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Stroke Awareness Month
As the end of summer approaches our wellness themes for this month are stroke awareness and sleep health!  We discuss useful information on risk factors and how to identify a stroke.  We have also included insight on getting a restful night's sleep.  

What Is A Stroke?
Someone in America has a stroke every 4 minutes.  1 out of every 20 deaths is caused by a stroke.  Hi gh  blood pressure high cholesterol , and smoking are major  risk factors for stroke .  49% of Americans have at least one of these three risk factors.   Unhealthy lifestyle choices can further increase your risk for stroke.  Fortunately you can take steps to  prevent stroke  and its complications.
Some facts about strokes:

* Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die.


* 87% of strokes are classified as ischemic. An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot or a mass blocks a blood vessel, cutting off blood flow to a part of the brain.


* A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures spilling blood into the brain. A major cause of hemorrhagic stroke is uncontrolled hypertension.   


* A cryptogenic stroke is a stroke of unknown cause. About 1 in 3 ischemic strokes fall into this category.

* A TIA (transient ischemic attack) is often called a "mini stroke" or "warning stroke". The difference between a TIA and a stroke is that the blockage is transient, or temporary. Symptoms are exactly the same as stroke, but usually last less than five minutes. Even if symptoms go away, emergency help should be called immediately.

Knowing The Warning Signs
Acting fast could be the difference between life and death.  Knowing the warning signs and acting accordingly could potentially save a life and help decrease the disability caused by a stroke.  

5 Stroke Facts
In the United States, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds .  The following 5 pieces of information are important for everyone to know regarding strokes from the American Stroke Association:

  1. Stroke risk increases with age but young adults, children and even unborn babies can suffer strokes.  If one of your parents had an ischemic stroke before 65 you are 3 times more likely of suffering one yourself.  
  2. 3 out of 4 people who suffer from strokes have been diagnosed with high blood pressure before their stroke.
  3. African Americans are at a 2 times greater risk of suffering from a stroke.
  4. Clot-busting drugs and medical devices have made stroke largely treatable but every second counts.  The faster you are treated the more likely you are to recover without permanent disability.
  5.   Friends are the ones who typically save individuals by learning the warning signs of stroke.   

Stroke Prevention and Risk Factors

* 58% of Americans don't know if they are at risk for stroke.

* 80% of strokes can be prevented.

* What's good for your health is good for your brain. The American Heart Association recommends following "Life's Simple 7" to achieve ideal health: don't smoke, be physically active, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy body weight, and control cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

* About 15% of strokes are preceeded by a transient ischemic attack (TIA), aptly known as a "warning stroke". People who have a TIA are more likely to have a stroke within 90 days.

* High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke

* Atrial fibrillation, which causes the heart to beat irregularly or rapidly, raises stroke risk up to 5 times. It's often difficult to detect because it is sporadic and may not have symptoms.

* Stroke risk is 2 to 4 times higher among smokers than nonsmokers or those who have quit for more than 10 years.

* Exposure to secondhand smoke is a risk factor for stroke.

* Moderate to vigorous physical activity may reduce ischemic stroke risk by 35%.

12 Sleep Tips & Facts
Your behaviors can have a major impact on your sleep and can contribute to sleeplessness. Your actions during the day, and especially before bedtime, can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep or get restful sleep .  Studies also show that people who get at least 7 hours of sleep are more successful with their weight loss efforts.

Here are some tips to will help you get the sleep you need:
  1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule.  Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends and vacations.
  2. Set a bedtime that is ea rly enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  3. Don't go to bed unless you are sleepy.
  4. If you don't fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
  5. Establish relaxing bedtime rituals.
  6. Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing.  Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
  7. Limit exposure to light in the evenings and especially television or computer screens.
  8. Don't eat a large meal before bedtime.  If you are hungry, eat a light, healthy snack.
  9. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
  10. Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
  11. Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.
  12. Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.
5 Facts About Exercise and Sleep
  1. A little exercise can do a lot
    • Even small amounts of routine physical activity may improve your sleep and overall well-being.  So you don't need a daily, exhausting workout to sleep better. Remember: Getting some exercise is almost always better than getting no exercise at all.
  2. Exercise before bed may be OK businessman_sleeping.jpg
    • Typically it is recommended that you should avoid exercising before bed. This is based on the idea that exercise raises your core body temperature, which in theory should make it harder to fall asleep. But research results have been inconsistent.
  3. Exercise may not promote deep sleep
    • It seems logical that you should spend more time in deep sleep after exercising. In theory, a night of deep slumber should help your body recover from a grueling workout. But this may not be the case. Some research has shown increases in stages of light sleep after exercise.
  4. Exercise may reduce sleep apnea, even without weight loss
    • Excess body weight is the biggest risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea.  Exercise alone is unlikely to cure OSA, but it appears to provide benefits even if weight loss isn't achieved.
  5. Morning and afternoon exercise may be equally effective for adults with insomnia
    • Morning would seem to be the best time of day for people with insomnia to get some exercise. They can reap the extra benefit of getting exposure to morning light, which can help set the body's circadian clock that regulates sleep and wakefulness.  So if you're having trouble sleeping, try to get some exercise whenever your schedule allows it.

Eating To Your Lower Stroke Risk
Food can play an important role your health.  As part of Synergy's nutrition program, we offer meal plans that are geared towards helping you stay fit and manage your weight.  Enjoy this sample day for an individual on one of our meal plans to reduce risk of stroke and high blood pressure:

Instant raisin-cinnamon oatmeal, cantaloupe, skim milk, orange juice, decaf black tea

A.M. Snack
Yogurt with 1 apple, decaf black tea
Baked potato with broccoli, cheese and salsa, 1 cup of vegetable juice (V8)

P.M. Snack
Peaches and cottage cheese

Turkey breast, a baked sweet potato, spinach, and a green salad with oil/vinegar dressing

Evening Snack
Soymilk smoothie filled with banana and flax seed

Contact Us For More Information
1777 Hamburg Turnpike, Suite 303 
Wayne, NJ 07470

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1777 Hamburg Turnpike, Suite 303
Wayne, NJ 07470
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