What is Sleep Deprivation?

Slumber Seacrets shared, “Work eight hours and sleep eight hours and make sure that they are not the same hours.”

Those are the famous words of the prominent oil magnate T. Boone Pickens.

We all know about the eight-hour sleeping rule, but getting a good night’s sleep is sometimes impossible. The next day, all we can think about is going back to bed in the evening and catching up on sleep. As a result of sleep deprivation, we are tired and unable to function properly.

But what is sleep deprivation exactly? And is a single sleepless night enough to make us sleep-deprived?

Sleep deprivation happens when a lack of sleep prevents us from being alert and fully awake during the day. Depending on how long it goes on, it can be both acute and chronic. As such, even one night of poor sleep is enough for the symptoms of exhaustion to kick in.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

Not all people need the same amount of sleep to wake up refreshed the next morning. The recommended sleep time varies based on your age.

Here is how much sleep people of different ages need, according to the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Newborns: 14-17 hours
  • Infants: 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers: 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers: 10-13 hours
  • Schoolchildren: 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers: 8-10 hours
  • Adults up to 64 years: 7-9 hours
  • Adults over 65 years: 7-8 hours

As you can see, adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Anything less than seven hours may result in unrefreshing sleep and thus lead to chronic sleep deprivation. Read more

Clinical Trial to Evaluate Experimental Treatment in People Allergic to Multiple Foods

On August 1, 2019, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases begin a Clinical Trial to Evaluate Experimental Treatment in People Allergic to Multiple Foods.

Though food allergy affects more than 4.8 million children in the United States, no approved preventative treatments currently exist. While experimental desensitization strategies are available in research settings, people with food allergies must avoid known allergens and are advised to carry injectable epinephrine to prevent potentially life-threatening allergic reactions caused by accidental exposures. To help alleviate this risk, a new study to evaluate an experimental treatment for food allergy launched today. The study is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health; Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

The study is called Omalizumab as Monotherapy and as Adjunct Therapy to Multi-Allergen Oral Immunotherapy in Food Allergic Children and Adults, or OUtMATCH. It will test the ability of biweekly or monthly injections of omalizumab—alone or together with multi-allergen oral immunotherapy (OIT)—to increase a person’s ability to tolerate foods to which they are allergic. Multi-allergen OIT involves consuming small, gradually increasing amounts of several allergens in a controlled setting to build the body’s tolerance to those food allergens. Investigators will assess whether the experimental treatment regimens help prevent allergic reactions to small amounts of food that may be consumed unintentionally, thereby mitigating the danger of life-threatening emergencies among people with multiple food allergies. Read more


Action For Healthy Kids shared  that in the stressful yet wondrous moments each of my three kids were born, the only question I needed an answer to was: “Are they healthy?” Thankfully, the answer I received was yes. And when I heard it, I remember tears of joy and relief flowing down my face. I’ve never stopped asking that question, even as my children have grown. If you’re like me and like nearly every other parent I’ve ever met, I bet you can relate.

For years, I’ve been asking other parents a question of my own: “What’s the one thing you want most for your child?” I’ve asked this question to hundreds of parents from all walks of life, and without fail, their answer is always the same. Time and again, it’s some variation of“I want my child to be happy and healthy.”

As parents or people who have kids in our lives whom we love, we understand on an almost primordial level that happiness and health are inextricably linked and that they’re essential to a bright future for our children. The scientific community agrees. Every day, the research becomes clearer that a child’s physical and mental health are proven to affect their school performance, cognitive ability, chances of success, and overall well-being.

Despite the evidence that supports the important role health plays in all aspects of our lives, and our society’s obsession with health and fitness, our country is struggling when it comes to improving child health. The U.S has the worst overall child mortality rate compared to the 19 other wealthy nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and also ranks last in life expectancy compared to other high-income countries.

At risk of sounding alarmist, it’s our duty to call this situation what it is—a child health crisis. Not only that, since our country long ago declared that health is a human right, it’s clear that we’re facing a fundamental human rights crisis. Things have to change. The need to turn our good intentions into action has never been more urgent. So, where do we go from here?  Read more

What About Canned Fruit?

Now that the lead is gone, though, are canned foods healthy? It depends primarily on what’s in the can. If it’s SPAM or another processed meat product, for instance, I’d probably pass.

What about canned fruit? We know fruits and vegetables, in general, may help protect us from dying of cardiovascular disease, and, when it comes to preventing strokes, the fruit may be even more protective. But whether food processing affects this association was unknown, as I discuss in my video Is Canned Fruit as Healthy? One study found that unprocessed produce, mostly apples, and oranges, appeared superior to processed produce. But that study focused mainly on orange and apple juice. It’s no surprise whole fruit is better than fruit juice.

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Seeing Green

The Children & Nature Network shared   article from  The New Nature Movement that though green spaces such as neighborhood parks certainly exist in urban settings, there remains a disconnect between access and experience of the natural environment for many people living in these communities.

Certainly, some programs and interventions have tried to rectify the problem by building new parks and similar green spaces. But these benefits are often not distributed equitably across society, partly due to systemic reasons. For example, access costs, as well as the distance to these spaces, may prevent low-income groups in particular from seeking them out. Even though, ironically, these are the people that typically need these spaces the most.

Green schoolyards as a solution

The Green Schoolyards for Healthy Communities Initiative is one approach that is attempting to democratize access to green spaces. This model transforms schoolyards, which are present in most communities, into green and vibrant areas with natural and built elements that are designed to appeal to students, their families, and their communities. Students use the schoolyards during school hours, but then the schoolyards are also opened up to the broader community at all other times.

The Children and Nature Network (C&NN) is driving the Green Schoolyards for Healthy Communities initiative through a series of interconnected activities which include providing cities and schools interested in experimenting with green schoolyards in their spaces with technical assistance, compiling and sharing extensive research and best practices, and advocating for the project with key community leaders and decision makers. Read more

Study: Kids Gain More Weight During Summer Months

Ali Gorman reported during Action News at 5 p.m. on June 19, 2019, that With warmer weather and more freedom, you would think kids have healthier habits during the summer, but a new study shows a lot of kids actually gain weight when school’s out.

The study followed more than 200 kids over six years. It found time away from school led to kids eating fewer fruits and vegetables, and drinking more sugary drinks. This was especially true for lower-income families.

Other factors that led to weight gain include more sedentary time, such as playing videos games, and more access to junk food.

Dietitians say to avoid unhealthy habits, try to keep some structure during the summer and be aware of what kinds of foods are available.

“I think the biggest thing for parents is still having a set schedule for meals. So still serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, one or two snacks throughout the day, but having it be a little more structured, that way kids also know what to expect; they’re not going to just think that they have free reign to things at any time during the day,” said Jennifer Hyland, R.D. Cleveland Clinic. Read more

10 ailments/injuries to avoid this summer

Dr. McNulty, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Edward Hospital shared in the Edward-Elmhurst Healthy Driven Blog that summertime is all about being outside and enjoying the warm weather as much as possible. Parents and kids alike hit the playgrounds, parks, bike paths, hiking trails, pools, and beaches. And it’s all fun and games — until someone gets hurt.

As your kids enjoy these carefree summer days, keep these 10 common summer ailments/injuries top of mind:

  1. Water safety – Drowning is the number two cause of accidental death in children ages 15 and under. Keep your eyes on your child at all times while they’re in and around water. Use proper safety devices and designate a pool watcher during parties. Teach your child not to run near a pool and to always ask permission before going in the water. Learn how to keep your kids safe in the water.
  2. Heat exhaustion/heat stroke – A heat index at or above 90°F can put your health at risk. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers steps to protect children from heat-related illness. Minimize time in the heat, take regular cool-off breaks and stay hydrated! Encourage your child to drink water regularly — even before she/he asks for it. Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms.

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Is sugar sabotaging your health?

Alanna Elliott, an outpatient dietitian shared in the Edwards-Elmhurst Healthy Driven blog that there’s sugar in cookies, there’s sugar in candy bars. There’s sugar in caramel lattes, chocolate-covered raisins and popsicles.

There’s also sugar in jars of pasta sauce, loaves of bread and peanut butter.

There’s so much sugar added into our food, it’s almost impossible to keep up with it. There are 61 names for sugar blanketing nutrition labels. Do you know them all?

You can probably guess exactly which foods have the most added sugar: things like candy, soda, ice cream, cookies, and cake. But did you realize a 20-ounce bottle of Lemon-Lime Gatorade contains 34 grams of sugar? That’s more sugar than a Snickers candy bar!

Big deal, you may think. So I eat a little more sugar than I should. What’s the harm?

Research has found that excess sugar actually causes more problems than we ever imagined.

All that sugar will cause you to gain weight, which in turn can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. These symptoms can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Read more

Have You Signed Up Yet For Flat Apple?

The mission of the Healthy Lombard Foundation is to address the epidemic of childhood obesity and promote a healthier lifestyle for all community members through the “Triple A Approach” of awareness, activities, and achievement.

With that mission in mind, Healthy Lombard developed the Flat Apple program to incentivize kids to stay active during the summer months outside of school.  The 2019 program runs June 3-August 9.  The program allows participants to earn tickets to make them eligible to win a variety of prizes at the end of the summer.  Prize winners are typically contacted in September.

To register your child, please visit www.healthylombard.com and click on the Flat Apple link on the right-hand side under Quick Clicks.  There is no fee to register for Flat Apple.  Children must be registered by an adult to participate in the program.

Flat Apple provides various opportunities to earn “tickets” to be eligible for raffle prizes at the end of the summer.  Tickets may be earned in the following ways: Read more

Know the early signs of a speech-language disorder

Alyssa Eskra, MS, CCC-SLPSpecialty: Speech-Language Pathology, shared in the Edward-Elmhurst Health Blog that some of the speech-language disorders that can affect children include:

  • Language disorders – difficulty understanding or processing language (receptive), or difficulty using language (expressive)
  • Speech sound disorders – difficulty pronouncing sounds or unintelligible speech
  • Fluency disorders – interruption of the flow of speech (e.g., hesitations, repetitions, or prolonging sounds or words)
  • Voice disorders – problems with the pitch, volume or quality of the voice

Some children may have hearing loss that interferes with the development of speech and language. An audiologist can help if you have any concerns about your child’s hearing.  For other children, a communication issue may be attributed to another condition, such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder or selective mutism. In some cases, the development of speech and language is simply delayed.

Don’t wait and hope your child will outgrow a communication problem. Speech and language disorders can have negatively affected your child’s ability to read, write, learn and even socialize. The earlier you get help for your child, the better.

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