Less stress and more sleep may help you lose weight

Heart Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity
If you or someone you love is overweight or obese, here's some good news on a couple of other ways (other than better nutrition and exercise) you could consider to lose weight. The Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" reported, "Getting a healthy amount of sleep, avoiding stress, and complying with specific elements of a weight-loss plan (such as keeping a food diary) seem to boost the odds of" losing weight." (more…)
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Insufficient, irregular sleep associated with childhood obesity

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
In my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I made the then startling claim that childhood obesity was associated with a lack of sleep. And, in a clinical study, we showed that families who make wise nutrition choices, activity choices, AND increase the amount of sleep children get, can prevent or treat childhood obesity. Since the publication of the book, study after study (many reviewed in this blog) have demonstrated the association between poor sleep or inadequate sleep and childhood obesity. Now, a new study suggests that sleeping in on the weekend may help children fight obesity. Here are some details from HealthDay News: Too little sleep puts kids at risk of obesity and other health conditions, but "catch-up" sleep on weekends and holidays can mitigate…
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‘Beauty sleep’ turns out to be true, says study

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
The idea of people needing "beauty sleep" has acquired some scientific backing, according to a Swedish study. People deprived of sleep for long periods appear less attractive and more unhealthy than those who are well rested, say researchers. Here are the details from the BBC: Volunteers were photographed after eight hours sleep and again after being kept awake for 31 hours. Observers scored the sleep-deprived participants as less healthy and less attractive, the BMJ reports. The concept of beauty sleep is well known. But, according to researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, it has lacked scientific support. The team asked untrained observers to rate the faces of 23 young men and women who had been photographed after a normal night's sleep and then after a night of sleep deprivation. The photographs were…
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Six doctor-recommended sleep aids

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
Tired of counting sheep? Consider one of these remedies for the possibility of getting a good night's sleep when you have occasional insomnia. These tips were posted on Health.com and are from RealSimple.com: 1) Aromatherapy Try it: When you're drowsy but slightly tense. How to use it: Massage a dab of aromatherapeutic balm or oil into the back of your neck and shoulders (and inhale deeply) before you hit the sack. Certain fragrances, including lavender and lemon balm, promote snooze-inducing relaxation, says Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., a sleep specialist at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, in Tucson. (Try Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Night Health Bedtime Balm, which contains lavender; $25, origins.com.) Good to know: You don't have to stick to traditional aromatherapeutic scents -- any fragrance that makes you…
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Time change tonight offers chance to try to improve on slumber, experts say.

Children's Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
When you turn your clocks back an hour tonight, it might be a good opportunity to think about whether you're getting enough sleep. The switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time officially occurs at 2 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday) morning, and it moves one hour of daylight from the evening to the morning. You'll likely appreciate the extra hour of sleep you'll gain with the return to Standard Time, but it won't be enough to eliminate any major sleep debt you may have accumulated due to a hectic lifestyle, experts say. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Chronic sleep deprivation can affect attention levels, reaction time and mood, leading to decreased productivity at work, increased family stress, and potential health problems, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). "People…
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Lack of sleep ‘linked to early death’

Men's Health, Woman's Health
#mce_temp_url#Better Sleepers Are ‘Successful Agers’ In a number of my health books (including 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, and God's Design for the Highly Healthy Teen), I discuss the growing number of studies showing that a good night's sleep (the right quantity and quality of sleep - not too much or too little) is associated with a wide range of good mental and physical health outcomes. Now comes a new study showing that getting less than six hours sleep a night can lead to an early grave. (You can find a list of my blogs on sleep at the bottom of this page) The UK and Italian researchers say that people regularly having too…
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Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter

Men's Health, Woman's Health
A study is claiming that snoozing refreshes the brain's capacity to learn. While the findings are preliminary, this new research raises the prospect that sleep, specifically a lengthy afternoon nap, prepares the brain to remember things. Think of it as similar to rebooting a computer to get it to work more smoothly. Here are some of the details as reported by Health Day News: Want to ace that next test? Try taking a mid-afternoon siesta. "Sleep is not just for the body. It's very much for the brain," said study author Matthew Walker, an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Walker and colleagues divided 39 young adults into two groups. At noon, all the participants took part in a memory exercise that required them to remember faces and…
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Your child’s lack of sleep is linked to their risk of obesity

Children's Health, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health, Parenting
When I published in my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, and on my SuperSized Kids Website, it shocked many parents to learn that helping their kids consistently get a good night's sleep helps protect children from becoming obese. Now, a new study, published Monday, confirms what I have said and other studies have shown. More Information: (more…)
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Tai chi helps older adults get good night’s sleep

Alternative Medicine, General Health, Health Headlines
Reuters Health is reporting a study in the journal Sleep that found that regular practice of tai chi, a Westernized version of the ancient Chinese martial art of tai chi, can help older people rest easier at night. Nearly two-thirds of people who learned the slow, gentle tai chi moves experienced significant improvements in sleep quality, compared to about one-third of those who participated in health education sessions that included information on how to get a better night's rest. My Take? (more…)
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Too Little Sleep, Too Much Snacking?

Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
  WebMD Health News reports a small study in which researchers have found that people who don't get enough sleep often indulge in excessive snacking. Results showed that when bedtimes were restricted to five-and-a-half hours, participants consumed an average of 1,087 calories a day from snacks alone. In contrast, they consumed 866 in calories from snacking when given eight-and-a-half hours to sleep. (more…)
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Early Risers Tend to Score Higher Grades

Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Parenting
  According to MedPage, a new study has found that college students who consider themselves “morning people” are more likely to have better grades than those who are “evening people.” In fact, the benefit of being a morning person was a "full letter-grade difference.” Researchers surveyed 824 undergraduate students about their sleep habits and daytime schedules. Even after they accounted for academic ability, social ability and SAT verbal scores, researchers found that students who were morning-types were more likely to have better grades than those who considered themselves evening-types. (more…)
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