'Long napping during weekend prevents diabetes'

If you happen to be one of those who prefer staying asleep up till late on the weekend, you could be actually doing a great service to your health, suggests an Australian study.

The study found sleeping longer at the weekend can help those who burn the candle at both ends during the working week. Insulin in the body worked better after a weekend of lie-ns- especially for those lacking in sleep, Daily Mail reported.

Having insulin that keeps blood sugar levels under control is known to cut the odds of developing diabetes.

Specifically, getting up late on a Saturday and Sunday seems to cut the odds of type 2 diabetes, the form of diabetes that usually strikes in the middle age.

It is known to be linked to lack of sleep, as well as obesity, and carries with it a host of complications from strokes and heart attacks to blindness, kidney disease and nerve and circulatory damage, which can lead to amputations.

The Australian researchers said their findings could help improve the health of those struggling for enough sleep in an increasingly hectic world.

During their study, the results of which were presented at a major medical conference, researchers monitored 19 healthy young men who usually only had around six hours of shut eye on weeknights.

The researchers, from the University of Sydney, said the finding is particularly important in today’s fast-paced world.

“We all know that we need to get adequate sleep but that is often impossible because of work demands and busy lifestyles,” said researcher Peter Liu.

“Our study found that extending the hours of sleep can improve the body’s use of insulin, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes in adult men”.

Low melatonin levels tied to diabetes risk

Low levels of melatonin, a hormone regulating the sleep-wake cycle, may increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in women, a new study has warned.

US researchers found that women who had low levels of melatonin at night had twice the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over a 12-year period compared with women who had high melatonin levels.

The link between low melatonin levels and Type 2 diabetes held even after the researchers took into account other factors that could increase the risk of diabetes, such as age, weight, physical activity levels and sleep duration.

However, the study only found an association, and cannot prove that low melatonin levels cause Type 2 diabetes, website MyHealthNewsDaily reported.

The findings raise the question of whether increasing people’s melatonin levels, through supplements or prolonged exposure to darkness, could decrease diabetes risk, said study researcher Dr Ciaran McMullan, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The new study involved 370 women who developed Type 2 diabetes between 2000 and 2012 (but did not have the condition before the study’s start), and 370 women who didn’t develop diabetes.

Urine samples were collected in the morning as a way to measure melatonin levels produced overnight.

Factors that can lower melatonin levels include: sleep disturbances, short sleep duration, working the night shift and taking certain drugs, such as beta-blockers, said Dr John Forman, also of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The study included mostly white women, so it’s not clear if the results apply to men or to other ethnic groups, the researchers said.

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More sleep can aid weight loss

Those who get enough sleep and don’t get stressed are apparently more likely to succeed in the battle against the bulge. The recent US study of 472 obese adults all aged over 30 showed that sufficient sleep and lower stress levels predicted greater weight loss.

The patients were recruited for the first part of a clinical trial by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and scientists quickly observed that “sleep time predicted success in the weight loss programme” and those who weren’t stressed also lost more weight.

More sleep and less stress could help to eliminate obesity

The weight-loss programme consisted of a series of weekly sessions with a nutritionist and behavioural counsellor. During each meeting the adults were asked to set food and exercise goals, and develop a weight-loss action plan. They reduced their daily calorie intake by 500, were asked to eat a healthy low-fat diet and do at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Each participant also kept a diary of their record daily food and drink intake and physical activity levels.

At the end of the study, participants lost an average of 6.3kg, with over half losing at least 4.5kg. The researchers found that people who slept between six and eight hours each night were more likely to lose weight than those who had less than six or more than eight hours of sleep. Stress levels were also found to affect the weight loss.

In the report, which was published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers stated: “These results suggest that early evaluation of sleep and stress levels in long-term weight management studies could potentially identify which participants might benefit from additional counselling.”

[adsense]Commenting on the research, Dr Ryan Mehta, Project Clinical Director and Senior Physician at Bupa UK, said: “The results of this study make sense, that not being stressed and getting a reasonable night’s sleep may help you lose weight. It’s an interesting study and confirms what we already know – if you have a good night’s sleep and low stress levels, you have fewer barriers for exercising and therefore are more likely to lose weight.

“However, it’s important to note that this study was only based on a very small number of people, most of whom were women, who were all keen to lose weight in the first place. Also, although the researchers excluded adults with certain health conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it’s possible that they had other health conditions that made it difficult for them to lose weight.“

A recent study of obesity in the US has revealed that the overall rate across the country had increased by 4% since a previous study in 2008. The worst culprit was West Virginia, where 33.5% of adults are now clinically obese – that’s one in every three people.

Also, click here to read about how milk consumption has been linked with weight loss.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband collapses following exhaustion and lack of sleep

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband fainted at their Bel Air home on Wednesday night due to exhaustion and is now in the process of recovering, says a report published in www.dailynews.com. Gabor returned home from UCLA hospital recently and is struggling to recuperate from her hip surgery.

Her husband Frederic Prinz von Anhalt was reportedly exhausted and was not getting proper night’s sleep since July 17 when Zsa Zsa fell off the bed and broke her hip. Anhalt was feeling dizzy and fell due to a sudden black out of his mind. He also bruised his shoulder when he fell down and has now been ordered to take complete bed rest at home. The couple is now bedridden.

Anhalt is not taking any calls, according to the report published in www.examiner.com. Zsa Zsa has seen a slight improvement in health and is speaking a bit, taking proper rest and sleeping a lot. The doctors also believe that her hip replacement surgery went fine and is healing with time. Gabor’s liver checkup is scheduled after 10 days. The checkup is necessary as she has been on antibiotics for quite a while.

Gabor’s hip replacement surgery took place on July 19 and she came back home after a month. Few days back, she was taken to the hospital due to the development of blood clots. She has been read her last rites and has declined any further surgery.

Read about Zsa Zsa Gabor’s fall and Zsa Zsa Gabor in critical condition. She recently asked to be read her last rites.

Images: PR Photos

Parents of a newborn miss 6 months of sleep in 2 years, says a new study

A new health report published in www.telegraph.co.uk has claimed that parents of newborn babies face a deprivation of six months of sleep during the first two years of their child’s life.  This is an alarming situation as an average adult needs at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a day in order to have a healthy body and to function properly.

Most of the people fail to get the sleep due to their crying offspring who is less than 2 years of age. As a result of the sleep deprivation, the adults sometimes have to face situations like depression, breakups and even arguments. These results have come out after a study on 1000 parents.

According to www.dailymail.co.uk, 64 percent of the parents who have babies aged less than 2 years, get only three and three-quarters of uninterrupted sleeping hours.

This is not the 100 percent of the recommended sleep for adults. The situation is worse for some parents. The survey also showed that 12 percent of the parents get only two and half hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

This just means that majority of the fathers and mothers miss out on almost six months of sleep in the span of two years.

Celebrities whose pregnancies we have reported on include Celine DionKelly PrestonCourteney Cox Arquette and Marcia Cross. Brooke Shields suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her child.

Images: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/969796, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1040793

Cherry juice- a new cure for insomnia

One out of four adults suffers from insomnia and one out of five do not get more than five hours of sleep at night. The study was led by Dr Wilfred Pigeon from the University of Rochester. According to www.nhs.uk, he believes that the juice contains high levels of melatonin which is a sleep-wake cycle regulating hormone. The team of researchers took into consideration the sleeping patterns of the participants on two routines.

In the first routine, the participants had to drink cherry juice and in the second they had to consume some other fruit juice. It was noticed that during the first routine, the people slept for 17 more minutes. According to Dr. Pigeon, ‘Given the side-effects of some medications, it is encouraging to have a natural alternative.’

Cherry juice can help insomniacs in getting a good night’s sleep, claims a health report published by www.dailymail.co.uk.

The research to prove the fact was done on volunteers who were made to drink one glass of unsweetened cherry juice in evening as well as in the morning.

As a result of the study, it was seen that the volunteers were able to sleep better when they consumed cherry juice as compared to when they had other juices. Insomnia is common and it is a challenge for the medical fraternity to cure it. During the research, the volunteers who consumed cherry juice were able to sleep longer.

One celebrity who suffers from a sleep disorder is Rosie O’Donnell, who has sleep apnea. Another celebrity who suffers from a sleep disorder is Jimmy Kimmel, who continues to battle narcolepsy.

Images: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1205850,

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/364462

Blame sleep deprivation for drug abuse in teens

A recent study has revealed that poor sleeping patterns in youngsters drive them to take drugs. According to www.sciencedaily.com, behaviors like obesity, smoking, altruism are contagious. Contrary to the popular belief that drug abuse has a negative effect on an individual’s sleep, researchers have now found that a loss or lack of sleep may lead adolescents to use drugs. Therefore, as a socially connected being, one needs to keep a check on a particular behavioral pattern because it has a tendency to affect the life of the person and his friends in more ways than one.
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As suggested by the study, if the parents, schools or the law enforcement authorities wish to curtail the abuse of drugs among adolescents, they first need to target sleeping patterns. The study has been conducted by the researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Harvard University.

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Sara C. Mednick, researcher at the University of California said: “This is our first investigation of the spread of illegal drug use in social networks. We believe it is also the first study in any age population on the spread of sleep behaviors through social networks.” As per www.in.com, the suggestions for lifestyle changes suggested by the team of researchers include keeping TV sets out of child’s bedroom, restricting usage of phone to daytime only and promoting nap culture at home.

Celebrities who have battled drug addictions include Johnny CashDrew BarrymoreLiza Minnelli,Lindsay Lohan and Mickey Rourke, to name only a few.

Images: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1215934; http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1084472