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Sleep Comfort Month: How Sleep Differs Between Men and Women

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Quality sleep helps your brain and body recover and re-energize. You can always feel the difference when you’ve had a good night of sleep compared to hours of tossing and turning.

But what factors play into those good or bad nights of sleep? And how may they be different for men and women?

“National Sleep Comfort Month” is recognized in November, and to kick it off we’re looking at the particular reasons that sleep differs for men and women on both sex- and gender-based factors.

Health-Related Sleep Differences Between Men and Women

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that all healthy adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. For any number of reasons, some people struggle to reach that amount or fail to experience quality sleep during those hours.

While all people can struggle with sleep, women have a 40% higher lifetime risk of insomnia than men, and they’re more likely to experience multiple insomnia symptoms. Let’s look at some of the health-related factors that disrupt sleep for both men and women.

More Common in Men

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (lapsed breathing while asleep)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic lung problems
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Loud snoring (impacts sleep for self and partner)

More Common in Women

  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nocturia (frequent nighttime urination)
  • Heartburn and acid reflux

Other Factors Specific to Women

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Pregnancy, involving hormonal changes that interfere with sleep
  • Menopause (ceasing of menstruation), causing changes to circadian rhythm, hot flashes, and night sweats

Lifestyle Differences That Impact Sleep

In addition to the health-based factors above, societal norms and lifestyle choices can also impact sleep.

Because these factors are complex, they won’t be the same for all individuals and don’t always align neatly along sex or gender lines. But they’re important to keep in mind when assessing possible reasons for disrupted sleep.

Lifestyle and Societal Impacts on Sleep

  • Caring for elderly relatives
  • Providing childcare
  • Duties at home like cleaning and maintenance
  • Work schedules
  • Type of work and the ability to work remotely or take time off
  • Pressure to earn income
  • Marital status

General Sleep Tips

Remember that sleep needs and preferences can vary wildly from person to person, and you’ll be able to find your own optimized sleep through consistent routines and thoughtful practices. To get you started on your quality sleep journey, here are a few tips you can try out:

  • Maintain a consistent bedtime and waking time
  • Keep the temperature a bit lower in your bedroom (66–68°F)
  • Spend time outdoors and exercise regularly
  • Regulate humidity levels with an AprilAire whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier. The optimal relative humidity for overall well-being and comfort is 40–60%
  • Avoid distractions like a cell phone next to the bed or a TV in the bedroom
  • Prioritize your Indoor Air Quality with an AprilAire whole-house air purifier

 

stay-healthy-during-summer-fun

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages | Wellness |

Stay Healthy During Summer Fun

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Longer days, warmer weather, outdoor festivals, beach time, barbecues, and so much more. Sounds like our kind of summer! All of it can’t come soon enough, and we want to make sure you’re prepared to enjoy a summer full of your favorite activities while staying healthy and active. Keep these tips in mind, and have your best summer yet.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

One of the quickest ways to feel ill or burned out during the summer (or any time of year!) is through dehydration. Long hours in the sun paired with a high level of activity and sweating can dry you out quickly. On a related note, keep in mind that things like alcohol and caffeine dehydrate you. So enjoy them in moderation during the summer, and try to balance out your drinking by keeping a bottle of water close by.

Eat with the Season

The summer harvest brings fresh fruits and vegetables to many areas of the country, and we all have our regional favorites. But summer also offers plenty of opportunities to indulge at barbecues, ball games, and ice cream trucks. Of course, it’s ok to enjoy your favorite foods, but stay aware of how often you’re eating things like fried foods and fatty meats, and balance them out with lighter fare. Another benefit of fruits and veggies is that they contain a lot of water, so they can help to keep you hydrated during the summer.

Watch the Heat Index

After being inside for the winter, we’re all ready to get out and about as much as possible. When you have a day of outdoor activities planned, keep an eye on the heat index in your area to avoid the risk of heat exhaustion. And remember that the morning and evening offer some reprieve from the intense heat. When exercising, stick to shaded areas when possible or find a gym or other air-conditioned building where you can walk around or climb stairs when it’s dangerously hot outside.

Know Your Sun Exposure

There are few better feelings than the summer sun on your skin. But, like everything, it’s best in moderation.

Wear sunscreen when you go outside, and make sure to reapply more often if you’re sweating or out in the water. Other sun tips include wearing breathable clothing that keeps you cool while blocking excess sunlight, and being extra careful around bodies of water, which reflect and enhance UV rays.

And don’t forget about your eyes. Keep sunglasses handy whenever you’re outside or driving on a sunny day.

Stay Active!

While limiting heat and sun exposure are crucial to staying healthy, it’s just as important to get outside and move your body this summer. Exercise is good for your mental and physical health, and it will help balance out those barbecues and ice cream treats. Find an activity you enjoy, like running, biking, or swimming, and make a plan to do it with friends or family. That will keep you accountable and provide the added benefit of social connection.

Should You Wear a Mask?

Most sporting events and large music festivals are fully back after a couple years of postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many areas have relaxed masking and distancing requirements, and the hospitalization rate for those infected has steadily dropped since January 2022. Yet, some experts are concerned about the potential for new variants of the virus and the stalled rate of vaccinations in the United States.

For you and your family, decide what you’re comfortable with and go from there. The summer will offer plenty of opportunities for events and travel, so plan ahead and understand the risks before you go.

 

join-the-fight-for-air-climb

AA Homepage Articles | Wellness |

Join the Fight For Air Climb

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This spring, the American Lung Association will host its annual Fight For Air Climb at various locations around the United States.

These group climbs are as fun as they are meaningful, with the ultimate goal of raising awareness around the importance of breathing clean air for healthy lungs.

This year’s events will take place in a mix of indoor and outdoor venues. Regardless of location, the climbs will have a focus on participant health and safety by encouraging proper spacing and healthy airflow.

The AprilAire team will be going the distance at American Family Field in Milwaukee on April 9, 2022. AprilAire is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Wisconsin climb, as the mission fits well with our values of delivering clean air and making a difference in our communities.

We’d love to see you there! You can also find a Fight For Air Climb in your region or donate to the cause by checking out the American Lung Association’s website.

Climbing for Healthy Lungs

The Fight For Air Climb will involve conquering flights of stairs at your own pace and with your own goals in mind. Climbing stairs has been shown to improve balance and coordination, strengthen several major muscle groups, and lower mortality risk when done on a daily basis.

It’s a great example of everyday ways we can improve or maintain our fitness and focus on healthy breathing for a lifetime. Here are some other ways the American Lung Association says we can look out for the health of our lungs:

Healthy Air for Life

Fresh air can be a priority whether you’re climbing dozens of flights of stairs or simply enjoying quality time inside your home. On average, we spend about 90% of our lives indoors, and that creates a real need for optimizing the air quality in the places we live.

That’s the focus of the AprilAire Healthy Air System. It’s a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that provides a blueprint for creating a Healthy Home environment in three key areas of your home’s air:

  1. Fresh air ventilation: Fresh air ventilation removes stale, stagnant air from your home and replaces it with fresh air from the outdoors.
  2. Air filtration: Air filtration works with your home’s HVAC system to remove harmful particles like dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores from the air circulating in your home. These filters also remove virus-sized particles for year-round protection from viruses.
  3. Humidity control: AprilAire whole-house humidifiers and dehumidifiers keep the humidity level of your home between 40% and 60% for optimal health and comfort.

*Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

Interview with the American Lung Association

AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages |

Breathing Healthy Air: Interview with the American Lung Association

4 minute read

At AprilAire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why AprilAire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both AprilAire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?

“I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”

Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?

“The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”

How did AprilAire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?

“AprilAire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.

Since 2020, AprilAire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, AprilAire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. AprilAire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the AprilAire Healthy Air System™) and nine AprilAire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, AprilAire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”

Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.

“The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.

AprilAire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”

AprilAire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?

“Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, AprilAire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”

What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?

“Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Lung.org. Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”

Fight for Healthy Air

At AprilAire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both AprilAire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.

*Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

St. Vincent de Paul

AA Homepage Articles |

2021: AprilAire’s Good Neighbor Values

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We take the importance of caring for others to heart at AprilAire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

“A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

 Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.

air-quality-inside-your-car

AA Homepage Articles | Healthy Air |

Air Quality Inside Your Car This Summer

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Millions of Americans are hitting the highways this summer for travel destinations near and far. All those miles on the road mean hours spent in the car, and that gets us at AprilAire thinking about the quality of the air you’re breathing inside your vehicle.

Sources of Air Pollution in Vehicles

The air in your car can become polluted from three primary sources: dirty air outside, off-gassing from the vehicle’s interior, and the activity of you and your passengers.

Outside air comes in through the car’s ventilation system and open windows, and can often contain pollutants like automotive exhaust from surrounding traffic, allergens, and particulate matter from industrial and farming practices.

Inside the vehicle there are hundreds of components made out of different types of plastic, metal, paint, and more. Think of that “new car smell”—this typically comes from the off-gassing of these materials and is more noticeable in newer cars and whenever your car is sitting in the sun. It’s dangerous to breathe in these volatile organic compounds (VOCs, like benzene and formaldehyde) over time.

Lastly, air can be saturated with carbon dioxide by the exhalations of the car’s occupants, especially with multiple passengers in the same cabin for multiple hours. And adding things like air fresheners, or not cleaning up food waste and debris will also impact the car’s air quality.

How to Clean Your Car’s Air

Start by making sure your cabin’s air filter is updated and effective at removing dust, allergens, and other pollutants. Some manufacturers recommend changing it every 15,000 miles.

If your car has been sitting in the sun for a long period, open up the windows when you first get in to release some of the VOCs that have been trapped. It’s tempting to let the air conditioner do all the work, but by letting out the trapped air, you’re both lowering the interior temperature and removing pollutants. After a few minutes, you can roll up the windows and enjoy the chilled air.

When you’re on the open road without much surrounding traffic or other sources of pollution, consider using open windows to control the temperature rather than the air conditioner. This allows more fresh air to enter the cabin and prevents the buildup of carbon dioxide.

Most modern vehicles have a setting on the air and temperature controls that will recirculate the air inside the vehicle, and block out air from outside. This is a good option when you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic or driving through an area with construction, farming, or other sources of air pollution.

Recirculation mode will prevent the external pollutants from entering your car, but keep in mind that this setting can also cause carbon dioxide levels to rise if used for an extended period of time.

Keep your car’s interior clean to prevent airborne dust and the formation of mold and mildew. Clean up liquid as soon as it’s spilled, and avoid using chemical sprays or air fresheners.