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Falls Prevention
Sleep Awareness
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March 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in the DC area continues to evolve.  We will post any important updates on our office policies regarding this virus on the home page of our website.

Our lab in unable to test for coronavirus at this time, but we can test for influenza and other illnesses that can mimic coronavirus.  

It is important to note that there is currently no pharmaceutical treatment for coronavirus which has been proven to be effective.  If you have concerns about this novel virus (whether you are not feeling well, have a recent travel history, or are just generally concerned), we highly encourage you to read the full updates on the  CDC Coronavirus website and the  CDC Travel website.  Your local health department website may also have information:
As always, if you are not feeling well, and especially if you have recurring fevers or trouble breathing, please call your doctor, and call 911 in case of an emergency..
Each year, millions of older people -- especially those 65 and older --fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor.    Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.  

Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Having healthy sleep habits is often referred to as having good  sleep hygiene. Try to keep the following sleep practices on a consistent basis:
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
  • Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity.
  • Evaluate your room. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool - between 60 and 67 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner's sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.
  • Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms. Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will help you maintain your circadian rhythms.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening.
  • Wind down. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading. For some people, using an electronic device such as a laptop can make it hard to fall asleep, because the particular type of light emanating from the screens of these devices is activating to the brain.
  • If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. 
  • If you're still having trouble sleeping, don't hesitate to speak with your doctor or to find a sleep professional.