Napping and other fun health stuff

by DavalosMcCormack on January 7, 2008

Forget that old idea about an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a nap a day is much more effective. That’s the finding from some researchers at the Center for Brain and Behaviour Research at the University of Haifa. They say a 90 minute daytime nap can help speed up the process of long term memory consolidation.What is a long-term memory? They defined it as a memory that doesn’t disappear the next day or that only disappears after many years. The study is important because it shows that it doesn’t take a full night’s sleep to consolidate these memories in the brain.

The only problem now is trying to find 90 minutes in the day to take a nap? Do you think the boss would mind if you told them “Hey, I need to remember some stuff, I’m just going to sleep for an hour and a half”.

Maybe we’d better stick with the apple, at least for now.

Surgery Won’t Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that causes them to stop breathing dozens, sometimes hundreds of times a night. They wake up tired, exhausted, as if they’d never slept at all. As if that weren’t bad enough they also snore like a buzz saw, keeping anyone near them awake as well.

It’s not surprising that many folks look for help in fixing this, and some turn to surgery. Well, now researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia, say that surgery to repair the upper airway is not effective, and that in many cases it leads to a recurrence of the problem within 12-24 months.

They also found that up to 62 percent of patients who had surgery reported long-term side effects, such as dry throat, difficulty in swallowing, voice changes, and disturbances of smell and taste.

Instead of surgery, the researchers recommended weight loss and use of a breathing machine at night, to help the individual get a good night’s rest.

Sleep apnea is no small matter. It dramatically increases a person’s risk of a serious motor accident, as well as diminishing the quality of their life.

Overweight? It’s Not Your Fault – it’s the Economy’s!

If you are battling bulge and wonder why it’s so hard to shed some of those excess pounds don’t start blaming yourself – blame the economy. Well, sort of. That’s one of the many fascinating tidbits in a new book “The Fattening of America: How the Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What to Do About It.”

The authors, Finkelstein and Zuckerman, say the way our society and economy works it is easier to put on weight than to take it off (they need a a doctorate to tell us that?). On the flip side they do also explore the role that business and policy makers play in America’s obesity epidemic. They say if we, as a nation, want to do something about obesity, we need to make changes in our economy to make it cheaper and easier to be thin, not fat.

And I’m sure the lovely folks at Cheetos and McD and all those other purveyors of fine foods will be happy to contribute political funds to make sure it happens.

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