Mental Attitude: Sleep Plays Vital Role in Emotions.
Feeling cranky after a long night? It’s probably because your brain’s ability to regulate emotions has been compromised by lack of sleep. Researchers studied 18 participants and found that after a wakeful night, participants performed badly on tests designed to gauge their reactions to either neutral or emotional images, indicating a lower degree of regulatory processing. The findings suggest that lack of sleep appears to compromise the brain’s ability to decide what is important, and it highlights sleep’s vital role in maintaining good emotional balance and mental health.
Journal of Neuroscience, December 2015
Health Alert: At Risk for Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increases an individual’s risk for heart disease. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, metabolic risk factors include the following: excess abdominal fat, increased circumference of the waist, high levels of fatty triglycerides, low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, January 2016
Diet: Magnesium Intake May Prevent Deadly Cancer.
Investigators have found that increased magnesium intake may be beneficial in preventing pancreatic cancer. An analysis of data on more than 66,000 adults aged 50 to 76 revealed that every 100 mg per day decrease in magnesium intake was associated with a 24% increase in the occurrence of pancreatic cancer. Researcher Dr. Daniel Dibaba writes, “For those at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, adding a magnesium supplement to their diet may prove beneficial in preventing this disease… While more study is needed, the general population should strive to get the daily recommendations of magnesium through diet, such as dark, leafy greens or nuts, to prevent any risk of pancreatic cancer.”
British Journal of Cancer, December 2015
Exercise: Exercise Improves Children’s Working Memory.
School children who participated in a ten-week aerobic exercise program (45 minutes per session, three times per week) experienced improvements in working memory when compared with children in a control group who were provided with homework assistance sessions during the same time frame. The results suggest children would not only benefit physically from regular physical activity but academically as well.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, January 2016
Chiropractic: Link Between Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
An analysis of data from two large prospective studies has revealed a strong relationship between cardiovascular risk and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). The researchers found the patients at the greatest risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) were over four times more likely to develop CTS than those with the lowest CVD risk. The findings suggest managing modifiable risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease—such as high blood pressure, tobacco use, high blood sugar, physical inactivity, poor diet, poor cholesterol levels, high BMI— may not only benefit patients with CTS but may also reduce their risk for developing the condition in the first place.
Journal of Occupational and Environment Medicine, January 2016
Wellness/Prevention: How to Make Resolutions Stick.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow says that resolutions to improve your health are more easily made than kept, but there are ways to turn them into lifelong habits. He advises following the “S.M.A.R.T.” system, which includes the following five steps: Set specific goals, Monitor actions by keeping track of progress, Arrange for success by eliminating barriers, Recruit a support team to help keep motivated, and Treat yourself for keeping your resolutions.
University of Alabama at Birmingham, December 2015