sleep and asthma

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Sleep And Asthma In Children – Is There A Link?

2 minute read

Staying up later is one of the perks of getting older when you’re a kid. However, a new study published in ERJ Open Research suggests that teens who stay up late run a higher risk of developing asthma and allergies than teens who go to sleep and wake up earlier.

There have been links in the past between the body’s internal clock and asthma symptoms, but this is the first study to take sleep preferences into consideration, further adding to the argument that when you’re sleeping is just as important as how long you’re sleeping.

The Sleep and Asthma Study

A team of researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, chose to explore this connection between sleep and respiratory health due to the rise of asthma and allergic disease in children and adolescents across the globe. Even though poor air quality from tobacco smoke and pollution accounts for much of this increase, researchers wanted to explore it further.

Their study took place in West Bengal, India, and analyzed 1,684 adolescents, ages 13-14.

The teens shared whether they were early birds, night owls, or somewhere in the middle and what time of day they were typically sleepy. Participants were also asked to share about any wheezing, sneezing, runny nose, or other asthma and allergy symptoms they experienced.

Researchers included other contributing factors such as living conditions and whether any family members smoked.

The Findings

Results suggested that the chances of having asthma were around three times higher in teenagers who preferred going to bed late and waking up late. They were two times more likely to suffer from allergic rhinitis than those who went to bed at an earlier time.

Lead author, Subhabrata Moitra, Ph.D., is quoted saying, “Our results suggest there’s a link between preferred sleep time and asthma and allergies in teenagers.” While more research needs to be done, Moitra believes an allergic response is being triggered when the body’s natural sleep hormone, melatonin, is disrupted.

What’s Next?

Knowing there is more work that needs to be done, the team is hoping more researchers will join them in their efforts to unlock the full connection between teen sleeping habits and respiratory health.

Dr. Moitra and his team will enter the second phase of the study in 2028-29 with a new group of teenagers to see if any noticeable changes have occurred, and they hope to quantify their findings with objective measurements of teen’s lung function and sleep time.

While we wait for more conclusions, you or your teen can try some of the following tips for drifting off to sleep naturally and quickly. And remember the impact of air quality and the temperature in your home on everyday activities and sleep.

reopening public schools

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Reopening Public Schools Means Facing Air Quality Issues & HVAC Upgrades

2 minute read

Many reopening public schools throughout the country are making marked improvements to the air quality inside their buildings, but many still face an uphill battle. 

A US Government Accountability Office report from June 2020 found that four in 10 schools needed HVAC upgrades. As many schools start to reopen, teachers and board members are requiring improvements to their school’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). 

While many schools are still behind, one of the benefits of the lockdown is that public schools have been able to upgrade their old or inefficient HVAC systems helping reduce absences and improve productivity. 

IAQ Upgrades at Home

You can make IAQ improvements at home as well to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as your child returns to in-person schooling. You can have Aprilaire IAQ products installed in your home, including the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 inside your home. Contact a Healthy Air Pro today to inquire about the benefits of Aprilaire products for your home. 

Reopening Public Schools In The News:

new year's resolutions

AA Homepage Articles | Family |

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for the Whole Family

3 minute read

Making personal new year’s resolutions for the new year can be a great way to focus on what’s important to you. But sometimes those individual goals quickly fall away as the year goes on.

This year, how about you make goals for both you and your family? When your new year’s resolutions align with the rest of your family, the chances of seeing them through greatly improve because you’re working as a team and holding each other accountable.

Family New Year’s Resolutions

Start a Weekly Tradition

This could be a family movie night, a game night, or a repeated weekly meal like taco Tuesdays or homemade pizza every Friday. The point is having something to look forward to and rely on since family life can get pretty chaotic at times.

Get Outside More

We all need more fresh air. Whether it’s a family walk after dinner or bundling up to see who can make the biggest snowman, try to get outside as a family for at least thirty minutes every day when the weather allows.

Read Together

Read to, with, and around your kids. Help them become lovers of reading by incorporating it into your daily life. It could be an audiobook while getting dinner ready, bedtime stories with young kids, or shared reading time where the noise is kept to a minimum and everyone reads their own books.

Practice an Attitude of Gratitude

Gratefulness is an important practice, especially when it can be easy to forget after almost a year of mostly being stuck inside with the same group of people. Because 2020 was ripe for complaining and focusing on the bad, it’s time for a reset on gratitude.

This could be a daily practice of sharing or writing down something everyone is thankful for, or even thank you cards at the end of each month for family, neighbors, teachers, or anyone you want to appreciate.

Volunteer Together

Serving others is an amazing opportunity to strengthen your family and your community. There are so many ways to get involved, and it’s never too early to teach your kids a sense of responsibility, the benefit of sacrifice, and that they have the power to make a difference.

Cook and Eat Healthier Meals

We all want our kids to have healthy eating habits. The question is how do we do that?

One of the most common tips is to get kids involved in the shopping and preparing of the healthy foods we want them to eat. The more involvement they have, the more ownership they feel over making those choices for themselves. Here are some healthy family meals to try together.

Refresh your Emergency Plan

If your family doesn’t already have one, take some time in 2021 to create a family emergency plan. Restock your supplies and go over your evacuation and shelter drills to make sure you’ll be prepared and safe in case of the unexpected.

Plan a Monthly Adventure

We have lots of ideas of things we want to do as a family, but often those ideas get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. This year, sit down as a family and plan one trip, activity, or adventure for each month and put it on your calendar right away to up the chances of turning those ideas into fun experiences and treasured memories.

Commit to Less Screen Time

This goal is becoming increasingly important, and both parents and kids can benefit from screen time limits. The less time your family spends glued to a screen, the more time you have for face-to-face interactions and quality time together.

Breathe Healthy Air

When it comes to healthy living, diet, and exercise immediately come to mind. But don’t forget about the air you’re breathing in your home each and every day. The Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ can help your family reduce illness, eliminate pests, alleviate allergies, sleep better, lower stress levels, and even increase the value of your home and make it more energy-efficient. If that sounds like a goal worth investing in, contact an Aprilaire Pro today to get started on your Healthy Home journey for 2021.

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experiencing the Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

Before the Fight For Air Climb

Entering the US Bank Center for the American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb was a rush of energy.

This seemed less like an arduous trek up 1,000 stairs and more of an indoor festival. There were volunteers ready to greet you and pump you up for the ensuing climb and people from different companies sitting at tables ready to hand out souvenirs.

They were probably also there to distract you after you just got done instinctively looking up toward the top of the 47-story US Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee becoming a little uneasy at the prospect of your journey upward.

Before you made your climb, you gathered as a team and took several escalators down to the basement level before getting warmed up with a quick aerobic routine. Then you took a long and winding tunnel where you greeted by more volunteers who were cheering you on. It was hard not to feel inspired and excited.

During the Fight For Air Climb

One-by-one people took off up toward the top of the US Bank Center to begin their Fight For Air Climb. I, like most, started off confidently and quickly. I took the first six flights easily, but then by flight eight, I began to fight for air. I now understand why they title this climb just that. My mind and my body were at odds. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to continue at the same pace to get it over with as quickly as possible or to slow down and feel better. I went with the former.

Everyone in the stairwell was trudging onward with the same dilemma. We all were gasping for air as we kept pushing up each step and each flight toward the top of the Fight For Air Climb. At several points, I wondered if I was actually making any progress.

Every 10 flights there was a group of volunteers handing out cups of water and words of encouragement. Both were sorely needed to help push me along.

With each passing flight, I kept a tally of how many flights I had left. Twenty flights down, 27 more flights to go; 30 flights down, 17 flights to go; Ok, 40 flights down, 7 to go. By the time I got to the 40th floor, I knew I could make the last push to make it to the top of my Fight For Air Climb journey.

After the Fight For Air Climb

Eventually, I reached the top after 9 minutes and 31 seconds. At the top of the stairwell, I was met by volunteers who were cheering me on and by other climbers who were also catching their breath and taking in the picturesque views of Milwaukee and Lake Michigan afforded to us by the tallest building in Wisconsin.

As I grabbed a water and walked around soaking in both the views of the city and my accomplishment, it was really cool to watch teams taking pictures together or greeting other climbers with high-fives and smiles. There was a certain camaraderie found in a common struggle.

Despite the lingering soreness, I cannot wait for next year’s climb. No matter if I beat my time from this year or not, it’s about fighting for air together and helping those impacted with lung disease.

To join an upcoming climb in a city near you, visit www.lung.org/aprilaire.

Healthy Air | News |

Aprilaire Partner Contractor Joins Fight For Air Climb

2 minute read

“What can you do or say when your family is suffering such losses? It’s devastating,” said Christopher Ciongoli, HVAC salesman/estimator with Aprilaire partner Whalen & Ives.

Chris is participating in the NYC American Lung Association Fight For Air Climb on April 4, 2020. When he heard that Aprilaire was the national Healthy Air sponsor of the event he signed on to the Aprilaire team.

“An opportunity to make difference just appeared to me on Jan 10th in an email from Aprilaire informing me about the Fight for Air Climb. This was it. This is how I would help make a difference and support my wife as well as so many others that are impacted by lung disease”.

Lung disease became an all too familiar fixture in Chris’s life last year when his brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law all died from lung disease.

As of February 7, he’s raised 90 percent of his fundraising goal. Not only is Chris excited to help raise funds and awareness, he told us he’s already reaping the benefits of training for the 849-step climb.

“My blood pressure has dropped, my pants are getting loose, and my dog Crosby is getting back in shape too!”

Every morning he goes out with dog Crosby and strengthens his legs and increases his stamina to make sure he can make it to the 44th floor of the 1290 Avenue of Americas building in New York City.

Read more of Chris’s incredible journey by going to his page. Thank you for your efforts, Chris and we cannot wait to hear more.

For more information about the Fight For Air Climb and to find an event in your area, go to https://www.lung.org/aprilaire. To learn how to train for your own climb, head to our page where we share training tips to help you prepare for your own Fight For Air Climb.

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flights

AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experts Say Flights Can Resume, But Bring Increased Risks

2 minute read

Air quality experts say that it is safe to resume flying, but travelers must take advanced precautions before traveling like taking shorter flights when possible, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, makes the case that airplanes do not make you sick. In fact, airplanes have comparable levels of air filtration and fresh air ventilation to a health care facility

Flights May Be Less Comfortable With Recommendations

He argues that airlines should continue disinfecting high-touch areas such as armrests and tray tables, stop in-flight food service, mandate mask-wearing, and ask patrons to keep their above ventilation fan on throughout the flight. While these adjustments make flying less enjoyable, they can help reduce in-flight virus transmission. Masks are currently required on public transportation. 

Allen is not the only one saying it is safe to resume flying. 

‘Safer Than Eating At A Restaurant’

Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, in a CNN article writes, “When HEPA ventilation systems are running on a plane and everyone is masked, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced and makes air travel on a big jet safer than eating at a restaurant.”

Activities Create Biggest Risks

She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation. 

Marr told CNN that “A CO2 (carbon dioxide) level of 3,000 ppm means that for every breath I take in, about 7% of the air is other people’s exhaled breath…like drinking someone else’s backwash!”

The airport also presents other problems for travelers.

Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future. 

Other experts suggest carrying your own personal hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and sticking to shorter flights

Even though there are risks to flying, Marr and Allen say you are clear for takeoff this summer