Tired? Try These Restful Solutions

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Getting enough sleep but still feeling tired? Try taking a rest.

Physician Saundra Dalton-Smith MD has identified seven types of rest everyone needs, and some people need more of a certain kind of rest. What type of rest that helps you depends entirely on your lifestyle and working conditions. The really nice thing about this approach is that sleep isn’t the focus, many people can get the suggested eight hours of sleep and still find themselves exhausted everyday.

The third type of rest we need is sensory rest. Bright lights, computer screens, background noise and multiple conversations — whether they’re in an office or on Zoom calls — can cause our senses to feel overwhelmed. This can be countered by doing something as simple as closing your eyes for a minute in the middle of the day, as well as by  intentionally unplugging from electronics at the end of every day. Intentional moments of sensory deprivation can begin to undo the damage inflicted by the over-stimulating world.

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In Canada Your Doctor May Tell You to Walk it Off

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Doctors in Canada may soon be prescribing the oldest medicine in the world: walking it off. Thanks to the work of family doctor Dr. Melissa Lem in British Columbia the province will allow a walk in nature to be prescribed by doctors. It’s been proven time and time again that exposure to nature helps with all sorts of medical conditions and recovery times. This initiative to prescribe nature means people can take medical time from work to go for a hike and get a nudge from their doctor to improve their lives.

Dr. Lem wants to bring the program to every province.

Prescriptions for nature became available through this program at the end of last month, and their availability will improve as more health-care practitioners sign up for the prescription packages, which include fact sheets, relevant literature and a unique provider code. This can be done on the program’s website.

In the coming months, Lem intends to expand the program to other provinces and territories, forging partnerships between health-care and parks organizations and sharing the resources she has spent years collecting. Until then, she said health-care providers outside B.C. can sign up in advance and will get their prescription packages when the program reaches them.

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How Iceland Conquered COVID-19

Covid-19 Transmission graphic

Iceland’s size helped it grabble the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that other nations couldn’t. The country was able to test half its population and keep a close eye on how the virus spread due to really good contact tracing. Like other countries which have successfully dealt with the pandemic, a robust response proved to be the solution. Iceland even went a step further and has collected their data not only for current protection and safety but also to make it easier for researchers to look back on 2020 to understand how the virus spread.

If the test is negative, the person receives an all-clear text. If the test is positive, it triggers two chains of action: one at the hospital and one at the lab.

At the hospital, the individual is registered in a centralized database and enrolled in a tele-health monitoring service at a COVID outpatient clinic for a 14-day isolation period. They will receive frequent phone calls from a nurse or physician who documents their medical and social history, and runs through a standardized checklist of 19 symptoms. All the data are logged in a national electronic medical record system. A team of clinician-scientists at the hospital created the collection system in mid-March with science in mind. “We decided to document clinical findings in a structured way that would be useful for research purposes,” says Palsson.

In the lab, each sample is tested for the amount of virus it contains, which has been used as an indicator for contagiousness and severity of illness. And the full RNA genome of the virus is sequenced to determine the strain of the virus and track its origin.

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Scotland First in World to Provide Free Sanitary Products

Monthly periods can be expensive and stigmatizing for women and girls, particularly when they cannot afford to buy the proper sanitary supplies. The ongoing costs associated with periods can be too much for many who are young or in a vulnerable position; leading to what’s been called period poverty. Scotland has passed a bill this week to help end period poverty by providing free santiatatry products in public buildings. Hopefully other nations will follow Scotland’s lead.

In Scotland, there will be a legal right of free access to tampons in public buildings, and it will be mandatory for education institutions to provide them.

The provision of free products is expected to cost about £8.7million a year.

Schools, colleges and universities will be legally bound to provide adequate amounts of tampons and sanitary pads, as well as public buildings such as libraries, courts and hospitals.

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Improve Your Skin by Showering Less

There are a million products out there which claim to be great for skin and will even improve it, what if there’s a simpler way? In a new book, Clean: The New Science of Skin, the easiest and best solution for improving you skin is to stop over cleaning it with too much soap. In North America it’s common to shower everyday, which leads to water wastage and to poor skin health; whereas, in other cultures it’s more common to shower every 2-3 days. Once you stop showering everyday your skin will thank you and so will the planet.

Of course, you should keep washing your hands!

But what soap hoarders and hawkers overlook is that wiping out our symbiotic microbes may make us more vulnerable to other, unexpected maladies. First-line eczema treatments, for instance, include topical antibiotics, cleansers, and drugs that dampen immune response, but some researchers say these approaches can make the condition worse in the long run. “Perturbing the skin barrier by washing or scratching can change the microbial population,” Hamblin notes. “That can rev up the immune system, which tells the skin cells to proliferate rapidly and fill with inflammatory proteins.”

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