9 ways to fall asleep faster

(CNN)If you feel wide awake when your head hits the pillow at night, you’re not alone. Approximately 60 million Americans report having experienced insomnia in any given year, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Even worse, 40 million Americans suffer from long-term sleep disorders.

Missing sleep is nothing to yawn about. “Chronic sleep deprivation has lots of negative consequences,” says Sonia Ancoli-Israel, fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. She notes that the health risks associated with missed zzz’s can include poor cognitive function, problems with attention and concentration, dementia and an increased risk of heart disease.
Why every night of sleep matters
    Are you getting enough shut-eye? Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night, according to Dr. Ancoli-Israel. “People are so busy in their everyday lives and something has to give. They give up on sleep rather than something else,” she says.
    Even if you don’t suffer from insomnia, odds are you’ve experienced nights when you’ve tossed and turned, wondering why you can’t drift off. “Everyone has a bad night now and then,” says Dr. Ancoli-Israel. But if you get tense and worried about not being able to sleep, your frustrated mindset could make it even harder to relax into slumber the following nights.
    The consequences of missing even a few hours of sleep can be serious. Research shows that short-term sleep deprivation can cause you to crave high carbohydrate and high sugar foods. It can even make it harder to choose healthy options when grocery shopping. Plus, one sobering study revealed that drowsy drivers who had been awake for 18 hours were just as impaired as drivers who had been drinking.
    Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help ensure you’ll actually pass out once your head hits the pillow.

    1. Do a 60-minute wind-down.

    If you’re moving at full-speed all day, it can be tough to suddenly switch yourself “off” at night. “We are assaulted by information all the time and it’s really up to us to create routines that help separate the buzzing of the brain from our sleep routines,” says Janet Kennedy, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, founder of NYC Sleep Doctor and author of The Good Sleeper: The Essential Guide to Sleep for Your Baby (and You). She recommends giving your mind and body a full hour to wind down from work (or happy hour) before you try to fall asleep.

    2. Take a warm bath or shower.

    Spending time in a steamy shower could be beneficial even if you don’t need to rinse off. Dr. Kennedy points out that your body temperature drops rapidly once you exit the shower. Research shows that this decrease in temperature can trigger a sleepy feeling because your heart rate, digestion and other metabolic processes slow down. This can make it easier for your brain and body to power down, too.

    3. Put on socks.

    Showering isn’t the only trick in the book. When it comes to optimizing your temperature for sleep, the ideal balance is a cooler core and warmer extremities, says Professor Ancoli-Israel. One study revealed that wearing socks dilates your blood vessels and can help blood flow, leading to a more optimal temperature for snoozing.

    4. Try the 4-7-8 exercise.

    We’ve all been there: No matter how many times you flip over, you just can’t seem to find that sweet spot that will let you slip into slumber. But instead of trying to find the perfect position, concentrate on finding the perfect way to breathe.
    By deliberately changing the pattern of your inhales and exhales, you can change your heart rate and blood pressure, two systems linked to sleepiness. Many relaxation specialists recommend inhaling through your nose, focusing on filling your chest and lungs (for about three to four seconds) and then exhaling slowly through your mouth for double the time you were inhaling. Another method, known as the “4-7-8 exercise,” involves inhaling for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and exhaling for eight seconds.

    5. Don’t get in bed until you actually feel sleepy.

    Trying to score some extra zzz’s by going to bed at 8 p.m. is a recipe for disaster. “If you aren’t sleepy, your body won’t settle down,” says Dr. Kennedy. And according to Professor Ancoli-Israel, your sleep will actually be worse the longer you stay in bed. “Eight hours of sleep is more efficient than nine to 10 hours in bed,” she says.

    6. Practice calming techniques during the day, not at night.

    Relaxation techniques like visualization or progressive muscle relaxation can help you unwind. But don’t wait until it’s dark outside to try these for the first time. “You don’t want to do it the first time when you’re anxious,” Dr. Kennedy says. “You want to start really getting the skill down when it’s easy for you, then try it in more difficult situations.” If you’re using an app to guide you, try to practice until you don’t have to bring your device into the bedroom with you (because that can mess up sleep, too).
    Need suggestions? We’ve got our iTunes stocked with wacky wind chimes from Dreaming with Jeff, produced by actor Jeff Bridges, and iSleep Easy, an app with a variety of guided meditations.

    7. Get out of bed.

    Lying in bed and worrying about your inability to fall asleep will not help. “The second you start feeling tense, go into another room until you start feeling sleepy,” says Professor Ancoli-Israel. You want to condition your brain to associate the bed with sleeping and nothing else, she explains.
    Feeling frustrated “creates a stress response where the body creates adrenaline,” says Dr. Kennedy. To combat this harmful feedback loop, divert your attention by reading, doing crossword puzzles, knitting, drinking tea, folding laundry or organizing closets until you start to feel drowsy. “It doesn’t matter, as long as it is relaxing to you,” she says.

    8. Hide your clock.

    Repeat after us: “I must stop staring at my clock.” You could be waking yourself up even more, says Professor Ancoli-Israel. When you’re constantly checking the time, you’re putting pressure on yourself and creating a more stressful environment. Plus, Dr. Kennedy points out that your phone can suck you back into daytime stressors with every text, email or app notification. If you need to use your alarm clock or phone to ensure you rise on time, put it under the bed or in a drawer so you aren’t tempted to glance at it every five minutes.

    9. Vent on paper.

    If racing thoughts keep you up, consider jotting down what’s on your mind before you head to bed. Processing your feelings (good and bad!) can help you relax into a sleepier state of mind. “When you’re thinking through that stuff and you’re laying down, it can become circular,” says Dr. Kennedy.
    By writing things down or making a list of tomorrow’s to-dos, you’ll tame any bouncing thoughts and turn them into a more linear narrative. Instead of endlessly worrying about the next day’s workload, you’ll have already plotted out how you’ll get everything accomplished before you hit the hay.

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    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/22/health/fall-asleep-faster/index.html


    One Cause Of The French Instagram Stars Death By Exploding Whipped Cream” Is More Common Than You Think

    Rebecca Burger, a widely popular French fitness blogger, died over the weekend after a whipped cream dispenser exploded into her chest.Citing local reportsin France, the BBC reported that shedied of cardiac arrestafter the accident, despite being attended to by medics.

    Her family announced her death on Facebook, calling it a “domestic accident.” A warning about what her family described as a faulty dispenser involved in her death has also been posted on her Instagram. The message said the canister “exploded and struck Rebecca’s chest, causing her death.”

    The canistersshoot gas into a metal capsuleto maintain their pressure. A French consumer group had warned readers for years about faulty connectors that could break and permit the gas capsules to be ejected at high speed,the BBC reported, adding that faulty canisters were involved in enough accidents that the French government issued a warning and said the accidents stretched back as far as 2010.

    Cardiac arrest is more common than you think

    It is unclear precisely how the canister explosion triggered Burger’s cardiac arrest, but the condition is more common than you might think.

    In the US, some325,000 peopleexperiencesudden cardiac arresteach year, when the heart stops suddenly as the result of a malfunction. A surprising number of people who suffer from cardiac arrest are in good health with no prior indications of heart disease, though the exact figure remainshotlydebated.

    About90%of them die.

    Cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, which involves a blocked artery that causes the heart to stop. It also affects a different set of people middle-aged men and women, a surprising number of whom exercise regularly and eat right. You can think of a heart attack as a “plumbing problem,” according to theSudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, while you can think of sudden cardiac arrest as an “electrical problem.”

    Why survival rates are so low

    Survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest vary immensely by state and even by county in America. In an ER in Seattle and King County, a story inThe New York Times noted, your average chances of surviving it are nearly 20%. In Detroit, your chances are 3%.

    It all comes down to the tools and protocol applied by the people who receive you. Depending on which hospital or ER you end up in, you may get some treatments but not others.

    “It’s all sort of voluntary it’s a patchwork. And it’s created the situation we’re in today where survival is very variable depending on where you live,” Ben Abella, the Clinical Research Director of the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania,told Business Insiderin 2015. “I think a lot of people think you dial 9-1-1 and you get the same care, but no, it’s vastly different.”

    Survival rates aredismal.

    According to a 2015report from the Institute of Medicine, the average rate of surviving cardiac arrest outside a hospital is 6%. When a patient is treated by first responders, therate rises to 12%, according to a 2016 report from the American Heart Association.

    The problem comes down to time and a lack of standards.

    Beating the clock

    The most common phrase doctors use to describe what it looks like when someone is having cardiac arrest is “they drop.” After that moment, each minute is critical to their survival.

    “The biggest thing we can do … is control what happens outside of the hospital before they get in, because those are some of the most critical minutes a patient has,” John Greenwood, the Medical Director of the Emergency Department Critical Care Resuscitation Unit at the University of Pennsylvania, told Business Insider in 2015.

    Burger had 160,000 Instagram followers and shared thousands ofphotos of her life.

    During that time, a person’s blood isn’t circulating. Their brain isn’t getting the oxygen it needs. The more time that passes, the less chances a person will have a full recovery.

    But the US has no standards, either for training people to apply the necessary life-saving procedures or for requiring the machinery that could help to be installed in public places like restaurants or shopping malls. A2016 report from the American Heart Associationagain urged for the implementation of these standards.

    “We’re faced with a problem of implementation,” said Abella. “We don’t know how many Americans have been trained in CPR. You’d think that would be a number we should know, but we don’t. We also don’t know cardiac arrest incidence and survival. There’s no national mechanism to look at that.”

    The IM report estimates that less than 3% of Americans get CPR training. And they found that defibrillators the heart-jump starting machines popularized by medical soap operas are used by bystanders in just 4% of non-hospital cardiac arrests.

    “Not all buildings require defibrillators. So even though these have been proven as life-saving devices, we’re sort of at the mercy of local businesses. You’d think, well, we havefire alarmsthat are hardwired into building codes. But defibrillators are not,” Abella said.

    Read the original article onBusiness insider.Follow us onFacebookandTwitter. Copyright 2016.

    Read next on Business Insider: Coconut oil’s health benefits are a myth here’s what you should buy instead

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/one-cause-of-the-french-instagram-stars-death-by-exploding-whipped-cream-is-more-common-than-you-think/


    Changing Your Meal Times Could Help You Beat Jet Lag And Shift Work

    The Conversation

    Around one in five people in Western countries could be putting their health at risk simply by going to work. This is because working shifts outside of the rest of the populations normal hours has been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even declines in brain function.

    Scientists think this is because our bodies are programmed to run on cycles known as circadian rhythms, and changes in our routine caused by shift work or travelling long distances disrupts those rhythms. But our new research suggests that the effects of shift work or jet lag on our body clocks could be reduced simply by changing the times at which people eat.

    The key to this theory is the idea that each person doesnt just have a single body clock but rather a complex network of billions of cellular clocks found throughout the body. In humans and other mammals, there is a master clock within a region of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) and many peripheral clocks found elsewhere.

    In most individuals, the master SCN clock is set to the planets natural cycle of light and dark. The SCN clock then synchronises the peripheral clocks by controlling the rhythms of nerve activity, hormone secretion, body temperature and behaviour such as sleep-wake cycles. By synchronising the peripheral clocks, the SCN maintains the harmony of the entire bodys rhythms.

    Significant changes in our daily routines, for example when we fly into another time zone or work overnight shifts, can desynchronise these rhythms. In the short term, this can disrupt our sleeping and eating patterns and make us feel tired and unwell (jet lag). Over a longer period, scientists think it can contribute to the health problems associated with shift work.

    People flying long distances often try to minimise jet lag by adjusting their routines to their new time zones as soon as possible. For our research, we wanted to see how one aspect of this approach changing meal times affected circadian rhythms. We found that delaying meals by a certain amount caused a similar shift in some peripheral clocks, without changing the master clock. This is important because research in animals suggests peripheral clocks take longer to adjust to a new routine.

    Eating rhythms

    Weve known for a long time that eating at different times affects your metabolism differently. The body has a natural circadian rhythm for blood sugar concentration, meaning that if you ate consistent small snacks instead of occasional standard meals, your blood sugar would still change over the course of the day. Similarly, eating an evening meal results in a higher peak of blood sugar and fat concentration than eating in the morning.

    Research has also shown that eating can affect some rhythms in animals. Several decades ago, researchers found that if they gave animals food for just a few hours at the same time every day, the animals bodies would start anticipating the daily feed through changes to things such as body temperature in the two or three hours beforehand. They still displayed these rhythms even after the food was later completely withdrawn for a couple of days. This lead to the notion of a food-entrainable oscillator clock somewhere in the body that is distinct from the SCN clock and related to meal times.

    More recent animal studies indicate that many peripheral clocks outside the brain can be synchronised by restricting food to a few hours every day. So the food-entrainable oscillator may actually comprise several clocks within the body. But the complex nature of the peripheral clocks makes them difficult to study, so our understanding of exactly how meal times synchronise human biological rhythms has been poor.

    My internal clock says its coffee time.Shutterstock

    To help overcome this, we looked at how shifting meal times affected the internal rhythms of ten healthy male volunteers. To do this, we gave them three meals at the same times every day for five days, and then delayed each meal time by five hours on the following six days. The meals were tailored to the metabolic needs of each participant, and each daily meal was identical in caloric and macronutrient content.

    At the end of each period, we measured their biological rhythms under constant routine conditions so that their body clocks were allowed to tick without being affected by external factors, such as the daily light and dark cycle. In order to remove acute responses to meals, each subject received an identical snack every hour during the constant routine parts of the study.

    Resetting the peripheral clocks

    The most striking results from our study were that the five-hour delay in meal timing caused an approximately five-hour delay in the rhythms of blood glucose. Markers of the master SCN clock didnt change, but the way a certain clock gene released its instructions to the body in white fat tissue was delayed after the late meals. So we think that changing the meal times reset some peripheral clocks without affecting the master clock.

    Existing advice for jet lag and shift work often hinges around controlling light exposure to help adjust the master clock. Our findings imply that changing meal times as well as light exposure may help your master and peripheral clocks shift at the same speed. This would reduce desynchronisation of the bodys clocks and so could reduce health problems.

    The ConversationWe cant say for sure what happens to human clocks in jet lag and shift work, as its almost impossible to do the necessary experiments. And we dont yet know whether altering meal times would counter the health problems linked to shift work. But its certainly possible it could reduce the stress that such unnatural routines place on the body.

    Jonathan Johnston, Reader in Chronobiology and Integrative Physiology, University of Surrey

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/changing-your-meal-times-could-help-you-beat-jet-lag-and-shift-work/


    Is the American dream really dead?

    Research shows that poor people in the US are 20 times less likely to believe hard work will get them ahead than their (poorer) Latin American counterparts with white Americans particularly pessimistic. Whats driving their despair?

    The United States has a long-held reputation for exceptional tolerance of income inequality, explained by its high levels of social mobility. This combination underpins the American dream initially conceived of by Thomas Jefferson as each citizens right to the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    This dream is not about guaranteed outcomes, of course, but the pursuit of opportunities. The dream found a persona in the fictional characters of the 19th-century writer Horatio Alger Jr in which young working-class protagonists go from from rags to riches (or at least become middle class) in part due to entrepreneurial spirit and hard work.

    Yet the opportunity to live the American dream is much less widely shared today than it was several decades ago. While 90% of the children born in 1940 ended up in higher ranks of the income distribution than their parents, only 40% of those born in 1980 have done so.

    Attitudes about inequality have also changed. In 2001, a study found the only Americans who reported lower levels of happiness amid greater inequality were left-leaning rich people with the poor seeing inequality as a sign of future opportunity. Such optimism has since been substantially tempered: in 2016, only 38% of Americans thought their children would be better off than they are.

    In the meantime, the public discussion about inequality has completely by-passed a critical element of the American dream: luck.

    Just as in many of Algers stories the main character benefits from the assistance of a generous philanthropist, there are countless real examples of success in the US where different forms of luck have played a major role. And yet, social support for the unlucky in particular, the poor who cannot stay in full-time employment has been falling substantially in recent years, and is facing even more threats today.

    In short, from new research based on some novel metrics of wellbeing, I find strong evidence that the American dream is in tatters, at least.

    White despair, minority hope

    My research began by comparing mobility attitudes in the US with those in Latin America, a region long known for high levels of poverty and inequality (although with progress in the past decades). I explored a question in the Gallup world poll, which asks respondents a classic American dream question: Can an individual who works hard in this country get ahead?

    I found very large gaps between the responses of the rich and the poor in the US (represented by the top and bottom 20% income distributions of the Gallup respondents). This was in stark contrast to Latin America, where there was no significant difference in attitudes across income groups. Poor people in the US were 20 times less likely to believe hard work would get them ahead than were the poor in Latin America, even though the latter are significantly worse off in material terms.

    A man waits at dawn, after sleeping in his car, to see a free mobile doctor in Olean, New York. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    Another question in the poll explores whether or not respondents experience stress on a daily basis. Stress is a marker of poor health, and the kind of stress typically experienced by the poor usually due to negative shocks that are beyond their control (bad stress) is significantly worse for wellbeing than good stress: that which is associated with goal achievement, for those who feel able to focus on their future.

    In general, Latin Americans experience significantly less stress and also smile more on a daily basis than Americans. The gaps between the poor and rich in the US were significantly wider (by 1.5 times on a 01 score) than those in Latin America, with the poor in the US experiencing more stress than either the rich or poor in Latin America.

    The gaps between the expectations and sentiments of rich and poor in the US are also greater than in many other countries in east Asia and Europe (the other regions studied). It seems that being poor in a very wealthy and unequal country which prides itself on being a meritocracy, and eschews social support for those who fall behind results in especially high levels of stress and desperation.

    But my research also yielded some surprises. With the low levels of belief in the value of hard work and high levels of stress among poor respondents in the US as a starting point, I compared optimism about the future across poor respondents of different races. This was based on a question in the US Gallup daily poll that asks respondents where they think they will be five years from now on a 0-10 step life satisfaction ladder.

    I found that poor minorities and particularly black people were much more optimistic about the future than poor white people. Indeed, poor black respondents were three times as likely to be a point higher up on the optimism ladder than were poor whites, while poor Hispanic people were one and a half times more optimistic than whites. Poor black people were also half as likely as poor whites to experience stress the previous day, while poor Hispanics were only two-thirds as likely as poor whites.

    What explains the higher levels of optimism among minorities, who have traditionally faced discrimination and associated challenges? There is no simple answer.

    One factor is that poor minorities have stronger informal safety nets and social support, such as families and churches, than do their white counterparts. Psychologists also find that minorities are more resilient and much less likely to report depression or commit suicide than are whites in the face of negative shocks, perhaps due to a longer trajectory of dealing with negative shocks and challenges.

    Another critical issue is the threat and reality of downward mobility for blue-collar whites, particularly in the heartland of the country where manufacturing, mining, and other jobs have hollowed out. Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University finds that poor black and Hispanic people are much more likely than poor white people to report that they live better than their parents did. Poor whites are more likely to say they live worse than their parents did; they, in particular, seem to be living the erosion of the American dream.

    The American problem

    Why does this matter? My research from a decade ago since confirmed by other studies found that individuals who were optimistic about their futures tended to have better health and employment outcomes. Those who believe in their futures tend to invest in those futures, while those who are consumed with stress, daily struggles and a lack of hope, not only have less means to make such investments, but also have much less confidence that they will pay off.

    The starkest marker of lack of hope in the US is a significant increase in premature mortality in the past decade driven by an increase in suicides and drug and alcohol poisoning and a stalling of progress against heart disease and lung cancer primarily but not only among middle-aged uneducated white people. Mortality rates for black and Hispanic people, while higher on average than those for whites, continued to fall during the same time period.

    The reasons for this trend are multi-faceted. One is the coincidence of an all-too-readily-available supply of drugs such as opioids, heroin and fentanyl, with the shrinking of blue-collar jobs and identities – primarily due to technological change. Fifteen per cent of prime age males are out of the labour force today; with that figure projected to increase to 25% by 2050. The identity of the blue-collar worker seems to be stronger for white people than for minorities, meanwhile. While there are now increased employment opportunities in services such as health, white males are far less likely to take them up than are their minority counterparts.

    Lack of hope also contributes to rising mortality rates, as evidenced in my latest research with Sergio Pinto. On average, individuals with lower optimism for the future are more likely to live in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with higher mortality rates for 45- to 54-year-olds.

    Desperate people are more likely to die prematurely, but living with a lot of premature death can also erode hope. Higher average levels of optimism in metropolitan areas are also associated with lower premature mortality rates. These same places tend to be more racially diverse, healthier (as gauged by fewer respondents who smoke and more who exercise), and more likely to be urban and economically vibrant.

    Technology-driven growth is not unique to the US, and low-skilled workers face challenges in many OECD countries. Yet by contrast, away from the US, they have not had a similar increase in premature mortality. One reason may be stronger social welfare systems and stronger norms of collective social responsibility for those who fall behind in Europe.

    Ironically, part of the problem may actually be the American dream. Blue-collar white people whose parents lived the American dream and who expected their children to do so as well are the ones who seem most devastated by its erosion and yet, on average, tend to vote against government programmes. In contrast, minorities, who have been struggling for years and have more experience multi-tasking on the employment front and relying on family and community support when needed are more resilient and hopeful, precisely because they still see a chance for moving up the ladder.

    There are high costs to being poor in America, where winners win big but losers fall hard. Indeed, the dream, with its focus on individual initiative in a meritocracy, has resulted in far less public support than there is in other countries for safety nets, vocational training, and community support for those with disadvantage or bad luck. Such strategies are woefully necessary now, particularly in the heartland where some of Algers characters might have come from, but their kind have long since run out of luck.

    Carol Graham is the author of Happiness for All? Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream (Princeton University Press, 2017).

    Do you believe the American dream is dead? Please share your experiences in confidence at inequality.project@theguardian.com

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/20/is-the-american-dream-really-dead


    Coconut Oil Isn’t As Healthy As We Thought, According To Depressing New Study

    Before you start looking for a butter substitute or a replacement for the milk in your coffee, you want to refrain from snagging somecoconut oil, as tempting as it sounds.

    As it turns out, one of the worlds most depressing studies in addition to the one aboutnegative side effects of white wine will ruin your day by letting you know that coconut oil is, in fact, unhealthy.

    What a way to start the week, huh?

    I just dont know who is pushing it, but its not scientists, Frank Sacks, heart disease specialist at Harvard School of Public Healthsaid in a statementabout our beloved oil. It may be driven by manufacturers looking to profit, or some countries economic dependence on coconut oils.

    The American Heart Association delivered the news no one wanted to hear when it said coconut oil is 82 percent saturated fat and is capable of raising bad cholesterol levels the same way butter, beef fat, andpalm oil do.

    Saturated fat raises low density lipoprotein (LDL), which isthe main cause the hardening and/or clogging of arteries leading to cardiovascular issues.

    A study was released three years ago, saying the saturated fats you consumedo not affect your risk for heart disease, which caused the need for further research. We know its a huge bummer, but its best to know what youre putting into your body before you make it a routine.

    If youre in need of a substitute oil, have a look at canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, or sunflower oil.

    So maybe there was some bad news about coconut oils saturated fat, but a little moisturizer on your legs or a natural substitutefor makeup remover might be better alternatives.

    Cheer up, ladies and gents. Well get through this together.

    Read more: http://elitedaily.com/social-news/coconut-oil-actually-bad-for-you/1995512/


    Carrie Fisher Died From Sleep Apnea, According To New Report

    More information is surfacing regarding

    As we reported, in January, Fisher’s death certificate listed the cause as “cardiac arrest/deferred,” but the coroner needed to conduct further toxicology tests to determine if drugs were a factor.

    Fast forward to Friday, a new report says Carrie died from sleep apnea, and a combination of other factors including heart disease and drug use.

    Although the coroner says she took multiple drugs, it’s unclear if the substances played a significant part in her passing.

    She will be missed.

    [Image via WENN.]

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-06-16-carrie-fisher-cause-of-death-sleep-apnea


    Indulgent-Sounding Food Labels Could Make Us Eat More Vegetables

    Good food is the core ingredient to many of our lives. And as such, every now and then we like to indulge in a juicy burger with savory flame-grilled beef or thick-cut applewood smoked bacon. Perhaps well even whet the appetite with a tropical drink named Hurricane or Rum Swizzle.

    But this begs the question: Is there something lacking in the way we describe vegetables? Would we plop more veggies on the plate if they sounded just as scrumptious?

    Scientists from Stanford University decided to put this idea to the test. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, was conducted at the most ravenous place on offer a university campus. The team labeled the vegetables using four different categories, but made no changes to their actual preparation. Corn, for example, was described as corn (basic), reduced-sodium corn (healthy restrictive), vitamin-rich corn (healthy positive), and rich buttery roasted sweet corn (indulgent).

    The researchers then monitored the number of people who chose vegetables over the course of the academic quarter. The food preparation remained exactly the same throughout that time only the food labels changed.

    Vegetables with indulgent descriptions led students to nosh on the sizzlin green beans 25 percent more often. The students also spooned 35 percent more veggies onto the plate than in the healthy positive category and 41 percent more than the healthy restrictive.

    In total, this resulted in a 23 percent increase in the mass of vegetables served per day compared to basic labeling and 33 percent more than the healthy restrictive.

    Healthy foods can be indulgent and tasty, said lead author Bradley Turnwald in a statement. They just arent typically described that way. If people dont think healthy foods taste good, how can we expect them to make healthy choices?

    While they only monitored what the university patrons took, not what they ate, the authors wrote that people generally eat 92 percent of self-served food, regardless of food type.

    The authors alsosuggestthat this low-cost intervention could easily be implemented in cafeterias and restaurants to increase the chance consumers select healthier options.

    More than one-third of adults and 17 percent of youth in the US are considered obese, according to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

    Changing the way we label healthy foods is one step toward changing the pernicious mindset that healthy eating is depriving and distasteful.

    Someone fork me over some zesty ginger-turmeric sweet potatoes with a side of sizzlin green beans and twisted citrus-glazed carrots, please.

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/indulgent-sounding-food-labels-could-make-us-eat-more-vegetables/


    Demi Moore reveals she’s missing her two front teeth

    Demi Moore is missing two front teeth.

    The actress revealed her dental issue Monday night during an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.”You sent us a photo and its the most insane thing Ive ever seen, said Fallon as an image of the 54-year-old actress smiling without her pearly whites appeared. While the photo showed Moore without one tooth, she explained both front teeth are actually missing.

    How did this happened?” he asked.


    I sheared off my front teeth, she explained. Id love to say it was skateboarding or something really kind of cool, but I think its something thats important to share because I think its literally, probably after heart disease, one of the biggest killers in America, which is stress. Stress sheared off my front tooth. But, in an effort to get ready for you, I wanted to make sure my teeth were in.

    Moore added she literally knocked her tooth out recently.

    It was almost like it fell out and my warranty was up. I swear! she said. Thank God for modern dentistry. All of you who go out and practice modern dentistry thank God!

    Moore also stated that despite this physical setback, her three daughters, 28-year-old Rumer, 25-year-old Scout, and 23-year-Tallulah, get a kick out of seeing their mom with the gap at home.

    They love seeing me without my teeth, said Moore. Because they think it makes me look more vulnerable and more human.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/06/13/demi-moore-shares-shes-missing-her-two-front-teeth.html


    Being overweight not just obese kills millions a year, say experts

    Described as a growing and disturbing global health crisis, more than two billion adults and children suffer from weight-related health problems

    Being overweight even without being obese is killing millions of people around the world, according to the most extensive and authoritative study of the global impact ever carried out.

    More than two billion adults and children are suffering from health problems in the world because of their weight, says a team of 2,300 experts led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE), based at the University of Washington in Seattle.

    In 2015, nearly four million people died from disease related to their weight, most commonly from heart disease. But only 60% were technically obese, which is defined as a body mass index over 30. The other 40%, or 1.6 million people, were overweight but not obese.

    The authors of the paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, describe a growing and disturbing global public health crisis.

    The study has figures for 195 countries, using data from 1980 to 2015. In the UK, nearly a quarter of the adult population 24.2% or 12 million people is considered obese. One million British children are obese amounting to 7.5% of all children in the UK.

    The numbers for those who are overweight are much higher. Public Health England says that nearly two-thirds of the adult population 63% were overweight or obese in 2015. A fifth of children starting primary school aged four to five, and a third leaving it at age 10-11, are overweight or obese.

    The studys experts say too many people assume that they will be fine unless they actually tip into obesity. Thats not so, says professor Azeem Majeed from Imperial College London, one of the studys authors.

    The risk of death and diseases increases as your weight increases, he said. People who are overweight are at high risk of mortality and other diseases [beyond obesity itself].

    Body mass index is the most common measure of obesity and is a ratio between weight and height. It is imperfect on an individual basis, because it does not allow for muscle as opposed to fat, but it can give an accurate assessment of population risk. BMI of 25 to 29 is considered to be overweight, while over 30 is obese.

    People often assume you need to be really fat to be at risk, said Majeed. But once you hit a BMI of 25, your risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer all begin to increase.

    Obesity has doubled since 1980 in more than 70 countries and has steadily risen in most of the others. Although the prevalence of obesity among children has been lower than among adults, the rate of increase in childhood obesity in many countries was greater than that of adults.

    Among the 20 most populous countries, the highest level of obesity among children and young adults was in the United States, at nearly 13%. Adult obesity was highest in Egypt, at about 35%.

    The lowest obesity rates were in Bangladesh and Vietnam, where they were just 1%. China, with 15.3 million, and India, with 14.4 million, had the highest numbers of obese children. The United States, with 79.4 million, and China, with 57.3 million, had the highest numbers of obese adults in 2015.

    People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions, said Dr Christopher Murray, an author on the study and director of IMHE.

    Those half-serious New Year resolutions to lose weight should become year-round commitments to lose weight and prevent future weight gain.

    Dr Ashkan Afshin, the papers lead author and an assistant professor of global health at IHME, said: Excess body weight is one of the most challenging public health problems of our time, affecting nearly one in every three people.

    The IHME is partnering with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to exchange data on what is driving the epidemic.

    Over the past decade, numerous interventions have been evaluated, but very little evidence exists about their long-term effectiveness, said Afshin. Over the next 10 years, we will closely with the FAO in monitoring and evaluating the progress of countries in controlling overweight and obesity. Moreover, we will share data and findings with scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders seeking evidence-based strategies to address this problem.

    The study shows being overweight or obese is linked to cancers of the oesophagus, colon, rectum, liver, gall bladder, biliary tract, pancreas, breast, womb, kidney, thyroid and leukaemia, as well as heart disease and stroke. It also notes that weight is an important factor behind years lost from disability caused by musculoskeletal disorders.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/12/being-overweight-not-just-obese-kills-millions-a-year-say-experts


    One-month sugar detox: A nutritionist explains how and why

    (CNN)If you’ve read about the latest wellness trends, you may have entertained the idea of a diet detox.

    But whether you’ve considered juicing, fasting or cleansing in an effort to lose weight or improve your well-being, you’re probably aware that drastically cutting out foods is not effective as a long-term lifestyle approach to healthy eating.
    In fact, strict detoxing can cause issues including fatigue, dizziness and low blood sugar.
      But there is one kind of sustainable detox that is worthwhile, according to some experts. Reducing sugar in your diet can help you drop pounds, improve your health and even give you more radiant skin.
      “Sugar makes you fat, ugly and old,” said Brooke Alpert, a registered dietitian and co-author of “The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, Lose the Weight — Look and Feel Great.” “What we’ve discovered in the last couple of years is that sugar is keeping us overweight. It’s also a leading cause of heart disease; it negatively affects skin, and it leads to premature aging.”

      Sugar addiction

      Here’s more bad news: We can’t stop consuming sugar. “People have a real dependency — a real addiction to sugar,” Alpert said. “We have sugar, we feel good from it, we get (the feeling of) an upper, and then we crash and need to reach for more.”

        Why sugar intake has increased

      About 10% of the US population are true sugar addicts, according to Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics and member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. What’s more, research suggests that sugar induces rewards and cravings that are similar in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs.
      One of the biggest concerns is the amount of added sugars in our diets, which are often hidden in foods. Although ice cream cake is an obvious source of sugar, other foods that may not even taste sweet — such as salad dressings, tomato sauces and breads — can be loaded with the white stuff.
      “People don’t realize that seemingly healthy foods are loaded with sugar — and so we’re basically eating sugar all day long, from morning till night,” Alpert said.

      How to sugar detox: Going cold turkey for three days

      The good news is that even if you’re not a true sugar “addict,” by eliminating sugar from your diet, you can quickly lose unwanted pounds, feel better and have a more radiant appearance.
      “There is no one person who wouldn’t benefit by eliminating added sugars from their diets,” Lustig said.
      Children can benefit, too. Lustig’s research revealed that when obese children eliminated added sugars from their diets for just nine days, every aspect of their metabolic health improved — despite no changes in body weight or total calories consumed.
      But going cold turkey is what works best, at least in the beginning.
      “Early on in my practice, when I would notice that people had real addiction to sugar, we’d start trying to wean them of sugar or limit their intake or eat in moderation … but the word ‘moderation’ is so clichd and not effective,” Alpert said. “It was just ineffective to ask people to eat less of something when they’re struggling with this bad habit. You wouldn’t ask an alcoholic to just drink two beers.
      “What was so successful in getting my clients to kick their sugar habit was to go cold turkey. When they would go cold turkey, I wasn’t their favorite person — but the number one positive effect was that it recalibrated their palate,” she said. “They could now taste natural sugars in fruits, vegetables and dairy that they used to be so dulled to.”
      So for the first three days on a sugar detox, Alpert recommends no added sugars — but also no fruits, no starchy vegetables (such as corn, peas, sweet potatoes and butternut squash), no dairy, no grains and no alcohol. “You’re basically eating protein, vegetables and healthy fats.”
      For example, breakfast can include three eggs, any style; lunch can include up to 6 ounces of poultry, fish or tofu and a green salad, and dinner is basically a larger version of lunch, though steamed vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach can be eaten in place of salad. Snacks include an ounce of nuts and sliced peppers with hummus. Beverages include water, unsweetened tea and black coffee.
      Though they don’t contribute calories, artificial sweeteners are not allowed on the plan, either. “These little pretty colored packets pack such a punch of sweetness, and that’s how our palates get dulled and immune and less reactive to what sweetness really is,” Alpert said.
      Consuming artificial sweeteners causes “you not only (to) store more fat,” Lustig explained, “you also end up overeating later on to compensate for the increased energy storage.”

      How to sugar detox: When an apple tastes like candy

      Once the first three days of the sugar detox are completed, you can add an apple.
      “By the fourth day, an apple tastes like candy,” Alpert said. “The onions are sweet! Almonds are sweet! Once you take sugar away from your diet cold turkey, your palate recalibrates, and you start tasting natural sugars again.”
      Starting with day four, you can add one apple and one dairy food each day. Dairy, such as yogurt or cheese, should be full-fat and unsweetened. “Fat, fiber and protein slow the absorption of sugar, so taking out fat from dairy will make you absorb sugar faster,” Alpert said.
      You can also add some higher-sugar vegetables such as carrots and snow peas, as well as a daily serving of high-fiber crackers. Three glasses of red wine in that first week can be added, too.
      During week two, you can add a serving of antioxidant-rich berries and an extra serving of dairy. You can also add back starchy vegetables such as yams and winter squash.
      For week three, you can add grains such as barley, quinoa and oatmeal, and even some more fruit including grapes and clementines. You can also have another glass of red wine during the week and an ounce of dark chocolate each day.
      “Week three should be quite livable,” Alpert said.
      Week four is the home stretch, when you can enjoy two starches per day, including bread and rice, in addition to high-fiber crackers. Wine goes up to five glasses per week.
      “You can have a sandwich in week four, which just makes things easier,” Alpert said. “I want people living. Week four is the way to do it.”
      Week four defines the maintenance part of the plan — though intentional indulgences are allowed, such as ice cream or a piece of cake at a birthday party. “Because the addictive behavior is gone, having ice cream once or twice will not send you back to square one,” Alpert said. Additionally, no fruit is off-limits once you’ve completed the 31 days.
      “The whole purpose is to give people control and ownership and a place for these foods in our life,” Alpert said.

      Benefits and cautions with slashing sugar

      Detoxing from sugar can help you lose weight quickly. “We had over 80 testers from all over the country, and they lost anywhere between 5 to 20 pounds during the 31 days, depending on their weight or sugar addiction,” Alpert said. “Many also noticed that a lot of the weight was lost from their midsection. Belts got looser!”
      Participants also reported brighter eyes, clearer skin and fewer dark circles. They also had more energy and fewer mood swings.
      “I have lost approximately 40 pounds following the sugar detox,” said Diane, who preferred not to share her last name. She has been on the plan for approximately two years.
      “I thought I was educated on weight loss, but like many, I was miseducated, and by reducing fat, I was really just adding sugar. With the elimination of sugar, including artificial sweeteners, it is incredible how sweet foods tastes.”
      Diane added back some healthy fats into her diet, which keeps her feeling satisfied. And her sugar cravings disappeared. “This is probably the longest I have remained on a plan, and I don’t feel like this will change. It just feels natural and normal.”
      There are challenges and medical considerations before starting, though. Since the first few days of a sugar detox can be challenging, it’s important to pick three days during which your schedule will be supportive.
      “Depending on how intense your addiction is, you can experience withdrawal symptoms, such as brain fog, crankiness and fatigue,” Alpert said. Lustig found that the children in his study experienced anxiety and irritability during the first five days of eliminating sugar and caffeine, though it eventually subsided.
      “If you feel bad, stop and have a piece of fruit. But if you can push through and stay well-hydrated, you can really break your cycle of sugar addiction,” Alpert said.

      See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

      It’s important to note that the plan may not be appropriate for diabetics, extreme athletes or anyone taking medication to control blood sugar. It is also not recommended for pregnant women.
      Finally, before starting a sugar detox, enlist the help of friends and/or family members for support. “You need people around you to help you be successful,” Lustig said. “The whole family has to do it together.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/09/health/sugar-detox-food-drayer/index.html