Author: ongtim

A bedtime to-do list could help you sleep better

A bedtime to-do list could help you sleep better

For better shut-eye, don’t count blessings or sheep at bedtime; take stock instead.

A small but intriguing study found that writing a to-do list before turning in helps people get to sleep faster.

The reason? The mental housekeeping “offloaded” worry about what’s upcoming, according to research in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

The study, led by Michael K. Scullin, Director of the Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory in Baylor University’s department of Psychology, involved a team of researchers following 57 student volunteers. Each volunteer spent one night sleeping in the lab.

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Drinking alcohol raises risk of cancer by snapping DNA, scientists find

Drinking alcohol raises risk of cancer by snapping DNA, scientists find

Drinking alcohol raises the risk of cancer by damaging DNA, scientists have discovered for the first time, leading health experts to call for people to cut down on their consumption.

Alcohol is contributes to more than 12,000 cases of cancer each year in Britain, but nobody had shown why it was so harmful.

Now a new study by the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University, has found that when the body processes alcohol it produces a chemical called acetaldehyde which is harmful to DNA.

The damage happens in blood stem cells, which create the red and white blood cells that carry oxygen through the body and help fight infections.

The researchers found that acetaldehyde snaps the DNA of stem cells, permanently altering the genetic code and triggering cancer.

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Eating fish may help you sleep better

Eating fish may help you sleep better

Forget warm milk. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania says that fish may be the key to a good night’s sleep.

The paper, published Thursday in Scientific Reports, found an association between regular fish consumption and high sleep quality among Chinese schoolchildren, likely thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Largely as a result of that improved sleep, the researchers found, the children also scored higher on IQ tests.

“There’s a relationship between fish consumption and higher cognitive functioning. What what we document here is that it’s the better sleep that explains the relationship,” says Adrian Raine, one of the paper’s authors and a professor of criminology, psychiatry and psychology at Penn. “From A to B to C: From fish consumption to better sleep to higher cognitive functioning.”

 The researchers asked 541 schoolchildren in China between ages 9 and 11 to describe their eating habits, including how often they ate fish. Their parents, meanwhile, were asked to answer questions about the kids’ sleep patterns. Researchers then administered IQ tests when the children turned 12.They found links between eating fish regularly — the more, the better — and both improved sleep and higher IQ scores. But, Raine explains, it appears that many of the cognitive benefits can be traced back to bedtime. “The brain is so much more plastic early on in child development,” he says. “We might anticipate that fish consumption earlier in life may be particularly beneficial for a child’s sleep and cognitive functioning.”

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Better sleep linked with higher omega-3 levels in new study

Better sleep linked with higher omega-3 levels in new study

Omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly derived from fish oils, including tuna and salmon, and they have been linked to numerous health benefits. But now, a new study suggests that having higher levels of omega-3 DHA is associated with better sleep.

The researchers, from the University of Oxford in the UK, have published results of their study in the Journal of Sleep Research.

They conducted their research in 362 children from the UK between the ages of 7 and 9 years old, who were not recruited based on sleep problems.

According to the study, sleep problems in children are associated with poor health and behavioral and cognitive problems, the same health issues associated with deficiencies of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

As such, the team investigated whether taking 600 mg supplements of omega-3 DHA would improve sleep.

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Sleep yourself slim: how an extra 90 mins in bed can stop sugar cravings

Sleep yourself slim: how an extra 90 mins in bed can stop sugar cravings

Spending an extra 90 minutes in bed may not seem like the obvious way to lose weight, but according to a new study, it could be the key to shedding excess pounds.

Scientists from King’s College London have discovered that people who sleep for longer are less likely to pick sugary treats, or reach for comforting carbohydrates.

Lack of sleep was already known to be a risk factor for obesity because it alters levels of hormones which control appetite.

But a new study showed that by getting more sleep, people naturally choose healthier foods within a week, eating on average 10 grams less sugar each day.

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Using glass to fix broken bones

Using glass to fix broken bones

Glass may not seem an obvious material for a bone replacement. But UK surgeons are finding that bioglass not only is stronger than bone: it can bend, bounce and even fight infection.

In 2002, Ian Thompson, a specialist in facial reconstruction at King’s College, London, received an urgent phone call. A patient in his late 20s had been struck by an out-of-control car mounting the pavement. The impact had sent him catapulting over the bonnet of the car, smashing his face and shattering the fragile orbital floor – the tiny bone, no more than 1mm thick, which holds the eyeball in place in the skull.

“Without the orbital floor, your eye moves backwards into the skull, almost as a defensive mechanism,” Thompson explains. “But this results in blurred vision and lack of focus. This patient had also lost the ability to perceive colour. His job involved rewiring aircraft and as he could no longer detect a red wire from a blue one, he’d barely been able to work in three years.”

The accident had happened three years earlier. Since then, surgeons had desperately tried to reconstruct the bony floor and push the eye back into position, first using material implants and then bone from the patient’s own rib. Both attempts had failed. Each time, infection set in after a few months, causing extreme pain. And now the doctors were out of ideas.

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Lifestyle changes might guard against dementia

Lifestyle changes might guard against dementia

Seek a good education. Control blood pressure and diabetes. Get off the couch. There are some hints, but no proof yet, that these and other lifestyle changes just might help stave off dementia.

A provocative report in the British journal Lancet Thursday raised the prospect that a third of dementia cases around the world could be delayed or even prevented by avoiding key risks starting in childhood that can make the brain more vulnerable to memory loss in old age.

A recent U.S. report was much more cautious, saying there are encouraging clues that a few lifestyle changes can bolster brain health and that more research is critical.

Still, it’s never too early to try, said Lancet lead author Gill Livingston, a psychiatry professor at University College London.

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Yoga and Meditation can change your genes, study shows

Yoga and Meditation can change your genes, study shows

Yoga and meditation may do more than just help you feel relaxed in the moment. A new scientific review suggests that these and other mindfulness exercises can actually reverse stress-related changes in genes linked to poor health and depression.

In the new paper, published in Frontiers in Immunology, British researchers analyzed the findings from 18 previously published studies—involving a total of 846 people—on the biological effects of meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, Qi gong and Tai Chi. Together, the authors say, the studies show that these mind-body exercises appear to suppress the expression of genes and genetic pathways that promote inflammation.

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Dying is a happier experience than most people imagine

Dying is a happier experience than most people imagine

Dying is a more positive experience than most people imagine, psychologists have claimed.

A recent YouGov survey found 68 per cent of people in Britain fear death – but according to the authors of new study, dying is “less sad and terrifying – and happier – than you think”.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina analysed blogs written by terminally ill patients and last words of prisoners on death row.

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This new gene therapy could help ‘turn-off’ asthma!

This new gene therapy could help ‘turn-off’ asthma!

Sydney: A new gene therapy has been developed by a team of researchers that could help to ‘turn-off’ the immune response which causes allergic reaction such as asthma, or potentially lethal food allergies.

Ray Steptoe, Associate Professor at the University of Queensland in Australia said,”When someone has an allergy or asthma flare-up, the symptoms they experience results from immune cells reacting to protein in the allergen.”

The study showed that the single treatment may give life-long protection from asthma as well as those who have severe allergies to peanuts, bee venom, shell fish and other substances by de-sensitising the immune system to tolerate the protein.

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