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3 To Do: Shells, sleep and posture

Marco Eagle
New exhibits at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The museum went through a six million dollar renovation which includes many more exhibits including aquariums and a touch tank..

1. Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

Now open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day, at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel with a new exhibit: Beyond Shells: The Mysterious World of Mollusks.

The exhibit consists of 11 aquariums home to giant clams, gastropods and a Giant Pacific Octopus. Admission is $23.95 for adults (18 and older), $21.95 for seniors, $14.95 youth (12 to 17) and students with their ID, $8.95 for children (5 to 11) and free to children younger than 5 and active military. Visitors who bike to the museum receive $1 off admission.

 Information: 239-395-2233, shellmuseum.org. 

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2. Get more sleep: Lack of makes people grumpy

Not getting enough sleep can kill your mood the morning after, Norwegian researchers report.

Welcome to the dreams of the COVID-19 pandemic — sleeping reveries or nightmares that tell of a static existence, or an uncertain existence, or an anxious existence, — or, of course, all of these.

“Not in the sense that we have more negative feelings, like being down or depressed,” said lead author Ingvild Saksvik-Lehouillier of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. “But participants in our study experienced a flattening of emotions when they slept less than normal. They felt less joy, enthusiasm, attention and fulfillment.”

For the study, 59 volunteers spent seven nights in their own beds and slept as long as they usually do. Next, they slept two hours less than normal for three nights.

The reaction time was faster after the participants had been sleep deprived, “but the error rate went up,” said Saksvik-Lehouillier, an associate professor of psychology. “It seems that we react more quickly to compensate for lower concentration. Then there’ll be more mistakes.”

The takeaway: It may be smart to avoid activities that require a high level of accuracy after a night of short sleep.

The study volunteers also answered questions about their emotions – both positive and negative.

The researchers didn’t find clear differences when it came to negative emotions, but positive feelings scored worse after just one night of reduced sleep and dropped even more after three nights.

A chiropractor can help realign the spine and improve posture.

3. Working from home? Posture, ergonomics can make it safe

If you’re working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic and expect to keep doing so, you need to be sure your work station is set up properly, an orthopedic specialist says.

You also need to take regular breaks to move around, according to Terrence McGee, a physical therapist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

In an office, many people have ergonomic support and opportunities for physical breaks. You might have walked to the water cooler or coffee machine, attended meetings or walked to co-workers’ desks, he noted in a university news release. To help you adapt to working at home, McGee has some suggestions to improve the safety and comfort of your workspace.

When sitting at your desk, rest your feet flat on the floor. Use a foot rest if the desk height can’t be adjusted.

Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, with a two-finger space between the back of the knees and the chair, and three to six inches of space between your thighs and the desk/keyboard.

Place a small pillow or towel roll behind you for lower back support, he suggested. Your head should be level, facing forward, and in line with your torso.

The top of your computer screen should be at or slightly below eye level. The screen itself should be 18 to 28 inches from your eyes, or at arm’s length. If you feel you need to bring your eyes closer to your screen, consider seeing an eye doctor for an eyeglass prescription, or make your screen’s text larger, McGee said.