Are You Getting Enough Sleep? Experts Point at the Importance of Regular Sleep

A latest study published in the journal sleep reports that people who sleep less during the weekdays and try to make up for it by sleeping more on the weekends are more susceptible to heart ailments and diabetes. Sleep deprivation has severe repercussions ranging from mood swings, lethargy to even depression. Another research studied the effects of irregular sleep patterns in college students and concluded that “week-long irregular sleep schedules are significantly associated with lower self-reported morning and evening happiness, healthiness, and calmness during the week even after controlling for weekly average sleep duration,” AFP reported.

The study adds another chapter to the ongoing research on understanding the effects of sleep on the overall well-being of a person. Erratic sleep pattern is a common phenomenon in today’s world. As we struggle to juggle between work, family, friends and our personal interests, sleep seems to be the least important on our list of priorities. Sleep is important for the body to conserve and restore energy, and get ready for the next day. Experts at Harvard believe that just a single night’s inadequate sleep may put a person at the risk of developing hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and even stroke. Sleep deprivation may also damage the immune system.

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“Results indicated that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health. Regular sleep schedule may be an effective, relatively simple, and inexpensive preventative treatment for heart disease as well as many other health problems,” Sierra B. Forbush, from the University of Arizona in the US was quoted by IANS.

Experts Link Aspirin Intake With Lowered Risk Of Preeclamsia: Proper Diet May Is Also Crucial

Pregnancy is an extremely crucial phase in a woman’s life. A host of complications can get triggered even on slightest of slip-ups. Proper, well-balanced diet is of the utmost importance along with regular physical exercising and adequate rest. Preeclamsia is a condition wherein a pregnant woman experiences elevated blood pressure late in her pregnancy – usually after 20 weeks or so. Although the condition is known to have no definite cause, experts link it with poor nutrition, high body fat or inadequate blood supply to the uterus. Women who have a history of high blood pressure or preeclamsia, those suffering ailments like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or obesity are more susceptible to the condition. Some of the most common symptoms would include headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, weight gain among others.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, apart from associated medication, proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet may help treat the condition better. The following points must be kept in mind.

 

1. Since the condition is primarily associated with high blood pressure it is better to keep a check on your salt intake and regulate it.

 

2. Hydration is important. Drink plenty of water along with other natural fluids like coconut water.

 

3. Fried and junk food should be off limits.

 

4. Caffeine intake must be monitored.

 

5. Avoid smoking or alcohol consumption completely.

 

6. Rest properly and get regular physical activity.

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A recently published study has happened to have established a link between aspirin consumption with significantly decreased risk of developing preeclampsia. “The results show that aspirin can prevent preeclampsia in high risk pregnancies. We hope that this will alter clinical practice and improve pregnancy outcomes for mothers and their babies,” added David Wright, Professor at University of Exeter.

 

Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure, swollen feet, ankles and face and severe headaches. The findings showed that women who took low-dose aspirin (150 mg) in their first trimester of pregnancy showed a 62% decrease in the rate of pre-term preeclampsia that results in delivery before 37 weeks.

 

According to the World Health Organization, low-dose aspirin may help prevent preeclampsia in women at high risk and should be started before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Experts Identified Brain Chemical That Affects Learning Ability

While cognitive decline is a process tied to age-related degeneration, there are ways and means to slow the process or delay it. According to a study published in the journal Science, a certain chemical messenger in the brain may influence the learning ability in adults. The study was conducted on mice module wherein it was found that limiting the supply or the function of a chemical called adenosine in the brain could preserve the ability of adult mice to learn.

Much as young children pick up language simply by hearing it spoken, when adenosine was reduced or the A1 receptor blocked in the auditory thalamus, the adult mice responded to the tone much stronger when it was played weeks or months later than before.

Experts Identified Brain Chemical That Affects Learning Ability

While brain development is at its peak during childhood, certain activities and proper diet can help ensure full-blown cognitive development and enhanced brain power. Playing Sudoku, solving puzzles and indulging in analytical reasoning are some of the most common ways through which brain can be exercised and kept agile. Learning a new skill or a language is also helpful. A proper diet can also go a long way in increasing brain power. Food items like nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and foods rich in iron and omega 3 are often associated with increasing brain power. Something as simple as sniffing the aroma of rosemary oil may benefit the memory. Rosemary oil is believed to have an impact on the electrical activity in the brain.

Love Beer? Experts Have Created A Type That Can Boost Immunity

Beer lovers, time to rejoice! Experts at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have created a probiotic sour beer can also boost immunity. The beer is believed to be created with a probiotic strain of Lactobacillus paracasei L26. This probiotic strain is known to have been first isolated from human intestines with an ability to neutralise toxins and viruses. It is also known to regulate the immune system.

Probiotics have long been touted as gut benefiting agents that are also beneficial for the overall health. Consuming food items rich in live counts of probiotics are more effective in delivering health effects than eating those with inactive probiotics. Currently, the recommendation by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics is to have a minimum of one billion probiotics per serving in order to attain the maximum health benefits.

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“While good bacteria are often present in foods that have been fermented, there are currently no beers in the market that contain probiotics,” said Chan Mei Zhi Alcine from NUS. “Developing sufficient counts of live probiotics in beer is a challenging feat as beers contain hop acids that prevent the growth and survival of probiotics,” Alcine said.

 

Researchers took about nine months to come up with an ideal recipe that achieves the optimal count of live probiotics in the beer. By propagating the probiotic and yeast in pure cultures, and modifying conventional brewing and fermentation processes, researchers managed to increase and maintain the live counts of the strain of probiotic.

 

“For this beer, we used a lactic acid bacterium as a probiotic micro-organism. It will utilise sugars present in the wort to produce sour-tasting lactic acid, resulting in a beer with sharp and tart flavours,” said Alcine. “The final product, which takes around a month to brew, has an alcohol content of about 3.5%” she said.

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The NUS research team has filed a patent to protect the recipe for brewing the probiotic sour beer. “The general health benefits associated with consuming food and beverages with probiotic strains have driven demand dramatically,” said Liu Shao Quan, Associate Professor at NUS.

 

“In recent years, consumption of craft or specialty beers has gained popularity too. I am confident that the probiotic gut-friendly beer will be well-received by beer drinkers, as they can now enjoy their beers and be healthy,” he said.