Monthly Archives

December 2023

Trouble Sleeping? A Simple Breathing Exercise Could Help Break Insomnia’s Grip

By Health & Wellness
My history with sleep is like a roller coaster — making arduous, steady climbs to stretches of adequate rest, then careening with compounding speed into long stretches of little more than four hours a night.
Early in my career, I actually took great pride in my belief that I didn’t require as much sleep as my colleagues. I could get more done in a day! I was ridiculously productive and ridiculously exhausted.
As a health journalist, I inevitably learned the truth about sleep. It is crucial, not just for productivity and accuracy, but also for overall health, brain function, mood and longevity. But about the time I started to seriously seek the sandman — purchasing a sleep mask, earplugs and Tylenol PM; determinedly going to bed and waking up at the same times on weekdays and weekends; regularly soaking up eight hours, which felt like water for a very, very dry sponge — I had kids.
With my firstborn, I went from eight regular hours to four — on a good night. It was a free fall that I didn’t even try to recover from until my youngest set her sights on her tweens.
By then, something had shifted. My old tricks, even trading Tylenol PM for something more potent, gave me no traction. Night after night, I tossed and turned for hours and often found myself wide awake at 3 in the morning.
I can thank the onset of menopause for this new twist, says Rachel Salas, M.D., a sleep expert and professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore: “Hormone changes can disrupt sleep.”
She explained that, among other things, shifts of progesterone and estrogen can spur warmer body temperature: “The body actually needs to cool down even further when you transition into the deeper stages of sleep. If you’re too hot when you’re sleeping, it may negatively affect your sleep quality.”
Whatever the reason, the sleep logs on my Fitbit revealed clearly my sad state of un-slumber. On a Tuesday, I logged a full five hours, then I plummeted to 1 hour and 52 minutes on Wednesday. Banking a turn, I logged 4 hours, 52 minutes, on Thursday, then held tight at 4 hours, 56 minutes, on Friday. Next, I free fell to 1 hour, 8 minutes, on Saturday and 1 hour, 40 minutes, on Sunday.
This newest nadir left me feeling tired, incapable of completing a single thought. And irritable? — well, that doesn’t even come close to describing it. I wanted off this roller coaster once and for all.
To read more about how breathing exercises can help you beat insomnia, from AARP, CLICK HERE.

Introducing The Villas at Bayshore!

By Events

 Now open for your viewing and living pleasures, The Villas at The Bayshore exudes a luxurious and elegant retirement lifestyle met with ease and the beauty of the surrounding coastline. 

With designer touches like granite countertops, high-end fixtures, stainless steel appliances, plank wood flooring, and high ceilings, plus access to a private clubhouse, pool, and every exceptional amenity in our community, this new, upscale view of retirement will look sensational on you! 

Be our guest at one of our upcoming Showcases to experience the luxury for yourself. 


8 Surprising Foods That Can Help Strengthen Bones

By Health & Wellness

There’s more to healthy bones than calcium-rich milk, although we all know that both milk and foods rich in vitamin D are good for your bones.

Bone is living tissue that constantly rebuilds and repairs itself. Alas, after age 50, bones start to lose density and strength and become porous, which leads to a bone disease called osteoporosis that increases the risk of broken bones. Chances of developing osteoporosis are greater if you’re a woman; however, men also risk developing it, especially after age 70.

To keep bones strong, we need two nutrients in particular — calcium and vitamin D. Our bodies cannot make calcium, so eating calcium-rich foods is vital. Vitamin D, for its part, helps the body absorb calcium from food and seems to help protect older adults against osteoporosis.

Some people don’t have the taste or tolerance for dairy, but a variety of foods can help boost bone health. Although few foods have the calcium levels of dairy, if you combine several of those listed below, you can get a full day’s worth. And other nutrients — such as potassium and vitamin C — are important to keeping bones strong, as we explain below. Here are eight foods to incorporate into your diet that can help keep your bones healthy.

Dried figs

These chewy delights are a good source of both calcium and potassium, minerals that work together to help prevent osteoporosis. Dried figs contain healthy plant-based nutrients (phytochemicals) as well as chemicals that can help prevent cell damage (antioxidants). An added plus, according to Christopher Gardner, professor of medicine at Stanford University, is that dried figs are delectably sweet and provide a super-easy snack. You can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for six to 12 months.

Quick tip: Cut the figs into chunks (discard the hard stem) and combine them with other dried fruits and nuts for a customized trail mix.

Serving size: 60 grams (about 2 ounces)

Calcium content: 96 mg

To read about seven other foods that can improve your bone health, from AARP, CLICK HERE.