Joel P. Sussman, M.D. FAAP
Clinical Director; Palmetto Associates for Scholastic Success (P.A.S.S.)
245 Business Park Boulevard                  Columbia, SC 29203           Phone:  (803) 462-1234



Life Style

Dr. Sussman believes that unless a person's life style is conducive to success, there is no medicine available which will overcome the bad habits to which people (especially Americans) have fallen victim. These include sleep schedules, diet, exercise and lack of exposure to sunlight.
People need anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. These hours should be during the night and not during the daylight hours. The daylight sleep will have a negative affect on the Circadian rhythm. The sleep should be calm and restless sleep will be shown by covers that are all over the bed when the person wakes up. In addition, the person should feel well rested after just a bit of awake time. If this is not the case, Dr. Sussman will offer some suggestions as to improve the sleep. 
People, especially children, tend to skip breakfast. A protein filled breakfast is essential for brain functioning. If the patient just will not sit down for a traditional "Grandma's breakfast", Dr. Sussman will suggest some alternative ideas to help them get some protein into them before going off to work or to school. The rest of the meals should be well balanced with appropriate amounts of fat, carbohydrates and protein. If the patients look like they are not growing or becoming obese, Lack of iron in the diet can also cause restless sleep and is part of the dopamine deficiency that can cause ADHD. Dr. Sussman routinely checks ferritin levels (iron storage substance) and corrects those that are low. Dr. Sussman has nutritionists to whom he refers. 
Many children and adults use technology for their spare time and often leave little other time to exercise.  While technology and video games are here to stay and could be beneficial in moderation, many patients do not have a good idea of limiting their use. These can cause agitation and anxiety at their worse and can cause many people to never exercise. The need for exercise for brain function has been shown by much scientific research.  Refer to the recommended reading list on this website. Dr. Sussman refers to physical trainers to help exercise started if the patients cannot start on their own. The technology time limits exposure to sunlight. This has caused a lot of people to never see the light of day. We routinely check Vitamin D levels and recommend supplemental Vitamin D3 for those who are low in this essential vitamin. Of course, a half hour to an hour of sunshine in the morning or late in the afternoon is encouraged as well.
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