Do You Know the RIGHT Way to Use Sunscreen?

Squeeze it, smear it, and go?

Turns out, there’s a little more to proper sunscreen use, says the American Academy of Dermatology. As we get into some of Nashville’s hottest temperatures, a quick refresh of proper sunscreen use can help you and your family stay safe while outside.

Why Use Sunscreen?

  • 1 in 5 people in the US will develop skin cancer.
  • Using sunscreen is one of the most effective things you can do in reducing your risk for skin cancer.
  • Sunscreen can help reduce premature aging of the skin.

How to Use Sunscreen

The Nashville doctors at St. Thomas Medical Group offer the following sunscreen recommendations…

  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen. “Broad spectrum” (you’ll see this printed on the front of the bottle) means the product offers protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVA rays can cause premature skin aging (such as wrinkling); UVB rays cause the visible sunburn we’ve all experienced. You need protection from both, and only a broad spectrum sunscreen can provide it.
  • Choose a sunscreen that’s labeled SPF 30 or higher. SPF stands for “sun protection factor.” The number represents how much longer the product allows you to be exposed to the sun’s rays without getting burned. So, if your skin would normally burn in just 10 minutes of exposure, you would actually last 300 minutes (10 x 30), or 5 hours. Take that recommendation with a grain of salt, though. With water, sweat, and activity, sunscreen is more likely to be removed from the skin before it offers a full afternoon of protection!
  • That being the case, reapply sunscreen regularly. A general rule of thumb is to reapply every two hours. If swimming or sweating, then reapply immediately.
  • Also, the Nashville doctors at St. Thomas Medical Group recommend a water resistant sunscreen. Even if you don’t plan on going for a dip, water resistant sunscreens can offer extended protection in the heat of the summer when sunscreen is quickly carried away from the skin through sweat.
  • Not sure how much to use? One ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) is a standard recommendation from the American Academy of Dermatology for covering the average body. You can adjust depending on your size and the amount of skin exposed. Most people tend to apply too little sunscreen.
  • Apply sunscreen approximately 15 minutes before going outside. This allows time for the sunscreen to offer the protection you need!
  • Finally, make sure to use a lip balm with SPF protection. Any skin exposed to sun needs protection, and only sunscreen can do the job!

Find a Doctor Near You In Nashville

Have more questions about caring for your family? Schedule an appointment online with a Children & Adult provider at St. Thomas Medical Group. Or, you can schedule your next appointment by calling +1 (615) 301-7040.

5 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep… Starting Tonight!

According to a health survey for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 7–19 percent of adults in the United States reported not getting enough rest or sleep every day” (source). Four out of 10 adults report accidentally falling asleep during the day at least once a month. Some 50-70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders.

By all accounts, the United States faces a sleep crisis. Patients throughout the Nashville area turn to Dr. Jon Tumen at St. Thomas Medical Group. Dr. Tumen is triple board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonology Diseases and Clinical Polysomnography/Sleep Disorders Medicine.

Why Does Sleep Health Matter?

The quantity and quality of sleep we get each night has a tremendous impact on all aspects of our lives, from physical health and safety to emotional well-being. Poor quality sleep can lead to…

  • Road accidents. Driving while drowsy can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Increased risk of chronic health conditions. Sleep deprivation is associated with increased risk for a number of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. Failure to get adequate sleep can also increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
  • Depression. Studies have found a strong link between insomnia and depression/anxiety.
  • Memory loss. Our bodies use sleep to reset. During sleep, the brain consolidates memory, transferring short-term memory into long-term memory storage. Failure to get enough sleep can prevent this process, causing long-term memory problems.
  • Weight gain. Several studies have found a correlation between obesity and lack of quality sleep.

Failure to get a recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night can result in many adverse outcomes. If you’re having trouble meeting your sleep requirements, talking to a sleep specialist may help.

How Can a Sleep Doctor Help?

Sleep specialists like Dr. Tumen are able to help many Nashvillians struggling with sleep through polysomnography, a type of sleep study used to diagnose sleep disorders. This test allows a physician to record your sleep patterns and make recommendations for improving sleep health.

What You Can Do For Yourself TONIGHT

While polysomnography may be recommended for ongoing sleep health problems, you may be able to get a better rest tonight by trying some of these tips recommended by sleep doctors:

  1. Avoid caffeine – not just at night – but for the entire day, as caffeine can have long-lasting effects.
  2. Keep the bedroom quiet and cool.
  3. Get in the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
  4. Avoid screens in the hour before bed. The artificial light can make it difficult to go to sleep.
  5. Avoid nicotine and alcohol in the hours leading up to bed time.

See a Nashville Sleep Doctor Near You

For more information about how a Nashville sleep doctor can help you, call the office of Dr. Jon Tumen at +1 (615) 964-5864. You can also request an appointment online.

6 Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids In Nashville

We’re a few weeks into summer… how are you holding up, Mom?

If “go play outside” isn’t doing the trick anymore, and you’re tired of hearing, “I’m booooored,” this list is for you! Check out some of these fun outdoor activities for kids in Nashville. Help them burn off all that energy while exploring something new!

6 Fun Outdoor Activities

  • Cumberland Park. With a mini climbing wall, waterfront views, and plenty of free parking (despite being so close to downtown!), Cumberland Park offers both sun and shade for kids to play and parents to relax.
  • Canoe the Harpeth. Nashville has plenty of rivers, but few are as pleasant as the Harpeth, just a few miles west of town. Canoeing is a great activity for kids, as you have the opportunity to rest and float or paddle and let out some extra energy! Start early in the morning to avoid the heat and potential late afternoon thunderstorms.
  • Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. A Nashville classic, Cheekwood offers beautiful gardens and a rotation of fun outdoor art exhibits. Don’t miss Cracking Art, which features brightly colored large-scale plastic animals, such as bears, crocodiles, and meerkats. Cracking Art will be on exhibit through September 2.
  • Nashville Shores. With one million gallons of water and eight water slides, Nashville Shores is a great way to cool off in a hot summer week. Float down the lazy river or zip down one of their imaginative water slides.
  • The Barbara J. Mapp Aviary Education Center at Radnor Lake. If you’re looking for something a little different from a trip to the zoo, check out Radnor Lake’s aviary, where you can get an up-close view of birds-of-prey and learn from park rangers. Plan ahead, though. The aviary is only open from 1pm to sunset on Saturday and 7am to 1pm on Wednesday.
  • Climb Nashville & The Crag. Rock climbing is another great activity that allows kids to get some extra exercise while also building self-confidence as they try new things. Visit Climb Nashville or The Crag (both of which have locations throughout the city).

How Much Exercise Do Kids Need?

The American Heart Association recommends kids get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity every day. Regular physical activity can reduce risk of cardiovascular health issues, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health complications. Furthermore, increased levels of physical activity are associated with longer life span, as well as physical, social, and psychological benefits. Plus, exercise can be especially fun for kids!

Find a Doctor Near You In Nashville

Looking for a doctor for your child? Or the whole family? You can schedule an appointment with a St. Thomas Medical Group family medicine provider by calling +1 (615) 301-7040. You can also make your appointment online (both new and returning patients).