Here’s Why It Feels Like You Have No Free Time, In One Chart

Ever wonder where all your free time goes? Adam Alter has an idea.

At the 2017 TED conference,the NYU psychologist presented a collection of three bar graphs showing data for how people in 2007, 2015, and 2017, spend an average workday.

Relying on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the app Moment, which tracks smartphone use, the chart shows sleep and work take up roughly two-thirds of people’s day, no matter the year. Same for their survival activities, such as bathing and eating.

But how we spend our precious remaining free time a period of just a few hours, during which we do many of the things that make us individuals has changed dramatically.

Compared to 2007, when screens ate up mere minutes of our free time, the ratio has now flipped. Practically all of people’s free time goes toward screens of some sort, Alter’s research has found.

The red space is all the time we spend fiddling around on screens. The puny yellow and white slivers that remain are “where the magic happens,” Alter says. “That’s where your humanity lives, and right now it’s in a very small box.”


Alter urged the crowd to rethink their attachment to phones, laptops, and tablets. They may connect people in a geographical sense, such as a Skype call to a farflung relative, but they also lead to distraction and feelings of isolation, he says.

He encourages people to strike a healthy balance with their tech, whether it means blocking certain social media or abstaining from using a device altogether.

As author Annie Dillard observed in her 2013 book “The Writing Life,” “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Alter’s talk calls on us to spend that time wisely.

Read the original article onBusiness insider.Follow us onFacebookandTwitter. Copyright 2017.

Read next on Business Insider:Depression is probably much harder on your heart than we realized

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/heres-why-it-feels-like-you-have-no-free-time-in-one-chart/


Beating Human Hearts Grown In Laboratory Using Stem Cells

Right now, there are 4,186 people waiting for a heart transplant in the U.S., but with a huge donor shortage not all of these patients are likely to survive. Growing transplantable hearts in a laboratory has been a long-standing dream within the medical community, and a study in the journal Circulation Research has moved it one step closerto reality: A team of researchers have successfully grown a beating human heart in the laboratory using stem cells.

Previous research has shown how 3D printers can be used to manufacture 3D heart segments using biological material. Although vacant of any actual heart cells, these structures provided the scaffold on which heart tissue could be grown. Now, a team from both Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School has taken this scaffolding concept and combined it with stem cells for some truly spectacular results.

The main problem with heart transplants, other than a lack of donors, is that theres a chance that the receivers body will reject the new organ. Their immune system will often register the foreign tissue as a threat, whereupon it will proceed to attack and destroy it. The only way to stop this from happening are drugs that suppress the immune system, and this is only successful in some cases.

For this study, 73 human hearts deemed unsuitable for transplantation were carefully immersed in solutions of detergent in order to strip them of any cells that would provoke this self-destructive response. What was left was a matrix (or scaffold) of a heart, complete with its intricate structures and vessels, providing a new foundation for new heart cells to be grown onto.

This is where pluripotent stem cells come in. These primitive stem cells have the ability to become almost any type of cell in the body, including bone, nerve, and even muscle including those found in the heart.

For this research, human skin cells were reprogrammed into becoming pluripotent stem cells. They were then induced into becomingtwo types of heart cells, which were shown to readily develop and grow on the lab scaffold when bathed in a nutrient solution.

Roughly 610,000 people die from heart disease in the U.S. every year. Could this revolutionary technique one day save many of those lost to this killer? DeReGe/Shutterstock

After just two weeks, the networks of lab-grown heart cells already resembled immature but intricately structured hearts. The team gave them a burst of electricity, and the hearts actually started beating.

Significantly, any heart cells grown in this way would be recognized by the patients immune system as friendly, as long as the original skin cells were sourced from their own body in the first place. This means that these lab-grown hearts would not be rejectedand, of course, theres no donor to wait for.

Among the next steps that we are pursuing are improving methods to generate even more cardiac cells, said Jacques Guyette, a biomedical researcher at the MGH Center for Regenerative Medicine and lead author of the study, in a statement.Although this study manufactured a whopping 500 million stem cell-derived heart cells for the procedure, regrowing a whole heart would actually take tens of billions, Guyette added.

So despite falling short of growing an entire, mature human heart in alaboratory from a patients own cells, this is the closest anyone has come to date to reaching this goal and that in itself is a breathtaking achievement.

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Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/beating-human-hearts-grown-laboratory-using-stem-cells-made-skin


This GIF Shows What A Baby Can See Every Month For The First Year Of Its Life

Despite being able to appreciate art, fake cry and understand basic physics, it takes infants years to see clearly.

Eye clinic Clinic Compareworked with a consultant atMoorfields Eye Hospital in London to develop a GIF that shows how babies learn to see the world around them every month for their first year on earth.

It shows that children cannot really focus on their parents’ faces, even close up, until they’re around three months old. Even then, a child’s vision doesn’t fully mature until they’re almost two.

Angunawela told Business Insider that, from the moment a child opens their eyes for the first time, the visual cortex of the brain begins to learn to process the flood of visual information it encounters.

“At birth, a baby sees things more clearly at eight-10cm, but their range of vision extends as they grow.”

The visualization shows how babies eyes tend to be less coordinated at first, as their brains get used to processing new information.

But after three months, a child can start to focus and recognize parents’ faces. “This may coincide with their first smile, as facial muscle coordination also develops apace,” said Angunawela.

Vision continues to develop steadily and by two years old, a child’s sight is nearly fully developed. “This coincides with increased interest and exploration of the world around them.”

Watch the GIF below to see how a newborn starts to focus on the new world around them.

Read the original article on Business insider.Follow us onFacebookandTwitter. Copyright 2017.

Read next on Business Insider:Depression is probably much harder on your heart than we realized

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/this-gif-shows-what-a-baby-can-see-every-month-for-the-first-year-of-its-life/


US Surgeon General Says Drug Addiction Is A Disease And Should Be Treated As Any Other

We know the War on drugs isnt working and we need a new approach. A new report from the US Surgeon General’s office urging the government and health bodies to recognize substance abuse as a mental health issue, not a criminal one, might just be the answer.

Referring to the report as the first of its kind on this topic, the US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy explained that his aim was to shift the way society thinks about substance abuse and substance use disorders and to take action to both prevent and treat these conditions.

I am issuing a new call to action to end the public health crisis of addiction, he said.

The report, Facing Addiction in America, states that 21 million Americans were directly affected by drug abuse in 2015, nearly the same figure as diabetes, but only one in 10 received treatment.

“We would never tolerate a situation where only one in 10 people with cancer or diabetes gets treatment, and yet we do that with substance-abuse disorders,” Murthy toldThe Washington Post.

Some of the facts and figures included in the report are startling. Of the 21 million Americans affected by substance use disorders, 12.5 million of those are due to abusing prescription painkillers. Opioid overdose deaths averaged 28,500 last year, four times what it was in 1999. And, sadly, only 10 percent of any of these people received the help they needed.

The report states that for too long drug and alcohol abuse has been viewed as a moral failingand that the stigma of shame has made people suffering from substance use disorders less likely to come forward and seek help.

There has been much evidence presented over the last year by health care experts, scientists, and politicians urging world leaders that in the face of the failing war on drugs, it is time to change direction and allow doctors and other medical professionals, rather than law enforcement, to take the lead on designing global drug policy. It seems the US sat up and took notice.

The report called on substance abuse (referred to in the report as substance use disorders) and addiction to be recognized for what they are medical conditions and should be treated as any other traditionally recognized diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Science tells us clearly that addiction is a disease of the brain, Murthy said at a summit held in Los Angeles. It affects the circuitry of our brain that controls decision-making, impulse control and our stress and reward systems.

To address the issue, the report recommends that substance-abuse services should be integrated into general health care rather than niche programs that only end up serving a tiny percentage of those suffering.

As Murthy told the Huffington Post: Addiction is a chronic disease of the brain and its one that we have to treat the way we would any other chronic illness: with skill, with compassion and with urgency.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/us-surgeon-general-says-drug-addiction-is-a-disease-and-should-be-treated-as-any-other-/


Eating cheese does not raise risk of heart attack or stroke, study finds

Consumption of even full-fat dairy products does not increase risk, international team of experts says

Consuming cheese, milk and yoghurt even full-fat versions does not increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, according to research that challenges the widely held belief that dairy products can damage health.

The findings, from an international team of experts, contradict the view that dairy products can be harmful because of their high saturated fat content. The experts dismiss that fear as a misconception [and] mistaken belief.

The results come from a new meta-analysis of 29 previous studies of whether dairy products increase the risk of death from any cause and from either serious heart problems or cardiovascular disease. The study concluded that such foodstuffs did not raise the risk of any of those events and had a neutral impact on human health.

This meta-analysis showed there were no associations between total dairy, high- and low-fat dairy, milk and the health outcomes including all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease, says the report, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.

Ian Givens, a professor of food chain nutrition at Reading University, who was one of the researchers, said: Theres quite a widespread but mistaken belief among the public that dairy products in general can be bad for you, but thats a misconception. While it is a widely held belief, our research shows that thats wrong.

Theres been a lot of publicity over the last five to 10 years about how saturated fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and a belief has grown up that they must increase the risk, but they dont.

However, the governments health advisers urged consumers to continue to exercise caution about eating too many products high in saturated fat and to stick to low-fat versions instead.

Dairy products form an important part of a healthy balanced diet; however, many are high in saturated fat and salt. Were all consuming too much of both, increasing our risk of heart disease, said a spokesman for Public Health England. We recommend choosing lower-fat varieties of milk and dairy products or eating smaller amounts to reduce saturated fat and salt in the diet.

Givens and colleagues from Reading, Copenhagen University in Denmark and Wageningen University in the Netherlands analysed 29 studies involving 938,465 participants from around the world undertaken over the last 35 years, including five done in the UK.

No associations were found for total (high-fat/low-fat) dairy and milk with the health outcomes of mortality, CHD or CVD, they said. In fact, they added, fermented dairy products may potentially slightly lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Doctors, public health experts and official healthy eating guidelines have for many years identified saturated fats as potentially harmful for heart and cardiovascular health and advised consumers to minimise their intake.

That has led to consumers increasingly buying lower-fat versions of dairy products. For example, 85% of all milk sold in the UK is now semi-skimmed or skimmed.

Givens said consumers were shunning full-fat versions of cheese, milk or yoghurt in the mistaken view that they could harm their health. Young people, especially young women, were now often drinking too little milk as a result of that concern, which could damage the development of their bones and lead to conditions in later life including osteoporosis, or brittle bones, he said. Consuming too little milk can deprive young people of calcium.

Pregnant women who drank too little milk could be increasing the risk of their child having neuro-developmental difficulties, which could affect their cognitive abilities and stunt their growth, Givens added.

The most recent National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the governments occasional snapshot of eating habits, found that dairy products, including butter, accounted for the highest proportion of saturated fat consumption in British diets 27%, compared with meats 24%. But if butter was not counted then dairy products together were the second largest source of saturated fat, at 22%.

Saturated fat is a vital part of diet. The NDNS found that adults typically got 34.6% of their total energy from fats as a whole, just below the 35% the government recommends. However, while total fat consumption was just within target, saturated fats still made up an unhealthily large proportion of total food energy 12.6%, against the recommended maximum of 11%.

Givens said: Our meta-analysis included an unusually large number of participants. We are confident that our results are robust and accurate.

The research was part-funded by the three pro-dairy groups Global Dairy Platform, Dairy Research Institute and Dairy Australia but they had no influence over it, the paper said. Givens is an adviser to the Food Standards Agency.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/08/consuming-dairy-does-not-raise-risk-of-heart-attack-or-stroke-study


A New Year resolution that’s good for you and the planet: stop eating meat

Raising beef cattle requires 160 times more land and causes 11 times more greenhouse gas emissions when compared to crops like wheat, rice or potatoes

Choosing to live a life with less in an eco-friendly way goes far beyond what you consume, what you drive or whether you use plastic bags. It can also be drastically affected by what you choose to eat or avoid eating, for that matter. Yep, you guessed it: Im talking about meat.

In addition to being an unapologetic hippie, a toy denier and one step away from joining a commune and singing Kumbaya, I am also vegetarian just like 4 million others in the UK, 7.3 million in the US, and 1.3 million in my home and native land of Canada.

As the rush of the Christmas season fades away and New Years Day rapidly looms, consider avoiding resolutions you wont keep (are you really going to the gym five times a week?) and try a meatless (or even meat-reduced) diet instead. You may find that the benefits work for you, just like they work for millions of others around the globe.

Why? A meatless diet boasts improved overall health, reduces grocery bills and provides a helpful boost to our struggling ecosystem. Ill readily admit, however, that turning my back on hot dogs and chicken breasts wasnt initially an environmental choice for me, but an ethical one. As a curious 18-year-old, I researched how a pig becomes a pork chop and it turned my stomach. I couldnt face the true cost of my diet the unimaginable cruelty, suffering and loss of life simply so I could enjoy a hamburger.

The horrifying conditions endured by the animals we eat is still the biggest motivating factor in my choice to be a vegetarian, but in the past few years the effects of a meatless diet have been shown to benefit far more than the collective consciences of bleeding hearts like me.

It turns out that raising animals for slaughter isnt just bad for the unlucky cows, pigs, chickens and lambs; studies are increasingly shown that it takes a drastic toll on the environment too. As a result, someone who eats a diet high in meat accounts for almost double the climate-killing carbon dioxide emissions of a typical vegetarian.

When you break it down further into environmental cost per calorie, the impact of beef, for example, is monstrous. Raising beef cattle requires 160 times more land and causes 11 times more greenhouse gas emissions when compared to crops like wheat, rice or potatoes (finally a reason to ditch the carb-free diet!).

The environmental benefits of eliminating or even reducing meat from your diet are compelling, but dont think you have to ditch the bacon for purely altruistic motives the benefits will quickly kick back to you too.

Numerous studies demonstrate that vegetarians have lower incidences of heart disease, lower BMI and lower blood pressure than their meat-eating counterparts. And according to the World Cancer Research Fund, if you stop eating red meat, youll also be avoiding the only convincing dietary association with colon cancer.

Of course, I can sit here spouting statistics all day demonstrating the benefits of a vegetarian diet to the environment and to you they certainly exist in spades but is that really likely to change your mind? Are numbers and percentage points enough to change how your dinner table looks after 30, 40 or 50 years?

Change can be terrifying, even when (or perhaps especially when) you know its good for you. For many, the idea of a table without meat simply looks like a whole lot of side dishes. Vegetables have long been relegated to boring lead-ups to the main event, middling sidekicks to beefy superheros delicious, maybe, but just not quite enough. And for men especially, giving up meat and labelling themselves a capital-V vegetarian feels so drastic, like adopting a whole new persona, or wearing a wild new wardrobe that doesnt quite fit.

If the thought of giving up meat whole-hog overwhelms you, dont feel like you need to go all-in right from the start. Try just dipping your toe in at first. As with all environmental endeavors, it pays to start small and keep it sustainable. The online world is rich with hearty, filling and scrumptious recipes with nary an ounce of meat required, so try just one or two meatless meals a week to start. A few of my favourites are black bean and spinach enchiladas, spaghetti squash chow mein, and an Asian quinoa slaw dish that is easily 10 times as good as the name makes it sound.

All of your tiny choices add up even decreasing your meat intake by just one less burger a week can result in the same environmental benefit as taking your car off the road for 320 miles.

You dont need to make drastic change in your life in order to create change in the world around you, and lady magazines be damned, you dont need a whole new you as we enter the new year.

Lets throw that nonsense out the window and settle for a few new traditions instead. A little less shopping here, a few more reusable bags there, a meatless meal on the table a few times a week and the knowledge that you are making a difference.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/dec/15/new-year-resolution-stop-eating-meat-vegetarian


6 Healthy Habits That Could Be Doing You More Harm Than Good

Why does everyone think theyre like, the healthiest person in the world? If you did one spin class, stopped at Sweetgreen afterwards, and suddenly think you’re worthy of starting some #fitspo Instagram account, you need to chill. People (not me) need to realize theyre not qualified to be giving health advice online, and tbh most things people believe to be super healthy are just wrong. The internet is filled with a lot of bullshit wellness advice, so were here to set the record straight, starting with these six habits that you need to get over.

1. Eating A Super Early Dinner

Someone once made up a lie that eating late at night makes you fat. I mean, if youre ordering Chinese Fast Wok at 11pm, youre probably not the face of health, but food timing doesnt actually matter. Some psychos people like eating early because they dont like going to bed feeling super full, but there are actually no proven health benefits to eating dinner at 6pm. Like, yeah it’s the one time you’ll get a Sugarfish reservation, but its not actually making you lose weight. In fact, a lot of people eat an early dinner and then get hungry for a snack later on, so they end up eating more than they would have if they just waited a couple hours to eat in the first place.

2. Going On High-Fat, Low-Carb Diets

The newest fad seems to be these weird high-fat, low-carb diets. People swear by the Ketogenic lifestyle, which basically means eating no carbs and just pounding meat and avocados all day. I mean, its not healthy. Just because Demi Moore lost a few pounds on the Atkins diet doesnt mean its right for everyones body. The theory behind these diets is that your body goes into ketosis (which sounds like a serious condition but what do I know), so your insulin levels lower and your body burns fat quicker. Were not here to question some scientists in a lab in Missouri, but youre better off skipping the extreme high-fat diets and just eating a balance of fats, protein, and carbs. Like, try eating a vegetable for once in your life.

3. Doubling Up On Workouts

With ClassPass leading the nicegirl fitness community and your local SoulCycle front desk staff offering you free classes, people are doubling up on workouts, thinking theyre being fucking heroes for staying on a spin bike for 90 minutes straight. I mean, we get the logic behind it: The more exercise you do, the more calories you burn, so the skinnier you get. However, your body isnt a calculator, and the extra workouts could just be depleting your metabolism completely. If youre doing an excessive amount of cardio, you could be overtraining your body and slowing down your metabolism, which will actually make you gain weight in the long run. Stick with one class. Like, how much free time do you have?

4. Eating A Ton Of Protein

Protein is another trend that has gotten v popular recently. All of a sudden, your grandmother is eating protein bars, 90-pound models are buying bodybuilding protein powders, and your favorite peanut butter brand is adding whey protein isolate to their products. Everyone thinks we need an excessive amount of protein to be healthy, and its just not true. Obviously protein is good for us and we need it to survive, but you dont need to be adding in protein supplements to everything you eat. Its important if youre looking to put on some muscle, but if youre replacing fruits and veggies with Quest Bars, youre overdoing it. The average American eats way too much protein in the first place, which could, in the future, lead to issues like an increased risk for diabetes and kidney problems. Just saying, you probably don’t need that protein powder in your smoothie anyway.

5. Avoiding Egg Yolks

People in the 80s started shunning egg yolks from healthy diets in fear of high cholesterol levels. Nowadays, that myth has been completely debunked, but people still seem to hate on egg yolks. While its true that egg yolks have a tiny bit of fat in them and egg whites have none, there are a ton of health benefits to the yolks, like iron, folate, and a ton of essential vitamins. Eating the yolk isnt going to give you heart disease or make you fat, so stop stressing about only ordering egg white omelets if you dont even like them. Order the regular omelet.

6. Obsessing Over Superfoods

The whole superfood craze has become a little insane. We have nothing against some green juice and quinoa every now and then, but just because Gwyneth Paltrow swears by her daily goji berries, it doesnt mean we should start doing the same thing and think we’re gonna look like her. Were not saying superfoods arent good for you, but you shouldnt be loading up on aai bowls just because you heard they have antioxidants in them. Do you even know what an antioxidant is? Like, if youre literally sprinkling chia seeds on everything you eat just because you heard that Kourtney Kardashians trainer told her to do that, youve gone too far. 


Read more: http://www.betches.com/6-healthy-habits-that-are-doing-more-harm-than-good


Whitney Houston birthday reignites Brandy vs. Monica

(CNN)Must you do the things you do, Brandy?

The singer and former duet partner Monica were part of an Internet firestorm Wednesday on what would have been Whitney Houston’s 54th birthday.
The single-named singers both posted tributes to Houston, who died of an accidental drowning and the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use in 2012.
    On an Instagram posting of a photo of Houston, Monica wrote “Happy Heavenly Birthday Nippy … You still inspire many & touch hearts daily… You will forever be the greatest …. You will forever be missed.”

    Happy Heavenly Birthday Nippy … You still inspire many & touch hearts daily… You will forever be the greatest …. You will forever be missed

    A post shared by Monica Brown (@monicabrown) on

    whitNot to be outdone, Brandy followed up with a collage of images of her and Houston, with whom she co-starred in a 1997 remake of “Cinderella.”

    Lord have mercy on my soul!!! Happy Born Day Whitney. You live on in me… I can feel your Spirit inside of me and all around me. My angel, my friend, my fairy God Mother. I love you forever… thank you for trusting me with the torch!!! I remember every moment with you and I and I will cherish these miraculous moments forever and ever! I love you…. 8/9-2/11 #WhitneyHouston

    A post shared by b r n d Y (@4everbrandy) on

    “Happy Born Day Whitney. You live on in me… I can feel your Spirit inside of me and all around me,” Brandy wrote. “My angel, my friend, my fairy God Mother. I love you forever… thank you for trusting me with the torch!!! “
    That caused some to accuse Brandy of making it all about her. Others saw it as a shady swipe at Monica, with whom Brandy famously sang the 1998 song “The Boy is Mine” — which cast them as rivals for the same guy.
    A few people took to the comments on Brandy’s Instagram to express their displeasure, and she snapped back with a comment about how “Monica needs to really check her evil a** fans.”
    “It’s so much stuff I can post about the hateful things they say to me… but I will never have time for that,” Brandy wrote. “Always thinking something is about her. It’s not!!”
    “Me and Whitney have nothing to do with anyone but the two of us,” added Brandy, who also did three other Houston tributes on her Instagram. “We made history and I cared more about being with her than I did about anything else.”
    It’s not the first time social media has taken sides.
    Last year, there was some uproar when Monica fans were posting online versions of her hit “So Gone” as part of the viral #SoGoneChallenge. When one fan asked Brandy if she would participate in the challenge, the singer’s response was “Chile bye.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/entertainment/brandy-monica-whitney-houston/index.html


    8 Unexpected Ways To Decrease Your Risk Of Alzheimers

    As we age, our brains can begin to get less sharp, making it harder to learn new things or remember key events.

    For some people, that cognitive decline could be significant in some rarer cases leading to Alzheimer’s disease.

    When it comes to Alzheimer’s, there are more drug failures than successes. On average about 99% of all drugs in clinical trials never actually make it to approval.

    But there are other ways to decrease your risk of getting the disease. We spoke with Neurotrack CEO Elli Kaplan, whose company recently launched an online assessment that helps people understand the state of their memory health, to learn about some of the ways you can potentially decrease your risk for Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline more broadly. And a recent report from the journal Lancent found that avoiding certain lifestyle risk factors could possibly delay or prevent one-third of dementia cases around the world.

    Here’s what the science has to say about the best ways to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.

    Pay attention to the food you eat.

    Flickr / THOR

    The right diet can contribute to lowering your risk of cognitive decline in particular a diet called the MIND diet, short for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay”

    It’s a hybrid version of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, focusing on the aspects of those diets that have to do with the brain. Berries, olive oil, nuts, and dark, leafy greens are staples of the diet, which was designed based on large-scale studies of cognitive decline and ranked third on US News and World Report’s annual best diet list.

    A study of almost 1,000 seniors found the diet appeared to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by 35% for those who followed it moderately and by 53% in people who followed it closely.

    Plus, it fits in with what Dr. Maria Carrillo, chief scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Association told Business Insider in July 2016: “Have fun, eat healthy meals that are good for you, and you may end up helping your brain as well as your heart.”

    Maintain your hearing.


    According to a new report in the journal Lancet, losing your hearing can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s. While the reason for this isn’t entirely clear, the researchers suggested it could have to do with the social isolation that comes from losing your hearing and how that affects the brain when it’s not able to work at processing sound.

    Avoiding loud noises, and wearing protective earplugs could help stave off this hearing loss.

    Stay active.

    Women take part in an aerobics class at the gymnasium of a sports center in Cartago.AFP/Federica Narancio

    Citing intervention-based trials and epidemiological studies, the National Institute on Agingfound that exercise can also play a key role in reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s and general cognitive decline. Neurotrack’s program recommends strength training and cardiovascular exercises, said Kaplan.

    Exercise can have additional health benefits as well, adding to the idea that what’s good for your heart and body may also be good for your brain.

    Decrease your stress levels where possible.

    There is evidence to suggest a link between stress and anincreased risk of Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.

    A small2009 study found thatof the 41 participants with mild cognitive impairment, those who had higher stress ratings also had faster rates of cognitive decline.

    Adam Berry /Getty Images

    The good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take to manage stress, such as breathing exercises, meditation and yoga.

    Maintain healthy sleep habits.

    Flickr/Ara Moleri Riva-Zucchelli

    Too little sleep can do a whole host of things to your body and brain.

    A 2014 review of observational studies found that poor sleep is a risk factor for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Though the researcher said there needs to be more research into the exact mechanisms of why that is, they concluded that “healthy sleep appears to play an important role in maintaining brain health with age, and may play a key role in [Alzheimer’s disease] prevention.”

    Don’t smoke.

    Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

    According to the World Health Organization, smoking is associated with an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Researchers think this has to do with the vessels that carry blood around our body and to our brains, which are also linked to things like stroke and heart disease.

    Stay socially active.

    Mario Tama / Getty Images

    Staying social can be a great way to lower your risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. According to the National Institute on Aging, staying cognitively active, either with intellectual stimulation or staying socially engaged, is linked with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s.

    That social component is something Neurotrack is working hard to address, said Kaplan. The company has plans to build an internal social network. Since the assessment launched in December 2016, she said she’d seen thousands join a private Facebook group to chat about their results. Kaplan said there’s even one group in New Zealand that has started meeting up for coffee after they took the assessment.

    Read, play games, or otherwise stimulate your mind.

    Along the lines of social engagement, staying stimulated intellectually has also been associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. That kind of stimulation can be anything from reading to crossword puzzles or attending lectures and playing memory-based games, according to theNational Institute on Aging.

    Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue/flickr

    Read the original article on Tech Insider. Copyright 2017.

    Read next: A Chinese energy company is building 100 solar farms shaped like panda bears

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/8-unexpected-ways-to-decrease-your-risk-of-alzheimers/


    8 Ways To Sleep Better When It’s Blistering Hot Outside

    Jenni June raised four kids as a single mom, in homes in Oregon and Southern California where she wasnt able to have air conditioning. She says it was hard to see her kids struggle to sleep in the summer heat.

    As a result, she developed some creative tricks to cool down her kids before bedtime, like dampening and freezing a teddy bear that they could take to bed.

    It definitely broke my heart for my kids. It was hard to keep them cool and comfortable, and to protect their sleep, said June, who now works as a child and family sleep consultant. When a room is overheated because its warm outside, its a little more of a challenge to keep your core body temperature cool. And thats absolutely necessary for us to be able to segue into those deeper, more restorative stages of sleep, and transition from one sleep cycle to the next without full arousal in the middle of the night.

    Cooler temperatures actually help your bodyproduce more melatonin, the powerful hormone that work to make you feel sleepy, she explained. So sleeping in a hot room where its nearly impossible to cool down will be an obstacle to a good nights rest. The effects of poor sleep are varied but often catastrophic, fromavoidable motor vehicle accidentsto increased risk of developing heart diseaseand Type 2 diabetes.

    We chatted with a couple of sleep experts, including June, to find out some cheap and easy ways to sleep when its hot outside no air conditioner required.

    1. Close the windows and draw the blinds

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    This may seem counterintuitive. But June notes that closing windows, drawing shades and sealing up any drafts can help keep your bedroom cool before sundown.

    As it cools off in the evening … thats a good time to have your windows open [and get some air circulating], she said. When your windows are closed, the best thing to do is circulate the air in the room with a good fan.

    2. Open your bedroom door

    Increasing air circulation is critical to cooling down your bedroom, June says.Opening your bedroom door to allow more airflow throughout your house can help keep you cool. She also suggests running as many fans as possible to create movement, and to help wick sweat away from the skin.

    3. Sleep downstairs

    Heat rises, which means its probably going to be cooler in a downstairs living room than an upstairs bedroom. June recommends building a makeshift bedroom for yourself if you have a cooler room downstairs layering blankets on the floor, inflating an air mattress or just spreading a sheet on the couch.

    4. Eat lighter foods

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    Believe it or not, what you eat during the day can affect the quality of your sleep. Dr. Joyce Walsleben, a sleep expert and retired professor of medicine at New York University, recommends eating a bit less during the day and choosing lighter foods so your gut isnt working overtime and creating more heat.

    5. Freeze your sheets

    Or a towel, or a teddy bear, or a water bottle the point is to take something cold with you to bed to help cool your sleep environment.

    One of my favorite tricks of all time that worked great with my four kids … was to take their top sheet, get it damp and wring it out and stick it in the freezer, June said. It wasnt so wet that it soaked the mattress, but it was damp enough that it helped them sleep well at night.

    6. Take a cool shower or bath before bed

    Adjusting your core body temperature is key to sleeping well, and taking a cool shower or bath before bed can help to facilitate that.

    A cool shower or bath can significantly cool the body down, especially if its a longer, cool bath, Walsleben said. [That] also removes the oils of the day and allows your skin to breathe out toxins, too.

    7. Drink plenty of cold beverages close to bedtime

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    Walsleben recommends sipping an icy beverage while unwinding for an hour before bedtime. Like a cool shower, drinking ice-cold water can help bring down the bodys core temperature. (Just make sure the drink is caffeine-free and nonalcoholicotherwise, it can disrupt sleep.)

    8. Sleep naked

    If youre a never-nude, this tip may not work for you. However, June points out that sleeping in your birthday suit means you have less insulation when youre sleeping, which helps keep your body cool. If you just cant sleep without your PJs, try jammies that are 100 percent cotton. Its the most breathable fabric and will carry sweat away from the body.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/heat-and-sleeping_us_59494ffde4b0b90e99aa24b9