Category Archives: circadian cycles

Sleep loss linked to late time snacking, junk food cravings, obesity, diabetes

Nighttime snacking and junk food cravings may contribute to unhealthy eating behaviors and represent a potential link between poor sleep and obesity, according to the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

Nighttime snacking and junk food cravings may contribute to unhealthy eating behaviors and represent a potential link between poor sleep and obesity, a study by University of Arizona Health Sciences sleep researchers stated.

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Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

The study was conducted via a nationwide, phone-based survey of 3,105 adults from 23 U.S. metropolitan areas. Participants were asked if they regularly consumed a nighttime snack and whether lack of sleep led them to crave junk food. They also were asked about their sleep quality and existing health problems. Continue reading

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Filed under circadian cycles, diabetes, good night's sleep, junk food, obesity, sleep, sleep deprivation, Snacking

Why and How You Can Improve Your Sleep Habits – Harvard

I have been writing about the importance of a good night’s sleep for some years. It restores the brain, recharges the body and often clears up conflicts overnight. Now comes Harvard with further guidance on this critical life experience. With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, sleep habits are very relevant.

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Dr. Anthony Komaroff, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Publications, writes, “A good night’s sleep is essential for your health and well-being. Getting too little sleep can cause numerous problems. Lack of sleep not only affects alertness and energy, but it weakens your body’s defenses against infection, increases anxiety, and boosts your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s also a safety issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that 1 in 24 adults say they have recently fallen asleep while driving.

“Sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages. If you are one of them, Improving Sleep is an instructive and fact-filled report from Harvard Medical School that explains why sleep often eludes us as adults. You’ll read about the habits and conditions that get in the way of peaceful slumber. Most important, you’ll learn what you can do to again enjoy the satisfaction of a restful night’s sleep.

“The report details what triggers insomnia and how new techniques and therapies are helping men and women get to sleep more quickly — without the use of medications. The report will tell you how to overcome the “early-to-bed-early-to-rise” syndrome, how to control the need to urinate at night, how to tame restless leg syndrome, and seven things you should do — and not do — before going to bed.

“Do you or your spouse snore? There are hundreds of devices marketed as aids to stop snoring. But do any work? The report sorts them out and updates you on new procedures that can restore quiet to the bedroom. Could your snoring be sleep apnea? The report includes a six-question test that will help you determine if you need to be tested for this health-threatening condition.

“Ever wondered why we remember so little of our dreams? Why “night owls” are the way they are? Or what’s the best time for a nap — and how long should it be? The report answers these questions and many others. Plus, you’ll read the truth about the connection between Ambien and sleep walking (and sleep eating!), which over-the-counter sleeping aids are safest, five ways to avoid jet lag, and more.”

Tony

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Filed under aging, baby boomers, Centers for Disease Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, circadian cycles, happiness, Harvard, harvard health letter, healthy living, sleep, sleep deprivation

What Are Some Low Calorie After Dinner Drinks?

During this holiday season, temptations come at us from all angles, at home, at work, visiting friends. It is a real challenge to simply maintain our weight, let alone lose any during these months. I have written several posts on Healthy eating tips for the holidays beginning back on October 28.

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So, it was encouraging to read WebMD’s recommendation on low calorie after dinner drinks. “While they are mostly empty calories, many alcoholic “after dinner” drinks aren’t as decadent as you may think. A standard shot (1.5 ounces) of chocolate-infused liqueur from one gourmet chocolatier is less than 100 calories. So is crème de cacao.

“Another decadently sweet treat is strawberries dipped in chocolate, which average about 40 calories each. Dip two strawberries in warm, dark chocolate instead of dipping into a molten chocolate cake and you’ll save anywhere from 200 to 1,000 calories.”

As always, paying attention to portion size can keep you from going too far astray.

Enjoy the holidays!

Tony

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Filed under circadian cycles, running, salt

How Our High Tech Gadgets May be Hurting Us – WebMD

We all love our smart phones and other labor-saving devices. I know I marvel at the stuff my iPhone does for me every day. Yet, WebMD says our high tech gadgets hurt us in various ways.

Web MD cited computer vision syndrome as a biggie, citing eyestrain, tired eyes, irritation, redness, blurred vision, double vision as examples. They suggest making sure our glasses or lenses are up to date on their prescriptions. Sometimes occupational glasses are needed.

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Other problems included insomnia as the illuminated monitor throws off our internal clock.

Repetitive stress injuries result from mousing or typing on a keyboard. “But repetitive stress injury, or RSI, can affect your whole body, not just the part you’ve overused, says Mary Barbe, PhD, a professor in the department of anatomy and cell biology at Temple University. Injured cells release substances called cytokines that travel through the bloodstream.

“If you have enough of these circulating in your bloodstream, they can be toxic to nerve cells and other cells,” Barbe tells WebMD.

Obesity is a favorite of mine. The amount of hours we spend in front of the tube or playing on the computer has been rising for years. Eat less; move more.

One shocker for me was office-related asthma. “Your sleek, high-tech office may be a source of indoor air pollution. Some models of laser printers shoot out invisible particles into the air as they chug away. These ultra-fine particles can lodge deep in your lungs. Not every printer is a health hazard. In one study of 62 printers, 40% tested emitted particles. But only 17 printers were high-particle emitters.”
Go figure!

Barry Katz, professor in the industrial design and graduate program in design at Stanford University, told WebMD, “It may have taken 10,000 years to evolve the form of a sewing needle, or 2,500 to evolve the form of the safety pin,” he says. “That gives a lot of time to work out the kinks in the system.”

But modern devices, from the mouse to the ear bud, were invented from scratch. “You know about the electronics inside, but you don’t know how people are going to use it,” Katz says. He promises that designers are continually fine-tuning our gadgets to make them more helpful and less harmful.

Until they’re perfected, though, take a moment to consider the ramifications of your high tech gadgets in light of the above.

Tony

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Filed under aging, arthritis, calories, childhood obesity, circadian cycles, Exercise, fat, general well-being, health, high tech gadgets, life challenges, obesity, Weight