 60 minutes before bed, Dr. Zoroufy says screens are fine, if they're assisting in relaxation. But he does recommend minimal sensationalized imagery.
"With all the flashing images, scrolling words, abrupt changes and frequent commercial breaks, the news is not a great option before bed," Dr. Zoroufy says.
Comparing the mind to a stove, Dr. Zoroufy explains, "Your mind keeps going after you turn it off…it's still hot…so allow time to let it cool."
If you find yourself routinely falling asleep throughout the day, make the necessary changes to maintain healthy sleeping habits—before you grab another cup of coffee. This will ultimately improve your productivity, efficiency, overall health and, consequently, your quality of life.
LEAN, GREEN CLEANSING MACHINE
A frothy up-and-comer is set to nudge the juicing craze into second place. Packed with bushels of dark, leafy greens and whole fruit, green smoothies are emerging as the newest pinnacles of wellness—a delicious, and more sustainable, alternative to juicing.
By Katie Vincent
Why Green Smoothies?
Whether you're using them as a detox or as a dietary supplement, the blending process makes the plentiful phytonutrients and antioxidants present in leafy greens much more available to the body for digestion. In our time-crunched society even salad-grazing vegetarians have trouble keeping up with their nutritional needs because they don't chew their greens completely.
Plus, as opposed to juicing, the natural abundance of fiber remains fully intact in smoothies, making for more stable blood sugar levels, a lasting feeling of satiety and a more effective intestinal cleansing.
Just one quart of green smoothie daily makes a difference. And, thanks to the company of flavorful fruits like bananas, mangos and apples, green smoothies are just plain tasty.
A diet inclusive of green smoothies—rich in chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals—brings undeniable physical perks: decreased sugar cravings, increased energy, regular eliminations, a better mood, glowing skin and gradual weight loss.
But perhaps the best reason to introduce green smoothies into your daily routine is to help your body transition to a diet of whole, fresh foods, which will naturally provide the nutritional building blocks your body needs to feel great.
What You Need
To craft quality and palatable green smoothies at home, your most necessary culinary tool is a quality blender. Despite their price tag, Vitamix and Blendtec make the frothiest, most texture-uniform smoothies—a major perk when blending tough greens and seed-laden berries.
For a mid-price blender, the Ninja Professional is a fine alternative, though it doesn't quite attain the highly palatable consistency.
Access to a diverse selection of fresh, organic produce is also crucial. The best sources are your own backyard, a farmer's market, a CSA program or a grocery store with a comprehensive organic selection.
Lastly, you'll need to carve out a little time in the morning or evening to blend your creations and for slicing the fruit.
You can mix large quantities of green smoothie at once to save time and store excess in the refrigerator in Mason jars or airtight bottles for later. Smoothies stay fresh for 24 to 48 hours, but are best consumed as soon as possible.
Kale • chard • spinach collards • arugula • beet greens • carrot greens • turnip greens • aloe vera • lettuce • watercress • mustard • dandelion green • s bok choi
Try It Out!
Drop by Luna to try one the Wellness smoothie creations. There's the Peachy Apple Green smoothie, made with peaches, apples, kale and organic orange juice, or the Berry Banana Green smoothie, packed with berries, banana, spinach and pomegranate juice.
Considering that 65 percent of the human body is water, and every internal system depends on water to function properly, staying hydrated should be a priority.
By Danielle Zorn
Because we lose water throughout the day, it's imperative to replenish in order to maintain a healthy operating system.
The Mayo Clinic reports that the amount of water needed "depends on your health, how active you are and where you live."
The Institute of Medicine suggests men drink 13 cups a day, while women drink nine cups. This daily minimum helps in many different ways—to distribute nutrients and oxygen to cells, regulate temperature, keep tissues and joints lubricated and flush out toxins or infections, which lessens the burden for the kidney and liver—just to name a few.
On the other hand, a lack of water leads to dehydration, which can be detrimental to your health. Even a minor case can result in lower energy levels and a lack of motivation.
But water isn't the only thing that contributes to hydration.
Food provides roughly 20 percent of your total water intake. And it doesn't stop there. The Mayo Clinic says that milk, juice, coffee, tea and even beer or wine can help you stay hydrated; however, these should not be the majority of your liquids for the day, as fun as that sounds.
For athletes performing, training or expending a large amount of energy daily, there are much higher standards and requirements for hydration.
John Hill, the head track and field coach and head cross-country coach at Bellevue High School, has been running since age 14. Before beginning his 19-year stint coaching at BHS, Hill ran at Washington State University, made NCAA All-American in Steeplechase in 1991, qualified at the Olympic Trials Men's Marathon in 1996 and 2000 and finished his fastest marathon in 2 hours, 17 minutes 43 seconds.
As a highly successful runner and coach, Hill says, "It's always time to hydrate." Hill advises athletes to stay away from sodas or other carbonated drinks, but if water alone isn't enough, he suggests Gatorade, Powerade, Nuun or other electrolyte-replacement products. If fluid replacements are still not enough, then black-style electrolyte chews will do the trick.
Overall, staying hydrated benefits your health, now and into the future.
WANT TO BE A WELLNESS WARRIOR?
The Bellevue Club offers a variety of wellness programs, classes and seminars. In addition, if you want a more individualized approach, the Club's award-winning Your Body Your Life program might be for you. Call 425-688-3461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
INTERESTED IN BC WELLNESS?
The Bellevue Club offers a variety of wellness programs, classes and seminars. From personal training to nutrition to life coaching, we have experts who can help you realize whole body wellness.
The Club's Your Body Your Life program can help you find the track you need. If you think it might be for you, give us a call at 425-688-3461 or email email@example.com for more information.
Danielle is a very curious, Seattle-based freelance writer who loves that learning about anything and everything is part of her job description.
Katie Vincent is a Seattle-based freelance writer specializing in outdoor living, wellness, travel and sustainable gardening.
Have an idea for culture shock? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wellness Center: 425-688-3461 | email@example.com