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kneeling man webRecently, at several NFL games, some players have taken to “taking a knee” during the national anthem in protest of something they don’t like about America. This has exploded into a controversy that will not be explored here. However, the concept of kneeling has been around probably forever, and can be read in different ways.

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grandparents kids webBeing a grandparent can be a fun and rewarding experience. Grandparents have a wealth of knowledge both in education and life experiences that can have a profound effect on their grandchildren’s lives. Unless you are the primary care provider, you may find that being a grandparent offers the fun of parenting without all of the responsibility.

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grandparent01 webWhen I was growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, my mother’s parents lived ten minutes away. We often visited them on Sunday afternoons, or they drove to our house to sit in the living room or on the porch and catch up on news of family and friends. On Christmas Eve, my grandmother hosted a big dinner for all the family who lived in town. This was the extent of the time I spent with my grandparents, except on the rare occasion my parents were both away and my grandparents stayed with me in our home.

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The causes of insomnia include
Stress and anxiety
Depression (some patients have trouble sleeping others sleep too much)
Medical conditions, including chronic pain, breathing difficulties, overactive thyroid, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease
Caffeine and nicotine
Alcohol (may help one to fall asleep but it prevents deep sleep leading to awakening in the middle of the night)
Certain medications like heart and blood pressure medications, antidepressants, decongestants and corticosteroids
Poor sleep habits
Worrying about not being able to sleep

Treatment of insomnia may include both drug and behavioral therapies.  Prescription sleeping pills are prescribed based on which sleeping difficulty the patient is experiencing and if the patient has other conditions, such as depression. Some drugs are used to help one fall asleep initially, while others are ideal to help one fall back asleep in the middle of the night. Medications may be prescribed but are only intended for short term use, due to their side effects and the potential to lead to dependence. When a patient begins experiencing insomnia, behavioral therapies should be tried first.  

These therapies include an introduction to new sleep behaviors:
Going to bed at same time every night and waking at same time each morning (including weekends) • Avoiding anything mentally, physically, or emotionally stimulating right before bed
Beginning a daily relaxation ritual to remind your body it is time to sleep (breathing exercises, warm bath, relaxing stretches)
Avoiding daytime naps
Keeping the temperature of room cool
Removing clock to discourage clock-watching
Avoiding spending too much time awake in bed (Get out of bed if not asleep within twenty minutes and do something relaxing)
Other strategies that may improve sleep include:
Reviewing your other medications with your physician or pharmacist to see if your they may be affecting your sleep
Taking effective pain medication if necessary for a good night’s sleep
Getting regular exercise but not too close to bedtime
Eating a healthy, well balanced diet.

Prescription sleep aids can play a role in helping individuals fall sleep but should only be used for a short period of time. Developing good sleeping habits will help with the long term treatment of insomnia.

Lori Samer, RPh. is a consultant pharmacist and owner of Medication Matters, LLC.  We are a consulting service that specializes in addressing the challenges of taking medications correctly and optimizing the effectiveness of your medications.  We review your medication list, address concerns about your medications and identify medication related problems all in an effort to improve your health and provide peace of mind. To learn more, please visit our website at www.medicationmattersllc.com For further information please email Lori at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 484-268-8237.

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