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Great Lakes Bay Health

Writing about all of the info that affects your health and the health of our medical and professional workers at Great Lakes Bay Health Centers!

Healthy Habits Can Result in a Good Night’s Sleep

Get a good nights sleep


Do you have trouble sleeping at night? The National Sleep Foundation has developed the ABCs of good sleep habits so that you can catch more ZZZs.

Lack of sleep is a common problem in the U.S., according to Get Healthy, Stay Healthy. At least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year.

If you have issues drifting off, the Sleep Foundation offers some tips that will help bring the sandman to you.

Make a schedule: As hard as it might sound, establish both a bedtime and wake-up time to use weekdays and weekends. Often falling asleep is a problem because not having a routine throws off your body’s clock.

Relax: Speaking of routine, practice a relaxing bedtime ritual to take your mind off activities that can stress you out. This could entail deep-breathing exercises. Another method is flexing your toes, which involves laying in bed with your eyes closed and flexing your toes toward your head and holding it for a count of 10 before relaxing the toes, again for a count of 10. Repeat the process 10 times.

Avoid naps: Sure, an afternoon nap may help you get through the day, but it won’t be helpful when you want to get eight hours of sleep in the evening.

Move: Vigorous exercise on a daily basis is best, but even a light workout will improve your sleep.

Find your feng shui: The setting in which you sleep can affect the quality of slumber. Your bedroom should be kept cool, between 60 and 67 degrees, and be free of noise that could keep you up. The room should also be dark. Consider eyeshades, earplugs, or blackout curtains to help set the mood for sleep. “White noise” machines, fans or a humidifier can help you relax and block other, disruptive noises.

Get comfy: How old is your mattress? Does it sag? Your mattress should be supportive and provide comfort. The average life for a mattress is 10 years. Pillows should also be comfortable to give you a good night’s sleep.

Don’t do this: Drinking alcohol or caffeinated liquids, smoking cigarettes and eating heavy meals can disrupt sleep. Try not to eat much in the three hours before you head to bed. If you’re that hungry, try eating a light snack like a piece of cheese or some fruit that won’t prevent you from snoozing.

Turn off, tune out: Other things that shouldn’t be in your bedroom are television sets, computers or cell phones. For some people, using an electronic device can make it hard to fall asleep, because a particular type of light, known as blue light, emanates from the screens of these devices that activate the brain.

Leave: Still can’t sleep? It might be time to go into another room and wind down by reading a book. Or lie down on a couch and see if sleep will come.

If lack of sleep becomes a huge problem, the National Sleep Foundation suggests speaking with your physician or being referred to a sleep professional.

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Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?

The importance of a good breakfast

Remember when your mother wouldn’t let you out of the house until you had a good breakfast?

While making sure you start the day with food might be good motherly advice, it’s also scientifically proven – sort of.

According to researchers at Rush University, the most important benefit is that breakfast gives a boost to your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.

Even if you don’t listen to mom, the research found your body thinks it will be deprived of food and retain calories instead of burning them when you skip the morning meal.

Have a Plant (a website obviously pushing plant-based foods) notes that eating a nutritious breakfast consisting of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and eggs helps you maintain a good blood sugar level, prevents binge and impulse snacking and sets the stage for a day of healthy food.

Sharon Collison, a registered dietitian nutritionist and a clinical instructor in nutrition at the University of Delaware, told Time magazine she thinks breakfast is important.

“People who consume breakfast regularly often have increased physical activity. They have better dietary profiles and lower intake of snacks,” Collison says. “Skipping breakfast is associated with increased disease risk — not only obesity but diabetes, heart disease and just lower dietary quality.”

To boil it down even further, the website adds to the premise that eating breakfast will boost metabolism and regulate blood sugar. The website adds:

  • The morning meal reduces the risk for feeling like you are starving and cuts down on cravings and overeating
  • With a morning nosh, you will feel fuller and eat fewer calories, cutting down on weight gain
  • Breakfast people consume more vitamins, minerals and fiber throughout the day
  • You can improve your concentration and productivity with food in the morning
  • If you skip directly to a later lunch, you might have lower energy levels and less strength and endurance
  • Your mood tends to be sour if you miss breakfast
  • Your memory will suffer as you cannot focus and learn

That said, experts say eating your breakfast in the morning is important. Registered dietitian Theresa Shank told Women’s Health magazine that we should feed our bodies with something within two hours of waking up to get the most out of our breakfast.

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National Health Center Week 2019: Celebrating all the Health Centers Have to Offer

doctor explaining to patient

Health centers serve 28 million patients – a number that continues to grow along with the demand for affordable primary care. In addition to their long history as health care homes to millions, health centers produce innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in their communities and reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the social determinants of health affecting special patient populations.

Great Lakes Bay Health Center (GLBHC) strives to bring affordable health care solutions to the region; yet unfortunately, as with many health centers around the nation, not all members of the communities served know about the variety of services we offer. National Health Center Week (Aug. 4-10) is an annual celebration with the goal to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades. To celebrate and connect with the individuals we proudly serve, this year GLBHC will host events during National Health Center Week, alongside our partners at McLaren Health Plan, Covenant HealthCare and 1st State Bank.

During these year’s nationwide festivities, GLBHC will host unique experiences centered on community engagement that bring attention to not only the services we offer but provide additional health tips and information through exciting interactions. Join us at any of the following events for a day of fun that includes opportunities to get free produce, win a new bike, learn about community resources, receive a free health or dental screening and much more. And don’t forget, it’s never too early to consider the importance of your health – this family-friendly invite will include activities for the kids!

This year, the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Health Center Advocacy Network invites you to celebrate the ways that health centers are “Rooted in Communities.” Join us for the following free events:

  • Kids Health Round Up 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 7 at Bayside Health Center, 3884 Monitor Road in Bay City
    • Features: Bike drawings, free fresh produce, community resources, a bounce house and other fun activities.
  • In the Park – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 9 at David R. Gamez Health Center, 501 Lapeer Ave. in Saginaw
    • Features: Bike drawings, health screenings, dental screenings, free fresh produce, community resources, vendors and other actives.


Join us in supporting the community and learning more about what Great Lakes Bay Health Center can do for you!

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Exercise is good for the body and mind

Regular workouts can help improve our mental health as well

Most of us are familiar with the physical benefits that come with regular exercise: weight loss, muscle development, better sleep and more energy, to name a few.

But some of the lesser-known benefits from a workout have to do with our mental health.

Just getting off the couch and heading to the gym, fitness center or trail will likely brighten one’s mood for the short term with a sense of accomplishment, according to an article in Psychology Today.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, according to WebMD. These are your body’s natural feel-good hormones that can make problems seem more manageable.

Dr. John J. Ratey, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of “A User’s Guide to the Brain,” believes regular physical activity is also mental activity.

“Exercise is really for the brain, not the body,” Ratey said. “It affects mood, vitality, alertness and feelings of well-being.”

Once exercise begins, a number of factors begin to ease our worries and improve our mental outlook.

Getting on the treadmill or walking laps at the mall allows us to focus on the fact that we are exercising, which gives us a mental diversion from worries. Psychology Today reports this evidence is growing and it suggests physical fitness can treat even chronic mental illness, such as reducing the effects of depression, dementia and anxiety.

The activity doesn’t have to be high-impact. Yoga has been linked with improving mental health. According to, yoga is an effective stress reduction tool. Stretching muscles and joints during the yoga poses can produce relaxation in the same way a massage does.

According to, physical activity is the No. 1 contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life – even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years. It can help improve brain functions such as multitasking and creativity and can even help prevent memory loss and may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

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Sunglasses: Sunscreen for Your Eyes

Be sure you are buying shades that block out harmful UV rays

proper eye protection group wearing sunglasses

Headed to the beach to take in some sun and surf? Let’s go through your checklist:

  • Beach blanket
  • Floppy hat
  • A good book
  • Picnic lunch
  • SPF 30 sunscreen

Sounds like you’re ready to enjoy a summer day on the shoreline.

But wait. What about your eyes? They require special care when you’re exposed to the sun, just like your skin needs protection. July is National UV Safety Awareness Month, and the perfect time to assess how safe your eyes are from damaging rays.

Enjoying the summer weather means you’ll spend more time outdoors, and studies show that exposure to bright sunlight may increase the risk of developing cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

By wearing ultraviolet radiation-blocking sunglasses you can enjoy the summer sunlight while lowering the risk of eye damage, said Michael Kutryb, M.D., an ophthalmologist and correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Not just any sunglasses will do. Ophthalmologists recommend wearing 99% and higher UV-absorbent sunglasses and a brimmed hat whenever you’re basking in the sun. Even better are shades that block 100% of harmful UV rays, which are sometimes listed as being UV absorption up to 400nm.

Here are some other factors to consider when shopping for sunglasses:

  • Breakage and scratches: The Food and Drug Administration establishes impact standards for all lenses, including sunglasses. Plastic lenses are less likely to shatter when they break, so be sure to make sure your sunglass lenses are plastic. Also, try to find sunglasses with scratch-resistant coatings.
  • Polarized lenses cut down on annoying glare, so they are beneficial in that regard. Polarization does not cut down on UV exposure, but many polarized lenses are made of UV-blocking materials. Read the label to ensure the glasses address UV light.
  • Wraparound glasses not only make you look cool, but they add protection to your eyes.  Studies show that enough UV rays enter around ordinary sunglass frames to diminish the benefits protective lenses provide. Large-framed wraparound sunglasses can protect your eyes from all angles.
  • Smoke and mirrors: Don’t be fooled by mirrored lenses. Unless they clearly state they protect the wearer from UV radiation, they are simply reducing the amount of visible light entering your eyes with the protective benefits.

Furthermore, don’t assume your contact lenses block UV rays. While there are contact lenses available with UV protection, not all contacts have that benefit. If you don’t have contact lenses that absorb UV light, you still need UV-blocking sunglasses.

Great Lakes Bay Health Center has a licensed optometrist on staff to help provide quality eye care as well as an optical area where you can purchase glasses. Great Lakes Bay Health Center’s services include eye exams, diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease, and prescription and dispensing of glasses.

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