Guest Nicole -
By Guest nicole
We know that a good night's sleep is important for our health for all kinds of reasons, but there's a new benefit to add to the list: avoiding dehydration.
A new study suggests that anything under six hours of slumber a night could leave our bodies less than adequately hydrated.
Researchers found that people who slept six hours a night had significantly more concentrated urine and a 16-59 percent higher chance of being dehydrated, compared with adults who were getting a regular eight hours of shut-eye.
And according to the team behind the study, feeling less than 100 percent when you wake up after insufficient sleep might be down to dehydration too, not just the lack of shuteye – so an early morning glass of water could make a big difference.
The researchers think their findings could be traced back to the way the body's hormonal system regulates hydration; they focussed on a hormone called vasopressin, which the body releases during the day and the night to manage fluid levels.
"Vasopressin is released both more quickly and later on in the sleep cycle," says one of the team, Asher Rosinger from Pennsylvania State University.
"So, if you're waking up earlier, you might miss that window in which more of the hormone is released, causing a disruption in the body's hydration."
So, vasopressin does a crucial job of making sure our bodies don't lose too much water while we're sleeping – in fact, it can actually pull water back into the body from our urine.
If we're not staying asleep long enough for the right amount of vasopressin to be released, that can have a knock-on effect.
The study analysed records of more than 25,000 adults in China and the US, who were asked about their sleeping habits and had urine samples taken to look for biomarkers linked to hydration.
Vasopressin in particular wasn't measured, but indicators of it (like the levels of water in pee) were.
It's worth noting that the study isn't enough to prove a causal link – that less sleep causes dehydration – but it does suggest some kind of biological relationship between the two.
If You're Sleeping 6 or Fewer Hours a Night, There's a Weird Health Effect We Didn't Expect
By Guest Nicole
As more and more people discuss mental health issues in public forums, it seems to be lifting some of the stigma surrounding the topic. New research reveals that the number of students seeking help for mental health problems has risen considerably between 2009 and 2015.
Anxiety, depression, and panic attacks are on the rise among U.S. college students, suggests a new study.
Sara Oswalt, from the University of Texas at San Antonio, is the lead author of the new study, which was published in the Journal of American College Health.
According to estimates that the scientists cite, around 26 percent of people aged 18 and above in the United States live with a mental health condition in any given year.
By Guest Nicole
Everyone likes a cheeky lie-in now and again on a weekend, but it comes with the annoying side-effect of guilt. Shouldn’t you be out doing more with your weekend?
Well, we’ve got good news. In a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, Swedish researchers found that having a lie-in could actually lower your mortality rate, if you’d been missing out on sleep during the week.
Previous research has found that adults under the age of 65 who sleep less than five hours each night of the week had a higher risk of death. But this study suggested that catching up on sleep over the weekend could alleviate that risk.
"The results imply that short (weekday) sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep," the researchers, led by Torbjörn Åkerstedt from Stockholm University, wrote in their paper.
By Guest Nicole
March 12, 2018
University of British Columbia
Therapy dog sessions for stressed-out students are an increasingly popular offering at North American universities. Now, new research confirms that some doggy one-on-one time really can do the trick of boosting student wellness.
Therapy dog sessions for stressed-out students are an increasingly popular offering at North American universities. Now, new research from the University of British Columbia confirms that some doggy one-on-one time really can do the trick of boosting student wellness.
"Therapy dog sessions are becoming more popular on university campuses, but there has been surprisingly little research on how much attending a single drop-in therapy dog session actually helps students," said Emma Ward-Griffin, the study's lead author and research assistant in the UBC department of psychology. "Our findings suggest that therapy dog sessions have a measurable, positive effect on the wellbeing of university students, particularly on stress reduction and feelings of negativity."
In research published today in Stress and Health, researchers surveyed 246 students before and after they spent time in a drop-in therapy dog session. Students were free to pet, cuddle and chat with seven to 12 canine companions during the sessions. They also filled out questionnaires immediately before and after the session, and again about 10 hours later.
The researchers found that participants reported significant reductions in stress as well as increased happiness and energy immediately following the session, compared to a control group of students who did not spend time at a therapy dog session. While feelings of happiness and life satisfaction did not appear to last, some effects did.
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180312085045.htm
By Guest Nicole
Chester Bennington's widow says that she was "completely surprised" by her husband's passing, explaining that she believed Chris Cornell's death only two months earlier would serve as a deterrent against suicide to the LINKIN PARK singer.
Chester was found dead on July 20, 2017 — on what would have been the 53rd birthday of his late friend and fellow rocker, SOUNDGARDEN frontman Chris Cornell.
After Cornell died in May 2017 as a result of suicide by hanging himself inside his Detroit hotel room, Chester wrote a letter thanking him for inspiring him and hoping he would find peace in "the next life."
On Wednesday (January 31), Talinda Bennington touched upon her tragic loss during an appearance at the Canadian Event Safety Summit, where she spoke with Anna Shinoda(wife of Mike Shinoda, who is also in LINKIN PARK) and Jim Digby (LINKIN PARK's production manager). The event focused on mental illness in the music industry, but much of the panel's discussion centered on life after Chester's death.
Talinda, who married Chester in 2005 and had three kids with the late singer, said (see video below): "[Chester and I] were both very emotionally unhealthy in our own different ways, and over our time together — we were together for 12 and a half years — we both grew. He struggled with addiction and depression, two things that I've never struggled with. Although I do have my own demons, I did have my hardships growing up, we just handled them in very different ways. So I came from a point of complete — for lack of a better term — ignorance to his situation. But over time, I came to learn that taking care of your mental health is as important as your physical health."
Read more: http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/chester-benningtons-widow-says-her-husbands-suicide-was-a-complete-surprise/
By Guest Nicole
Everyone knows that a dog is a man’s best friend, but a recently released Swedish study is giving that hackneyed saying a whole new meaning for men — and women — everywhere.
The study, published in Scientific Reports on Friday, found that dog ownership may really help you live longer.
The study tracked, over a period of 12 years, more than 3.4 million Swedish adults without a history of heart disease. Overall, the study concluded, dog ownership was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and "all-cause mortality" in the general population.
The effects of dog ownership were especially pronounced in single-person households, where the presence of a pet lowered the risk of death by 33 percent and chances of a heart attack by 11 percent.
The study linked ownership of breeds originally bred for hunting, including terriers and retrievers, with the lowest risk of CVD.
Read more: https://www.today.com/health/new-study-shows-owning-dog-lowers-risk-cardiovascular-disease-t119021
By Guest Nicole
(CNN)The benefits that come with owning a dog are clear-- physical activity, support, companionship -- but owning a dog could literally be saving your life
Dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and death, finds a new Swedish study published Friday in the journal Scientific Reports.
For people living alone, owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, when compared to single individuals without a pet, according to the study. Chances of a heart attack were also found to be 11% lower.
Multi-person household owners also saw benefits, though to a lesser extent. Risk of death among these dog owners fell by 11% and their chances of cardiovascular death were 15% lower. But their risk of a heart attack was not reduced by owning a dog.
Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/17/health/dog-owners-heart-disease-and-death/index.html
By Guest Nicole
Feeling blue? You can now ask Google for help.
The search giant wants people with depression to seek treatment and will prompt US users when they search for depression-related terms: “Check if you’re clinically depressed.”
Users will then be directed to a clinically validated questionnaire, called a PHQ-9, to measure their level of depression, Google explained on its blog. The questionnaire is not meant to replace a mental health professional.
Google — which partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to create the self-evaluation — hopes the confidential survey will spur more people to broach the subject with their doctor.
Read more: http://nypost.com/2017/08/24/google-will-now-ask-if-youre-depressed/
By Guest Nicole
In the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, many of the genes required to form new memories are shut down by a genetic blockade, contributing to the cognitive decline seen in those patients.
MIT researchers have now shown that they can reverse that memory loss in mice by interfering with the enzyme that forms the blockade. The enzyme, known as HDAC2, turns genes off by condensing them so tightly that they can’t be expressed.
For several years, scientists and pharmaceutical companies have been trying to develop drugs that block this enzyme, but most of these drugs also block other members of the HDAC family, which can lead to toxic side effects. The MIT team has now found a way to precisely target HDAC2, by blocking its interaction with a binding partner called Sp3.
“This is exciting because for the first time we have found a specific mechanism by which HDAC2 regulates synaptic gene expression,” says Li-Huei Tsai, director of MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the study’s senior author.
Blocking that mechanism could offer a new way to treat memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients. In this study, the researchers used a large protein fragment to interfere with HDAC-2, but they plan to seek smaller molecules that would be easier to deploy as drugs.
Picower Institute postdocs Hidekuni Yamakawa, Jemmie Cheng, and Jay Penney are the lead authors of the study, which appears in the Aug. 8 edition of Cell Reports.
Read more: http://news.mit.edu/2017/blocking-key-enzyme-may-reverse-memory-loss-0808
By Guest Nicole
The age at which a male first sees pornography is associated with certain sexist attitudes later in life, according to a team of researchers from the University of Nebraska.
Their survey revealed the younger the first viewing occurred, the more likely a male was to want power over women.
While if they were older, they were more likely to be sexually promiscuous.
Of the 330 undergraduates surveyed, with a median age of 20, the average age they first saw pornography was 13.
The youngest was only five, while the oldest was 26.
The unpublished findings were presented at a convention in Washington.
Lead researcher Alyssa Bischmann and her team asked the men, the vast majority of whom were heterosexual and white, when they first saw porn and whether it was intentional, accidental or forced.
They were then asked 46 questions which measured how they conformed to one of two behavioural traits - seeking power over women or sexually promiscuous behaviour and living a playboy lifestyle.
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40814082
By Guest Nicole
The scientific consensus is clear: we need more sleep. Our bodies and brains rely on getting sufficient shuteye, and cutting ourselves short deals a compounding blow to our health. A new study adds to the argument by showing that sleeping too little correlates with a bigger waistline and higher body mass index (BMI), among other negatives.
The study of 1,615 adults found that people who slept an average of six hours a night had a waist circumference three centimeters larger than those who slept nine hours a night (that’s about 1.18 inches). The short sleepers also had a higher BMI on average and lower HDL cholesterol (the so-called “good cholesterol” number that ideally should be higher).
Participants had blood samples taken and their waist circumference, weight and blood pressure recorded. Sleep times fell into three categories: average of about six hours, average of about 7.5 hours and average of about nine hours. Across the board, the six-hour group had worse outcomes than the other two groups.
Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2017/07/30/shorting-yourself-on-sleep-could-be-adding-to-your-waistline/#3f91a3fde067
By Guest Nicole
At an office for Healthy Minds in High Wycombe, England, psychological well-being practitioners perform hourlong evaluations over the phone to decide what type of therapy is most appropriate for people who call asking for help. CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times
LONDON — England is in the midst of a unique national experiment, the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses.
The rapidly growing initiative, which has gotten little publicity outside the country, offers virtually open-ended talk therapy free of charge at clinics throughout the country: in remote farming villages, industrial suburbs, isolated immigrant communities and high-end enclaves. The goal is to eventually create a system of primary care for mental health not just for England but for all of Britain.
At a time when many nations are debating large-scale reforms to mental health care, researchers and policy makers are looking hard at England’s experience, sizing up both its popularity and its limitations. Mental health care systems vary widely across the Western world, but none have gone nearly so far to provide open-ended access to talk therapies backed by hard evidence. Experts say the English program is the first broad real-world test of treatments that have been studied mostly in carefully controlled lab conditions.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/24/health/england-mental-health-treatment-therapy.html
By Guest Nicole
June 6, 2017
Michigan State University
The power of friendship gets stronger with age and may even be more important than family relationships, indicates new research.
The power of friendship gets stronger with age and may even be more important than family relationships, indicates new research by a Michigan State University scholar.In a pair of studies involving nearly 280,000 people, William Chopik found that friendships become increasingly important to one’s happiness and health across the lifespan. Not only that, but in older adults, friendships are actually a stronger predictor of health and happiness than relationships with family members.“Friendships become even more important as we age,” said Chopik, assistant professor of psychology. “Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest.”
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170606090936.htm
By Guest Nicole
As the Harvard Women’s Health Watch reported, “Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”
In a study of 7,000 men and women in Alameda County, Calif., begun in 1965, Lisa F. Berkman and S. Leonard Syme found that “people who were disconnected from others were roughly three times more likely to die during the nine-year study than people with strong social ties,” John Robbins recounted in his marvelous book on health and longevity, “Healthy at 100.”
This major difference in survival occurred regardless of people’s age, gender, health practices or physical health status. In fact, the researchers found that “those with close social ties and unhealthful lifestyles (such as smoking, obesity and lack of exercise) actually lived longer than those with poor social ties but more healthful living habits,” Mr. Robbins wrote. However, he quickly added, “Needless to say, people with both healthful lifestyles and close social ties lived the longest of all.”
In another study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1984, researchers at the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York found that among 2,320 men who had survived a heart attack, those with strong connections with other people had only a quarter the risk of death within the following three years as those who lacked social connectedness.
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center also found that social ties can reduce deaths among people with serious medical conditions. Beverly H. Brummett and colleagues reported in 2001 that among adults with coronary artery disease, the mortality rate was 2.4 times higher among those who were socially isolated.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/well/live/having-friends-is-good-for-you.html?_r=1
By Guest Nicole
People sleep in a park during hot weather in Dhaka, Bangladesh. CreditAbir Abdullah/European Pressphoto Agency
Global warming caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases is having clear effects in the physical world: more heat waves, heavier rainstorms and higher sea levels, to cite a few.
In recent years, though, social scientists have been wrestling with a murkier question: What will climate change mean for human welfare?
Forecasts in this realm are tricky, necessarily based on a long chain of assumptions. Scientific papers have predicted effects as varied as a greater spread of tropical diseases, fewer deaths from cold weather and more from hot weather, and even bumpier rides on airplanes.
Now comes another entry in this literature: a prediction that in a hotter world, people will get less sleep.
By Guest Nicole
Some nights, it’s like you can’t get your brain to shut up long enough for you to fall asleep. You’re mentally reviewing the day you just completed while also previewing the day ahead; sometimes, your mind may even reach way back into the archives and pull up something embarrassing you did back in high school. So fun!
Racing thoughts can be a sign of a serious mental health condition like anxiety. But these nights also happen to everyone from time to time — and once we’re too old for bedtime stories, it’s not always clear what to do. There’s no one solution that will work for everybody, of course, so instead, we’ve rounded up suggestions from eight sleep experts. At the very least, it’s something to read next time you can’t sleep.
Distract yourself with meaningless mental lists.
“The absolute prerequisite for sleep is a quiet mind. Think of something else, rather than what’s worrying you — something with a story to it. It can be anything of interest, but of no importance, so you can devote some brain energy to it without clashing into the real world and going straight back to your worries. I fly a lot, so I imagine I have my own private jet and how would I arrange the furniture on it. If you’re someone who likes going to music festivals, what would your lineup be?” — Neil Stanley, sleep expert
Try to stay awake instead.
“Thinking about sleep and wishing for it to happen is a recipe for staying awake. This is where paradoxical thinking comes in. If you give yourself the paradoxical instruction to stay awake instead, you’ll be more likely to fall asleep. If you can be comfortable with the idea of remaining awake, then the performance anxiety and frustration that are associated with trying to sleep have nowhere to go and your arousal level drops.” — Colin Espie, professor of sleep medicine at the University of Oxford
Or just get out of bed.
“If 20 minutes has gone by as the mind races and is unable to relax back to sleep, it’s best to get out of bed. Without looking at your phone or any other screen devices, go to another dimly lit room where you keep a notebook. Write down the thoughts that are keeping you awake. Finish with the words, ‘It can wait until tomorrow.’ Then, go back to bed, focus on the breath, and mindfully relax into those words, giving yourself permission to yield to sleep.”— Jenni June, sleep consultant
Write down whatever’s freaking you out.
“Spend a maximum of 20 minutes just getting everything out of your head and onto paper every day. It’s a therapeutic way to see that you probably don’t have loads to worry about, rather just a few reoccurring things. You can then see which worries are hypothetical (i.e., what if I make a mistake at work and lose my job) or ‘real’ worries (e.g., I made a mistake and have lost my job). For the real worries you can then make an action plan/problem-solve and for the hypothetical ones, learn to let them go.” — Kathryn Pinkham, National Health Services insomnia specialist
Get back in bed and do some deep breathing.
“Deep breathing … acts as a powerful distraction technique, particularly if paired with counting. You want to aim to breathe out for longer than you breathe in, and pause after breathing in and out; so you might choose to count for three when you breathe in, then pause and count to five when you breathe out, then pause. Really focus on your breathing and counting, and if your mind wanders off, just take note of that and return your attention to the exercise. You may need to do this for ten minutes or so.” — Christabel Majendie, sleep therapist
Try not to try so hard.
“Try not to struggle or ‘try harder’ to overcome the sleeplessness or get rid of unwanted thoughts, as this can worsen insomnia. One successful approach to overcome this negative cycle is to instead learn to observe and accept these struggles, using mindfulness strategies to help.” — Jenny Stephenson, director of HappySleepers
Or maybe plan how you’ll get some sun in the a.m.
“Getting more sun exposure in the midmorning can help readjust the brain’s internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep later that night. In my book, I write about how sun exposure is now a key part of many professional athletes’ travel schedules, and seen as a way of preventing jet lag. Non-athletes can do similar things. Someone who can’t seem to fall asleep at night may want to try getting as much exposure to natural light in the morning, essentially prepping themselves to fall asleep when they want to.” — David K. Randall, author of Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep
And if all else fails …
“The great era of tinkering with sleep aids was popular in early modern Europe. Here are a few of my favorites:
• Put some blood-sucking leeches behind your ears. When they bore holes in the skin, pull them out and place a grain of opium in each hole. (From 16th-century French physician André du Laurens.)
• Kill a sheep, and then press its steaming lungs on either side of the head. Keep the lungs in place as long as they remain warm. (From 16th-century French surgeon Ambroise Paré.)
• After the evening meal, eat lettuce, drink wine, and rub an ointment made of the oil of violets or camphor on the temples. Dissolve a mixture of poppy seeds, lettuce seeds, balsam, saffron, and sugar and cook it in poppy juice. Then listen to pleasant music and lie down on a bed covered with the leaves of fresh, cool plants. (From 15th-century philosopher Marsilio Ficino.)” — Benjamin Reiss, author of Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World
By Guest Nicole
Dance your heart out
"As a model, it's my job to know my angles and my body for posing for the camera," Lee told Self magazine. "But saying affirmations and dancing in the mirror has become part of my self-care routine. Dancing in general makes me feel present and alive, but adding in positive sayings to myself makes me feel empowered and puts you in the right place mentally and emotionally before you leave your home." —Precious Lee
"The best way I know for sure to stay in steady makeover mode is to take care of yourself," Oprah Winfrey wrote in an issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. "To feed yourself with love and loving thoughts. To eat food that's delicious to you and to your body. To engage in loving practices, like giving yourself the gift of stillness at least five minutes a day. To surround yourself with people who bring you light, and to banish all forms of negative energy." —Oprah Winfrey
Make your body happy
"I mostly go for hourlong hikes with friends," Kristen Bell said to Self magazine, "but sometimes, I'll do Pilates or 20 minutes of calisthenics…I go through spurts. Working out for me has nothing to do with body image. I refuse to look in the mirror and hate myself. My goal isn't to change my body—it's to make my body happy." —Kristen Bell
Find joy in the little things
"You can't look to…anything from the outside to fill you up," Jennifer Garner told O, The Oprah Magazine. "You have to find it in the small things in everyday life—which I do a million times a day: a hot cup of tea, a hummingbird. Stop, take that in, receive it, get joy from it." —Jennifer Garner
As Lily Collins explained to Seventeen magazine, "It's important to relate to one another about issues that you're having, because the second you open up and someone else says, 'Oh, me too. I feel the same way,' then all of a sudden, you feel more at peace with yourself and you can feel more confident with who you are." —Lily Collins
Take a hiatus
At the end of last summer, Selena Gomez announced she was taking time off for herself. "I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness," she explained in a statement. It was later reported, that she checked into a Tennessee rehab facility to make her mental wellness top priority. Gomez's vocal support for self-care marked a shift in the collective dialogue, homing in on the need to take time for ourselves. —Selena Gomez
Carve quality time with your kids
"If I make my kids something delicious and we sit down to eat it, and I put my phone away and I really listen, that is such money in the bank," 43-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow told Self. Balancing a career with motherhood isn't easy for anyone, but it's a juggling act Paltrow has come to relish. "It's a fantastic age," she says, of being 44. "You can still find yourself at a party at 3 a.m., but you also know enough about who you are and how that informs the choices you make." —Gwyneth Paltrow
Purpose, not perfection
"It's really about changing the conversation. It's not about perfection. It's about purpose," the singing sensation told Elle U.K. "We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them. Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health—take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself." —Beyoncé
Food is fuel
"Getting busy and realizing that food was fuel and simply getting older," said Lena Dunham in People was the key to body acceptance. "I really feel good with my size now," she said. "I know when I say that people are like, 'mm-hmm,' but I just do! It used to be when I went into a room with all thin women I felt like, what's wrong with me? Now I just feel special." —Lena Dunham
By Guest Nicole
Being mistreated at work can make people take out their frustrations on loved ones at home. But a new study suggests that getting more exercise and sleep may help people better cope with those negative emotions by leaving them at work, where they belong.
People who burned more calories on a daily basis—by doing the equivalent of a long walk or swim—were less likely to take out their anger about work issues on people they lived with, the researchers found in the new study, which was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
The researchers used activity trackers to record sleep patterns and physical activity of 118 graduate students with full-time jobs. Each participant, and one person he or she lived with, also completed surveys about sleep, exercise and feelings of mistreatment at home or work.
Previous research shows that employees who are belittled or insulted by colleagues are likely to vent their frustrations and behave angrily toward people outside of work, says study co-author Shannon Taylor, a management professor at the University of Central Florida's College of Business.
The new study backs up this idea, but offers a bit of good news, as well: Employees who averaged more than 10,500 steps a day or burned at least 2,100 calories were less likely to mistreat their cohabitants than those who averaged fewer steps or burned fewer calories.
The researchers even calculated the exact energy expenditure needed to protect against work-to-home emotional spillover. Burning an additional 587 calories, the equivalent of a 90-minute brisk walk or an hour-long swim for a 195-pound male, can “substantially reduce the harmful effects of workplace undermining,” they wrote.
The findings also revealed that when employees felt they had a bad night’s sleep because of work issues, they were more likely to be grouchy at home. “When you’re tired, you’re either less able or less motivated to regulate yourself,” says co-author Larissa Barber, professor of psychology at Northern Illinois University.
Physical activity seems to counterbalance poor sleep, Barber says, because it promotes healthy brain functions needed to properly regulate emotions and behavior. “This study suggests that high amounts of exercise can be at least one way to compensate for sleep troubles that lead to negative behaviors at home,” she says.
Barber acknowledges that finding time to work out and get a full night’s sleep can be difficult when work pressures are mounting—and that often, job stress can directly relate to sleep quality. (Her previous research suggests that not only can a bad day at the office keep us up at night, but that poor sleep can also affect how we interpret events at work.)
But, she says, making the effort to burn some extra calories—and blow off some steam—can be worth it. It’s not only good for you, says Taylor, but it can benefit the people you live with as well.
“I would advise people to think of sleep and exercise from an investment perspective rather than another task on the to-do list,” Barber says. “It may seem like more work upfront, but the boost in motivation and energy can help you avoid sinking deeper into workplace stress and productivity problems.”
By Guest Nicole
January 16, 2017
Taylor & Francis
One in five young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing.
1 in 5 young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media, according to new research published today in the Journal of Youth Studies. This night-time activity is making teenagers three times more likely to feel constantly tired at school than their peers who do not log on at night, and could be affecting their happiness and wellbeing.
Over 900 pupils, aged between 12-15 years, were recruited and asked to complete a questionnaire about how often they woke up at night to use social media and times of going to bed and waking. They were also asked about how happy they were with various aspects of their life including school life, friendships and appearance.
1 in 5 reported 'almost always' waking up to log on, with girls much more likely to access their social media accounts during the night than boys. Those who woke up to use social media nearly every night, or who didn't wake up at a regular time in the morning, were around three times as likely to say they were constantly tired at school compared to their peers who never log on at night or wake up at the same time every day. Moreover, pupils who said they were always tired at school were, on average, significantly less happy than other young people.
"Our research shows that a small but significant number of children and young people say that they often go to school feeling tired -- and these are the same young people who also have the lowest levels of wellbeing. One in five young people questioned woke up every night and over one third wake-up at least once a week to check for messages. Use of social media appears to be invading the 'sanctuary' of the bedroom." Said author Professor Sally Power, Co-Director (Cardiff) Wales Institute for Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD).
The study findings support growing concerns about young people's night-time use of social media. However, because of the complex range of possible explanations for tiredness at school, further larger studies will be needed before any firm conclusions can be made about the social causes and consequences of sleep deprivation among today's youth.
By Guest Nicole
December 13, 2016
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A study of older adults links consumption of a pigment found in leafy greens to the preservation of 'crystallized intelligence,' the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime.
Lutein helps with the preservation of “crystallized intelligence" and is acquire through the diet, primarily through eating leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, or egg yolks.
Credit: © nyul / Fotolia
A study of older adults links consumption of a pigment found in leafy greens to the preservation of "crystallized intelligence," the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime.
The study is reported in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Lutein (LOO-teen) is one of several plant pigments that humans acquire through the diet, primarily by eating leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, or egg yolks, said University of Illinois graduate student Marta Zamroziewicz, who led the study with Illinois psychology professor Aron Barbey. Lutein accumulates in the brain, embedding in cell membranes, where it likely plays "a neuroprotective role," she said.
"Previous studies have found that a person's lutein status is linked to cognitive performance across the lifespan," Zamroziewicz said. "Research also shows that lutein accumulates in the gray matter of brain regions known to underlie the preservation of cognitive function in healthy brain aging."
The study enrolled 122 healthy participants aged 65 to 75 who solved problems and answered questions on a standard test of crystallized intelligence. Researchers also collected blood samples to determine blood serum levels of lutein and imaged participants' brains using MRI to measure the volume of different brain structures.
The team focused on parts of the temporal cortex, a brain region that other studies suggest plays a role in the preservation of crystallized intelligence.
The researchers found that participants with higher blood serum levels of lutein tended to do better on tests of crystallized intelligence. Serum lutein levels reflect only recent dietary intakes, Zamroziewicz said, but are associated with brain concentrations of lutein in older adults, which reflect long-term dietary intake.
Those with higher serum lutein levels also tended to have thicker gray matter in the parahippocampal cortex, a brain region that, like crystallized intelligence, is preserved in healthy aging, the researchers report.
"Our analyses revealed that gray-matter volume of the parahippocampal cortex on the right side of the brain accounts for the relationship between lutein and crystallized intelligence," Barbey said. "This offers the first clue as to which brain regions specifically play a role in the preservation of crystallized intelligence, and how factors such as diet may contribute to that relationship."
"Our findings do not demonstrate causality," Zamroziewicz said. "We did find that lutein is linked to crystallized intelligence through the parahippocampal cortex."
"We can only hypothesize at this point how lutein in the diet affects brain structure," Barbey said. "It may be that it plays an anti-inflammatory role or aids in cell-to-cell signaling. But our finding adds to the evidence suggesting that particular nutrients slow age-related declines in cognition by influencing specific features of brain aging."
Materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Original written by Diana Yates. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Marta K. Zamroziewicz, Erick J. Paul, Chris E. Zwilling, Elizabeth J. Johnson, Matthew J. Kuchan, Neal J. Cohen, Aron K. Barbey. Parahippocampal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Lutein and Crystallized Intelligence in Healthy, Older Adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2016; 8 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00297
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Alexandria, VA—For the third year in a row, Mental Health America (MHA) released its annual State of Mental Health Report, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on several mental health and access measures. The results show a country that is indeed more insured, but still falling dramatically short in meeting the needs of those with mental health concerns.
Health care reform has reduced the rates of uninsured adults with mental health conditions—19 percent remain uninsured in states that did not expand Medicaid, 13 percent remain uninsured in states that did expand Medicaid. Over 40 million Americans are dealing with a mental health concern—more than the populations of New York and Florida combined. There are over 1.2 million people currently residing in prisons and/or jails with a mental health condition and lack of access to mental health care is linked with higher rates of incarceration. 56 percent of adults still don’t receive treatment. Youth mental health problems are on the rise, and 6 out of 10 young people with major depression do not receive ANY mental health treatment. In states with the lowest workforce, there’s only 1 mental health professional per 1,000 individuals—that includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors and psychiatric nurses combined. In the overall rankings, Connecticut came out as #1, while Nevada landed at #51. “Once again, our report shows that too many Americans are suffering, and far too many are not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, Mental Health America. “Mental illness touches everyone. We must improve access to care and treatments, and we need to put a premium on early identification and early intervention for everyone with mental health concerns.”
In developing the report, MHA looked at 15 different measures to determine the rankings. MHA hoped to provide a snapshot of mental health status among youth and adults for policy and program planning, analysis, and evaluation; to track changes in prevalence of mental health issues and access to mental health care; to understand how changes in national data reflect the impact of legislation and policies; and to increase the dialogues and improve outcomes for individuals and families with mental health needs.
“This is ultimately about policy decisions we make. It isn’t just about what states are red and what states are blue,” Gionfriddo added, “because there are some of each near the top and the bottom. But political environments in states do seem to matter. Those that invest more in mental health clearly have to throw away less money on jails and prisons.
“It’s time to act—we must invest in the overall physical and mental well-being of our citizens—every day,” concluded Gionfriddo. “We must address these mental health concerns before crisis and tragedy strikes—before Stage 4.”
By Guest Nicole
Start Your Day With an Omega-Rich Breakfast
Want to sleep well? Start your day with omega-3s! These healthy fats lower anxiety and help your body produce the hormones you need to sleep at night. Get your daily dose by adding a couple tablespoons of chia seeds, flaxseeds orwalnuts to your breakfast. Aim for 600 mg or about four tablespoons of flaxseeds a day.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Coffee is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, but drinking it in the afternoon can wreak havoc on your sleep. While a little caffeine is good for you, it can linger in your system for hours and keep you up long after your last cup. Protect your sleep by avoiding caffeinated drinks after 2 p.m.
Set a Kitchen Curfew
While heavy meals and alcohol close to bedtime may make you feel drowsy, they actually undermine your sleep by stimulating you late at night. Instead of snoozing soundly, you'll wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time getting back to sleep. Avoid this by setting a kitchen curfew! Close the kitchen at 7 p.m. and stop snacking.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
Research shows that insomniacs have a warmer core body temperature than normal sleepers. You can’t maintain your sleep if you’re too hot, so cool down by keeping your bedroom between 65 and 67 degrees.
Replace Pills with Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Skip sleeping pills! While they may seem like a smart idea at the time, they can cause dependency, prolonged drowsiness and overeating. Instead, opt for an all-natural sleep-better solution: progressive muscle relaxation. Systematically tensing and relaxing your muscles signals to your brain it's time to go to sleep and helps distract you from anxieties that may be keeping you up. For beginners, try listening to this guided muscle relaxation from sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus.
By Guest Nicole
Do you see what I see? Not necessarily with these optical illusions! When you look at an image, your brain takes that information into perception. Sometimes, an image can trick the brain into perceiving it differently from what the picture actually is, creating an optical illusion.
Take a look at the following 10 images to find out if you can see the two images masking as one.
Is It a Man Playing a Horn or Woman’s Face?
When you stare at this black and white image, do you see woman’s face with hair on the right side of it or a man playing a horn? If you can’t see the man, look at the black shape. See him now?
Is It a Rabbit or a Duck?
If you look at this image one way, the two rectangular shapes on the left could be a duck’s bill. But if you look at it another way, those shapes might appear to you as a pair of rabbit ears.
Do You See One Face or Two?
When staring at this image, you might see two silhouettes facing each other. Look again and you may just see one face staring at a candlestick.
Do You See a Stream or People?
Some people may see a rushing stream going down a mountain in this picture, but if you take a closer look at that stream, you may see it as people wearing white robes. What do you see?
Is It a Frog or Horse?
At first glance, this image may just look like an illustration of a horse. However, if you tilt your head to the left you might see a frog sitting on a lily pad instead.
Is It a Vase or Two Faces?
In this popular optical illusion you might see a vase. Another person might look at it and see two silhouettes of faces. Do you see how the curves of the vase could form the shape of a face and vice versa?
Do You See an Old Man, an Old Woman, or a Girl?
Your eye might show you one, two or even three different images in this complex optical illusion. Do you see the large nose and mustache of a man who is wearing a hat? Perhaps you see the young girl wearing a hat who is looking away on her left. Or, you might see the old woman, also wearing a hat, who is facing to the left.
Are the Circles Intertwining or Concentric?
Do these circles look like they’re intertwining to you? Now, take another look and try to pinpoint the locations in which the circles meet. If you can’t find them, don’t worry. These circles are actual concentric and only have the illusion of intertwining with one another.
Are the Circles Moving?
Staring still at this image will show you two stationary circles with a black dot in the middle of the inner circle. Stare at the dot, but start moving your head closer to the image, and then pull it away. Did you see the circles move?
Do You See an Elderly Man and Woman or a Young Man and Woman?
When you look at this image do you see two elderly people gazing at each other? If not, you might see two people wearing sombreros while sitting down set against a larger scene. The man is playing the guitar. These people’s bodies make out the silhouettes of the elderly couple’s faces.
By Guest Nicole
New research suggests troubling links between job dissatisfaction and physical and mental health troubles.
You know that saying, "This job may be hazardous to your health?" Those words, according to a recent study, might not solely apply to careers spent around toxic waste or malfunctioning equipment—they could very well describe any career that’s leaving you unsatisfied.
Ohio State University (OSU) surveyed workers between 25 and 39 about both their job satisfaction and physical and mental health (building off a study from the ’70s), and found that those who expressed lower levels of fulfillment in their career were more likely to also report issues like depression or sleep difficulty.
Maybe that’s not too surprising: If you’re not happy at work, your emotional well-being is bound to take a hit. But the results suggest that the effects may go further: Those with low satisfaction throughout their careers were also more likely to be diagnosed with emotional issues, the study says, and tend to worry excessively.
Even your physical health can take a toll: Unsatisfied workers were more likely to report back pain, for instance, and also claimed to become ill with greater regularity than respondents who said they were content in their career.
"The higher levels of mental health problems for those with low job satisfaction may be a precursor to future physical problems," Hui Zheng, a sociology professor at OSU and author of the study, said in a statement. "Increased anxiety and depression could lead to cardiovascular or other health problems that won’t show up until they are older."
Though there’s no way to predict or guarantee how you’ll eventually feel about a given job, OSU’s study should serve as a wakeup call for job seekers. Take a close look at an employer’s workplace culture, whether you’re reading reviews on Kununu or simply observing your surroundings when you come onsite for an interview. Do people seem happy to be working there? It’s not a trivial question.
Of course, it also helps to have a short list of fields where workers love what they do. A recent survey conducted by Monster and social media analytics firm Brandwatch included just that, identifying which industries tended to employ people who love their jobs. Travel, education, and media all ranked highly—but location counts, too. According to the survey, workers in low-population states like Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota were more likely to express job satisfaction.
And if you’re still worried about your job potentially affecting your mental health, we’ve got good news: Another study ranked numerous careers by their likeliness tosafeguard your brain against Alzheimer’s disease. They key element? Working closely with other people: Physicians, lawyers, and speech pathologists were among the highest-ranking roles.
By Guest Nicole
FRIDAY, Aug. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Couch potatoes have a higher risk of developing dementia in old age, a new study reports.
Seniors who get little to no exercise have a 50 percent greater risk of dementia compared with those who regularly take part in moderate or heavy amounts of physical activity, the researchers found.
Moderate physical activity can include walking briskly, bicycling slower than 10 miles an hour, ballroom dancing or gardening, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It doesn't require intensive physical activity to decrease risk of dementia," said senior researcher Dr. Zaldy Tan. He is medical director of the Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program at University of California, Los Angeles. "Even moderate amounts are fine."
Study participants aged 75 or older gained the most protective benefit from exercise against the onset of dementia, the findings showed.
"The message here is that you're never too old to exercise and gain benefit from it," Tan said. "These patients derive the most benefit from exercise because they are the ones who are at the age of greatest risk for dementia."
Brain scans of participants showed those who exercise are better able to withstand the effects of aging on the brain, the study authors said.
With age, the brain tends to shrink. But people who regularly exercised tended to have larger brain volumes than those who were sedentary, Tan and his colleagues found.
The new study involved about 3,700 participants in the Framingham Heart Study, a federally funded health research project begun in 1948. All were 60 and older.
Researchers measured how often the participants exercised, and tracked them over a decade. During the study, 236 people developed dementia.
To see how physical activity might have affected dementia risk, the researchers broke the study population down into fifths that ranged from sedentary to highly active.
The one-fifth containing the most sedentary people were 50 percent more likely to develop dementia than the other four-fifths, the investigators found. In other words, even a little exercise helped.
The research team also compared physical activity to brain scans taken of about 2,000 study participants, and found a direct connection between exercise and brain size as people aged. Those who worked out had more total brain volume.
There are several theories why exercise might help brain health. Increased blood flow caused by physical activity might "beef up" the brain, increasing its volume and promoting the growth of additional neurons, said Dr. Malaz Boustani. He is research director of the Healthy Aging Brain Center at the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and a spokesman for the American Federation for Aging Research.
"Physical exercise might end up leading to increased density of the connections between the neurons and create alternative pathways for signals" that might otherwise be impeded due to age-related brain shrinkage, he added.
Boustani likened this process to a street system in a city. The more alternative routes are available to drivers, the less likely it is that a blockage on one street will lead to a city-wide traffic jam.
Exercise also promotes secretion of helpful brain chemicals such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Tan explained that "BDNF actually encourages the growth of new neurons, and the preservation of those we already have."
Heather Snyder, senior director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer's Association, said that the true answer is likely a combination of factors related to exercise.
"It's likely there are multiple benefits, and they all funnel together," Snyder said.
According to Boustani, these results support other studies that have shown an association between exercise and protection against dementia, but clinical trials aimed at proving a definite link have so far been disappointing.
"When we take it to the next step and start doing experiments, randomizing patients to physical exercise versus no physical exercise and see if that will protect their brain, the story becomes a little bit muddy and unclear," he said.
Regardless, Boustani said he prescribes moderate intensity physical exercise to his patients as one way to preserve their brain health -- 5,000 steps a day for about a month, increasing to 10,000 steps over time.
"Given that there's no harm, and there's a possible benefit to the brain that hasn't been fully explained, I work with my patients and their families to help improve their physical activity," he said.
The findings were published online recently in Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
Depression is more than just a fleeting downer. We all have downers but they usually short lived. However, when a downer lasts several weeks, it is likely that a person has clinical depression. One's perception of themselves, others and their environment becomes noticeably negative and it can be very hard for a person to lift themselves out of the mire. Telling them to snap out of it, or that it is temporary often has the reverse effect desired. Often just a very patient listening ear is the best treatment that I've found with friends who suffer from depression. What do you think depression is? How do think it should be viewed? What do you think can help a person recover?
Mental health is the term used to describe the norm for society as to thinking and behaviour. When a person is mentally ill they may think or behave in a way that is not a widely accepted way to think or behave and thus concerns may rise regarding their mental health. Do you agree with this definition or do you have one of your own? Please share your views.
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