THE STRAIGHT UP
Catching Some Why Are We So Anti-Sleep?
of empathy for others compared to those who slept poorly. Basically, we understand each other better when we get enough sleep. Regardless of howmuch sleep you need, I believe we can all afford to sleep better at night. I’ve found that getting away from devices before bed is a big help. The blue light from screens makes it harder to fall asleep and a constant stream of news or social media keeps our brains active when we should be winding down for bed. Plus, it’s easy for time to slip away when you are focused on your TV or phone. When I’m in bed, my phone doesn’t come with me. I turn my phone on do not disturb mode and leave it in the living room. I’ll deal with any missed messages in the morning. I might not fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow, but that just means I have time to read a real book for a while. I enjoy some of the best sleep after reading, and I wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. If you’re a follower of the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” philosophy, more power to you. But to my fellow sleep enthusiasts, I say don’t be afraid to admit you love sleep. Buster and I both support your decision to catch some Z’s.
planet when I say I sleep for eight hours. But I feel so much better when I sleep! It keeps me young, healthy, and happy. When it comes to sleep, my partner in crime is Buster. He loves to sleep and he especially loves to go to bed early. His last walk of the day is at 7:30 p.m. and when we get back inside, he runs straight for the bed, ready to call it a night. He and I are on the same schedule. My husband, on the other hand, is not an early sleeper. He’s more of a night owl, but he’s very supportive of my sleep schedule. He’ll even remind me to get to bed on time, which I certainly appreciate. Though, his reminders may be partially self-preservation. As I said, I get cranky and irritable when I don’t sleep. I’m not saying everyone has to keep second- grader hours. Honestly, eight hours of sleep isn’t mandatory for everyone, either.We all have a “sweet spot” for the amount of sleep our body needs.When we find that spot, it can do wonders for our health. As Dr. Michael Twery, a sleep expert at the National Institute of Health, says, “Sleep affects almost every tissue in our bodies. It affects growth and stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health.” Good sleep is also important in maintaining good relationships. A study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience found that those who get quality sleep have higher levels
I have never understood the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” It implies that sleep is something we can put off in favor of “more important” things. Our society is so obsessed with being productive that we’ve decided it’s lazy to be still for eight hours, despite the fact that we literally need sleep to stay healthy!Well, I’m here to stake my claim on the wonders of sleep. the comfy sheets, and drifting off to sleep. Personally, I can’t go around missing out on sleep. My husband can confirm that I get grumpy and unproductive without my eight hours. About a year ago, I decided I would make sleep a priority. I didn’t like feeling tired all the time, and I really didn’t like feeling grumpy because I was tired. The only solution was to keep second-grader hours and give myself a bedtime. If I’m getting up at 5 a.m. to work out, I need to be in bed by 9 p.m. in order to get those wonderful eight hours. There are few greater pleasures in life than getting in a warm bed, snuggling up in Going to bed at 9 p.m. as an adult sounds crazy, I know. People look at me like I’m from another “PEOPLE LOOK AT ME LIKE I’M FROM ANOTHER PLANET WHEN I SAY I SLEEP FOR EIGHT HOURS.”
–Dr. Leslie Pitner
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225
Rated E for Everyone
WHAT DO RATINGSMEAN, AND HOWSHOULD YOU USE THEM? Despite guidance from ratings systems, it can be difficult for parents to discern what digital content is appropriate for their children. Learnmore about ratings guidelines for common on public airwaves,TV rating systems follow unique codes. In theU.S., shows that are rated asTV-14 (content that is suitable for those ages 14 and older) can only air after 5 p.m. Meanwhile,TV-MA (content that is appropriate for mature audiences) can only air between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Most shows airing between the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. are ratedTV-G orTV-PG.These are similar in content to their movie counterparts. Some television children’s shows will also be rated asTV-Y orTV-Y7, and suggestive content to adult themes.
When choosing family entertainment, experts suggest using both the rating and the description of themedia tomake your decision since the rating systemmay not fully explainmedia content. For example, studies have found that a PG-13movie can sometimes have just as much violence as an R-ratedmovie. Additionally, youmay be fine with the content in aT-rated video game for a more developmentally advanced 11-year-old. Once you get past all the combinations of numbers and letters, you as a parent might find that ratings for video games, movies, andTV shows provide helpful information. Couple the ratings with your own research and your own values, and put an end to worrying about what surprises may lurk in your children’s media.
entertainment media and how to decipher that information so you canmake educated decisions that work for your family. Movies: G-ratedmovies are considered suitable for all ages, whereas PG, PG-13, and R-ratedmovies are progressively less appropriate for kids because of violence, nudity, and language. Some ratings come with age limits; children who are under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult at R-ratedmovies. TVShows: Due to laws that limit inappropriate content
their only distinction is thatTV-Y7 has been deemed appropriate for young children ages 7 and older.TV ratings can also have additional descriptors attached to them to explain what kind of content earned the rating. VideoGames: There are seven video game ratings: EarlyChildhood (EC), Everyone (E), Everyone 10+ (E10),Teen (T), Mature (M), AdultsOnly (AO), or Rating Pending (RP). These ratings provide consumers withmore information about content. Again, as the age of the intended user increases, content progresses fromallowingmild violence or
FROM THE OFFICE OF BUSTER
Your Braces Questions Answered! G’DAY, MATE!
the irritated area. If the wire is stuck, cover the sharp edge with a piece of cotton or dental wax. If all else fails, you can carefully cut the wire with sterilized scissors or nail clippers. What should I do with a loose bracket? Loose brackets are pretty normal when it comes to traditional braces, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. A loose bracket could negatively affect your treatment progress, so call our office andmake an appointment to have it repaired as soon as possible. In themeantime, if a bracket comes loose while still attached to the wire, you can carefully cut the wire using a pair of nail clippers. Be sure to sterilize the clippers in rubbing alcohol before putting them near your mouth. Shouldmy teeth be sore? Aching teeth or mild discomfort are common symptoms after orthodontic treatment, but it’s
There are a lot of options in orthodontics today, which is great, because it means patients are able to choose the right treatment for their smiles.We see a lot of patients who are excited to try Invisalign, but that doesn’t mean traditional braces have disappeared entirely. Many patients still turn tometal braces, which are effective, but they come with their own drawbacks. Here are a few common questions I hear around the office. Aremy wires supposed to hurt the inside of mymouth? The bad news is when you wear metal braces, the wires are going to rub against the insides of your cheeks and gums.The good news is there are some at-home solutions you can try if your wires are causing you pain! First, try using a cotton swab to gentlymove the wire away from
easily addressed!Try gargling with warm salt water, or play a heating pad around your mouth. If this doesn’t help, take a little ibuprofen— just make sure you read the safety directions on the bottle first. Hopefully, these tips will come in handy if your braces are giving youminor issues. But remember, if you find yourself with an orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to call our office. Emergencies never get better when you ignore them. –Buster
HOW THE PLACEBO EFFECT WORKS
Brain Floods The placebo effect works. Study after study has confirmed it. The question is how. Numerous studies have shown placebos are most effective for aches and pains, as well as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and depression. The placebo effect even works if you’re aware you’re taking a placebo. With that in mind, a person can’t just start taking placebos (or sugar pills) and expect a placebo effect. There is a strong psychological component. This may mean seeing a doctor or participating in a drug study to get the ball rolling. There are three challenges a person needs to overcome for a placebo to be most effective: conditioning , expectation , and belief.
placebo has to look like the medication it is meant to emulate.You might start treatment with the real medication and eventually transition to the look-alike. Then, you must expect it to work. There must be an indication that the placebo is “real.” This might be a doctor telling you it’s real and effective, or it might be previous experience taking a certain medication. In your mind, if the real drug worked, so will the look-alike. Lastly, you need to believe that when you take the placebo pill, it will do what you think it’s supposed to do. Belief is a powerful tool, and when you believe it’s going to help, the placebo will be most effective. In pain studies, for example, some people experienced the same reduction in pain as they would have experienced had they taken typical, over-the-counter pain
medication. Keep in mind, however, that the placebo effect affects each person differently.
First, you need to be conditioned to accept the placebo as the real deal. For example, the
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano- Reggiano Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste
• • • •
12 ounces pasta, ideally fusilli 1/2 pound broccoli florets
2 carrots, shredded 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
and cook until translucent and golden, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until tomatoes are wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved pasta water. 4. Add tomato mixture to pasta pot, stirring to coat evenly. 5. Divide into bowls, top with parmesan, and serve.
1. In a large pot, liberally salt water and bring to a boil. Add fusilli and cook according to package directions. Add broccoli, carrots, and bell pepper during the last 2 minutes of cook time. 2. Drain the pasta and veggies, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta and veggies to pot. 3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium heat. Add garlic
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5953 Wescott Rd. Columbia, SC 29212 803-781-5225 Monday–Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.drpitner.com
Sleep: From A to Zzz
Understanding Media Ratings How to Handle an Orthodontic Emergency Have You Ever Wondered About the Placebo Effect? Pasta Primavera
Make Your Weekends More Super
Incredible Events for Your Fantastic Family
Hall of Heroes Where: South Carolina State Museum, Columbia When: Jan. 19–April 20 Admission: See website for tickets Website: SCMuseum.org
4 Legged 4K Where: 2801 Devine Street, Columbia When: Saturday, April 27; 8 a.m. Admission: $10 registration fee Website: 4Legged4KCSA.com
2019Columbia Food andWine Festival Where: SaludaAvenue, Five PointsVillage, Columbia When: Sunday, April 28; 1–4 p.m. Admission: $65 Website: ColumbiaFoodAndWineFestival.com Looking for a tasty way to spend your weekend? Make plans to attend the 2019 Columbia Food andWine Festival! Over 50 local restaurants will gather together at Five Points Village to show off the best their menus have to offer. Meet local artisans and farmers, listen to live music, and enjoy some delicious meals fromMidland’s finest dining establishments. Get your tickets now for Columbia’s favorite culinary experience.
If there’s one thing dogs and humans can agree on, it’s that a good walk is always tons of fun! You and your canine companion are invited to participate in a great walk at the annual 4 Legged 4K! Hang out with other humans and furry friends, win prizes, check out some pet vendors, and help a great cause. This fun walk and run benefits Homeward Bound Pet Rescue, an all-volunteer nonprofit animal rescue dedicated to rescuing homeless animals from high-kill shelters. Register today and give homeless animals in our community a chance to find their forever homes.
Your favorite superheroes have launched off their comic book pages and are waiting at the South Carolina State Museum. This limited- time exhibit features interactive, hands-on adventures that explore the science and history behind these beloved caped crusaders. Guests can even discover their own super powers — without getting bitten by a radioactive spider. Don’t miss out on the final days to experience this amazing exhibit with your family.
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