Sleep On It:Get Your Zzzs for Good Health

PAP SMEAR: TEST LOOKS FOR PRESENCE OF PRECANCEROUS CELLS

A Pap smear is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer. Most women should start getting Pap smears at age 21 years and every three years after. It should be a part of your annual physical exam. The test looks for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus or womb. During the procedure, cells from the cervix are scraped away. It is not painful and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You may bleed a little after the test is completed.

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WHAT IS A MEDICARE WELLNESS EXAM?

A Medicare Wellness Exam is a preventative screening visit your provider wants you to have once a year. This visit is free and is separate from your annual physical exam (if your plan covers annual physicals). Traditional Medicare does not pay for a physical – it only covers a Wellness Exam.  What is a Wellness Exam? The visit is covered once every 12 months (11 full months must have passed since your last visit). It is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health....

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ORAL HERPES

Oral herpes is an infection caused by a specific type of the herpes simplex virus. This condition, also called HSV-1 or sometimes cold sores or fever blisters, creates painful sores on your lips, gums and tongue, as well as the roof of your mouth and sometimes the inside of your cheeks. It may even affect your nose and chin. Symptoms of oral herpes include swelling in the lymph nodes, fever, tiredness and aching muscles. While the initial infection with oral herpes occurs most often in children ages 1-2 years, ….

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SLEEP ON IT: GET YOUR ZZZS FOR GOOD HEALTH

sleep eight to 10 hours a day; and adults over age 18 years should sleep seven to eight hours a day.


Make getting enough sleep a priority. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Staying up late and sleeping in late on weekends can disrupt the body’s internal sleep-wake cycle. Don’t exercise and don’t eat heavy foods prior to going to bed. Also, avoid the stimulants nicotine and caffeine (including soda, coffee, tea and chocolate) in late evening. As well, don’t drink alcohol before turning in. Take a warm shower or bath or practice relaxation techniques. Put away your phone and turn off the TV and computer – their lights tell the brain to stay alert and awake.


Make your bedroom inviting. Use soft, warm sheets and supportive pillows and mattresses. Don’t lie in bed watching TV; the light, motions and sounds will keep you awake or even prevent you from having the deep, restful sleep your body needs. Keep the bedroom temperature moderate – not too hot, not too cold. And keep it dark.



Daytime naps can sometimes give you a boost in alertness and performance, as long as they are 20 minutes long or less. But if you have trouble falling asleep at night, limit your naps.


If you’re worried about your sleep habits, write down how much you sleep each night, how rested you feel in the morning and how sleepy you feel during the day. Show the results to your doctor and talk about how you can improve your sleep.

DR. MARY HENKEL

A native of Ashland, KY, Dr. Henkel graduated from Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She joined Family Practice Associates of Lexington in 1996. Dr. Henkel’s goal as your family doctor is “to help you and your family maintain outstanding health and lead full, eventful lives.

more articles by dr. mary henkel

Can sleep have an impact on your health and wellness?


Indeed it can. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, getting enough good-quality sleep can help protect your mental and physical health and quality of life. Reducing sleep by just two or three hours per night can have dramatic health consequences. Getting too little sleep puts you at risk for several chronic health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension. Sleep deprivation also affects your mood, productivity and learning capabilities. You may have trouble making decisions, solving problems and controlling emotions if you are sleep deprived. Driving drowsy is a serious problem, on a par with drunk driving; it is estimated to be a factor in about 100,000 car accidents each year, resulting in about 1,500 deaths. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression and suicide.


When you sleep, your body and brain are repairing and restoring different systems, including your cardiovascular and immune systems. In particular, the brain forms new pathways to help you learn and remember information. For children and teens, sleep helps support their growth and development. Although sleep needs vary from person to person, experts with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend infants aged 4 to 12 months sleep 12 to 16 hours a day (including naps); children aged 3 to 5 years should sleep 10 to 13 hours a day (including naps); teens aged 13 to 18 years should