HEALTH

BSC, CRN join forces for Better Sleep Month

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The Better Sleep Council and the Council for Responsible Nutrition last week joined forces for Better Sleep Month in May to help consumers enjoy a stress-less, good night’s sleep. In order to get the best rest possible and help relieve stress, the BSC and CRN suggested it’s essential for Americans to make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

“When you’re stressed, and similarly when you are tired, every aspect of your waking life is affected, from work to personal relationships and even concentration,” stated BSC spokesperson and lifestyle expert Lissa Coffey. “Controlling stress and getting a good night’s rest start by evaluating your lifestyle and creating a healthy daily regimen that you can stick to. This includes adequate sleep, balanced diet, daily vitamins and healthy exercise.”

New research from Oklahoma State University confirms that cyclically poor sleep can elevate stress. The OSU study, “Back Pain, Sleep Quality and Perceived Stress Following Introduction of New Bedding Systems,” published in the March 2009 Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, also suggests that improved sleep quality not only reduces stress, but also helps us manage everyday stress.

“Studies show that healthy individuals tend to engage in many healthy habits — eating a healthy diet, taking supplements, exercising regularly and getting adequate amounts of sleep — as an integrative approach to wellness,” stated Douglas MacKay, VP scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. MacKay, a licensed naturopathic doctor, suggested certain supplements, including melatonin, magnesium and calcium, may help individuals relax or promote healthy sleep patterns.

“Herbals and other dietary supplements can be safe and effective ways to help individuals achieve quality sleep,” MacKay said. “You should consult a doctor or healthcare professional to determine which supplements are the best regimen for your lifestyle.”

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Colmers seeks feedback from UMD School of Pharmacy about H1N1 virus

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE, Md. Concerning the current outbreak of H1N1, or swine flu, Maryland’s top health official asked for feedback from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, with its network of pharmacists, on “what worked and what didn’t work,” the pharmacy school announced Monday.

John Colmers, Maryland secretary of health and mental hygiene, said during a recent meeting of the School of Pharmacy Board of Visitors that “we are not out of the woods yet. We have identified that this is a virus that is in our population, and we are in the phase now of lessons learned.”

He said his department is gathering data on medication and counseling provided by pharmacists during the outbreak.  Colmers said the availability of antiviral drugs was of great interest during the swine flu outbreak.

Although the federal government released 25% of its stockpile of medications and supplies for a possible pandemic, Colmers said, “We don’t understand the supply side.” He said a policy is needed to obtain better information on what is available during an outbreak.

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Mayer Labs to relaunch the Today Sponge

BY Michael Johnsen

BERKELEY, Calif. Mayer Labs on Tuesday announced that it will relaunch the Today Sponge, possibly marking the fourth time the over-the-counter birth control product has been introduced to the U.S. market.

According to Mayer, the product already has distribution through CVS, Walgreens and Duane Reade, three retailers who had carried the product before.

Today Sponge was originally introduced in 1983 and removed from the market due to manufacturing problems in 1994, according to published reports. The product was reintroduced into U.S. stores in 2005 by Allendale Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Synova Healthcare Group in 2007. Synova “re-launched” the Today Sponge soon after it acquired Allendale, but filed for bankruptcy protection later that year. Now Mayer has acquired the manufacturing and distribution rights to the birth control product.

“We are very pleased to add the Today Sponge to our portfolio of high quality reproductive products,” stated David Mayer, CEO of Mayer Labs. “The recent interruption of distribution was not the result of product quality or consumer demand, but was due to the previous owner, Synova Healthcare Group, filing bankruptcy.”

The Today Sponge is being relaunched with new packaging and Web site. Suggested retail price for a 3-pack is $14.99.

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