Your Phone Could Be Causing You Bad Sleep And Even Disease

Woman sleeping in bed and holding a mobile phone.Do you have a cell phone? If you’re reading this in the year 2016, then the odds are that you do. And if you’re like most Americans, then you’re probably at least slightly addicted to your phone. Nobody can blame you for being obsessed with your device considering everything such a small and convenient object can do. Nevertheless, you might want to take a few steps away from your phone to save your health. More research is producing evidence that people who use their phones more, especially close to bedtime, get worse and less sleep, plus it could even lead to disease!

 

The Research

In one of the most recent studies on sleep and cell phone use, Dr. Gergory Marcus, comments on how poor sleep quality is not only connected to difficulty concentrating or being in a bad mood, but may also be a risk factor to multiple diseases. That’s why so many Americans having access to phones can be concerning if the new evidence continues to be verified.

 

In the study, 653 adults had an app on their phone that recorded screen time for 30 days. Each day they would record their length of sleep and sleep quality. On average, the researchers found that people used their phones for 3.7 minutes and as the usage time increased, the quality of sleep decreased.

 

The Results

So what do these results mean? The study doesn’t exactly prove that there is a direct relationship between extended screen time and poor sleep on its own. However, it does support other research that sights phone time as factor for difficulty sleeping. Thus, the results can be taken seriously, though there is room for extended research.

 

Why is your phone doing this? Data suggests that the blue light that your phone emits suppresses melatonin, which is a hormone the helps your body maintain its circadian rhythms. In addition, what is definitely known is that emotional upset or being stimulated can affect sleep quality. Meaning that going on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and watching a video of puppies or seeing pictures of a serious crisis could definitely affect the way you get to sleep.

 

What does this mean for you?

Even if the conclusion isn’t set in stone, you should still take these results seriously to prevent future issues and to get better sleep for a happier and healthier tomorrow. If you are already having problems falling asleep or are struggling to function the next morning, then seriously try setting aside the phone to see if that helps. Researchers suggest that you avoid your phone as much as an hour prior to sleeping. You have nothing to lose by letting your phone sit on its own. It will be working the next morning and you can go back to scrolling through Twitter or posting a selfie on Instagram.

 

Don’t underestimate the necessity of sleep, as it is vital to your physical and mental health. Without it, you could face some serious consequences as bad as high blood pressure or stroke. So text your friends “good night” an hour before you actually hit the hay. You will be making a positive difference for everyone.

Will A Soda Tax Help With Efforts To End Obesity?

It has been widely known that America has an obesity epidemic, so this has people looking for answers. This election season, four cities have a proposed tax on soda and other sugary drinks in hopes that the added financial obstacle will deter people away from consuming unhealthy products. Proponents of the tax believe that it would raise the price of the drinks by 100 percent of the tax amount, thus discouraging Americans to purchase said products. But, the results from an already taxed city may be discouraging some supporters instead.

 

The Research

A recent study conducted at Cornell University outlined that the tax implemented on Berkeley, CA was not as high as initially expected. Prices only rose by a mere 43.1 percent of the tax amount. Plus, stores near untaxed rivals were not likely to pass the taxes on to the consumer. This raises the question as to whether or not city level taxes are actually effective or will just be another tax not serving its purpose.

 

If you live in San Francisco, Oakland, Albany, or Boulder, then you may want to read further into the pros and cons of the proposed tax. Be an informed voter and read more here.

 

The Epidemic  

There aren’t many individuals who would argue against tackling the obesity epidemic; and let’s not forget about diabetes. You might wonder if it can truly be called an epidemic. Looking at the facts, it is undoubtedly an issue that should be at the forefront. The National Institutes of Health reported that more than one in every three adults are considered obese. That’s an enormous fact to swallow, but it is the reality. Whether or not this tax does what it should, there’s no doubt that obesity is an issue that needs increased attention.

 

What Can You Do?

Even if you don’t live in one of these states proposing a sugary tax, you can take the reigns on your personal health with a few healthy habits. The two primary areas of focus for a healthy lifestyle revolve around maintaining a healthy weight and balancing food and activity.

 

You want to maintain a healthy weight to benefit your overall health and prevent serious issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, gallstones, and even certain cancers. To maintain weight you need about the same energy out as the energy in. And to lose weight, you need more energy out than energy in. So, limit the time you are physically inactive, reduce your daily calorie intake by about 500 if you are struggling with obesity, maintain a healthy diet regardless, and be physically active.

 

More information on balancing your energy, suggested calorie intake, and ideal physical activity can be found here.

 

Always consult a health care professional before making any drastic adjustments to your lifestyle as they can give you specific objectives, pointers, or precautions that you might need to take into consideration. If you are struggling with obesity, take your first steps today by moving away from sugary beverages despite the presence or nonexistence of a soda tax. Live a healthy lifestyle now for an enjoyable future.

Women Are Drinking Alcohol At About The Same Rate As Men

According to a new study, women are drinking virtually the same amount of alcohol that men are. Historically, men were twice as likely to drink and more than three times as likely to acquire alcohol-related issues compared to women in the early 20th century. So what does this mean? It means that it’s a perfect time to talk about alcohol-related health. Read on for information on how alcohol can seriously affect your body.

 

The Stats Today

The study analyzed millions of people across North America and Europe to determine that men were only 1.1 times more likely to drink in comparison to women and only 1.3 times more likely to consume in a problematic way. So if you thought you only had to be concerned about alcohol consumption for your male peers, then you are sadly mistaken. Women: you could being suffering from alcohol abuse as well.

 

Alcohol And The Body

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking in excess on a single occasion or over time can result in serious health issues affecting your brain, heart, liver, pancreas, immune system, and can even cause cancer.

 

Brain: Alcohol affects the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder for you to see, think, behave, and move. Mood changes are also a common side effect. In the moment, you could seriously hurt yourself, so drink with extreme caution.

 

Heart: Drinking much over a long time or a single occasion can lead to Cardiomyopathy (stretching and drooping of heart muscle), Arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), Stroke, and High blood pressure.

 

Liver: Your liver suffers great consequences from alcohol consumption/abuse. Liver problems and inflammations are often seen in the form of: Steatosis (fatty live), Alcoholic hepatitis, Fibrosis, or Cirrhosis. Remember that you only have one liver.

 

Pancreas: Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic elements that will end in pancreatitis. This is a dangerous swelling and inflammation of the blood vessels, which prevents proper digestion.

 

Immune System: Your immune system can be weakened as a result of alcohol consumption and make you more susceptible to disease. You’re more likely to contract pneumonia and tuberculosis. Binge drinking on a one occasion can leave your immune system susceptible to infections for up to 24 hours.

 

Cancer: Drinking in excess can even lead to cancers of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast.

 

Resources For You 

If you think that you or a friend is struggling with alcohol consumption, then you should seek serious help before it infringes upon their long-term health. A couple nights out at the bar can quickly spiral into a lifetime of issues both health and social related. Don’t strain your relationships and body just for a few spurts of fun.

 

Also, know that there are readily available resources that can help you combat alcohol-related issues. There are support groups, online resources, people readily available to speak to you, and much more.

 

Whether you’re a female or male, you must seek help if you think you’re suffering from alcohol addiction. Save your body and life now before it’s too late! Check out these resources if you’re ready to make an important change. You can do it!

9 Tips To Avoid Catching The Cold & Flu This Season

The dreaded cold and flu season is upon us and that means it’s time for you to take precautions so you don’t get stuck in bed feeling terrible. And contrary to popular belief, there’s much more that you can do besides washing your hands. Additionally, there are quality methods that you can employ if you catch a bug in order to shorten its lifespan. Learn how to win this cold and flu season like a pro with these effective tips.

 

 

Open up a window.

Even if you keep your distance, simply being in the same stuffy room with a sick person can make you susceptible to cold and flue viral particles. By opening a window, you can let some fresh air in and keep airborne material moving and hard to pick up.

 

Move your hand away.

Avoid touching your lips because it’s like putting yourself in direct contact with tons of germs. Think about it, your hands are everywhere. It’s a bad habit but you can break it through conscious thinking and perhaps sitting on your hands while idle.

 

Eat yogurt. 

Yogurt is known to ease digestive distress, but was also found to reduce upper respiratory infections. A 2011 study showed results that people who consumed probiotics either via supplements or fermented foods (yogurt, kimchi, kefir) had 12 percent fewer respiratory infections.

 

Mushrooms?

Mushrooms have shown some recent evidence that they can boost your immune system. People who ate a cooked shitake mushroom every day of the month demonstrated higher numbers in T cell and less inflammation.

 

Catch up on those Z’s. 

A good night’s rest is not just a luxury, but also a necessity to staying healthy. Research has found that people who sleep for less than seven hours are three times as susceptible to colds compared to people who slept at least eight hours.

 

Liquids actually work.

If you do catch the cold/flu, then you’ll want to drink plenty of liquids. Now, you’ve probably heard this one, but does it actually do anything? It actually helps thin out the mucus that you get when you’re sick. So you should drink about two liters of liquids each day until you feel 100 percent.

 

Use a humidifier.  

Dry, indoor air will make a soar throat and bad cough even worse so using a humidifier to create moisture will definitely help you.

 

Sweat, but not too much.

Working out with a gentle, brisk walk or relaxed yoga class can help you boost circulation. However, when sick, it’s not time for an intense workout. Your body necessitates energy to fight off your cold/flu.

 

Make some old-fashioned chicken noodle soup.

A classic cold and flu fighter, chicken noodle soup will open up a stuffy nose with its steam and the salty broth will combat a sore throat.

 

If you don’t want to waste any moment of time cooped up in bed and unable to fully function, then you’ll want to make these tips a part of your everyday lifestyle during this cold and flue season. Stay healthy and take care!

52% Of Americans Say The Election Is A Significant Source of Stress

American FlagA survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) has found that 52 percent of American adults find the 2016 election to be a substantial source of stress in their lives. Some may be surprised and others may not be so surprised. Across party lines most can agree that the media coverage of this election can be completely overinflated. That’s why it’s so hard to avoid exposure and triggered stress due to differing opinions. But if you want to take control of your mental health, know that this added stress is just that: added. Learn how to worry less and find mental peace.

 

The Details

According to the APA survey, men and women are equally as likely to feel election-related anxiety. Additionally, the stress isn’t split down to one party. Each party shares their fair share of stress so that the divide is virtually equal with 55 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans reporting elevated stress.

 

Moreover, the largest groups experiencing stress are people 71 or older and Millennials. Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers are less likely to sight stress. So not matter who you are, you’re probably feeling some type of stress or experiencing it from time to time. If you are stressing, then your overall stress level will likely have increased, according to the survey results.

 

Election-related anxiety is not one to take lightly and there are certain steps that you should take so you can make it to and past November 8, 2016.

 

How To Decrease The Added Stress

Not everyone deals with stress in the same way but there are quite a few ways to try and avoid adding on stress to your already busy life. Here are a few ways the APA suggests you go about it:

 

  • Don’t be afraid to change the subject- If having conversations with someone who has opposing opinions gives you a lot of stress or anxiety, then politely make it known you wouldn’t like to talk about politics. Your mental health is more important than trying to convince someone to see it your way.
  • Limit your media consumption- Steer away from social media and media in general. Don’t become obsessed with knowing every single last detail and limit your media consumption.
  • Channel your energy- Use your passion and put it towards a cause. Volunteer in your community, join local groups, or advocate for a specific issue on your own. Instead of getting angry, put your emotions to good use by getting active.
  • Be mindful that life will go on- After November 8, life will continue to go on. Relax and try not to consider the “what-if’s.”

 

Try not to be consumed by stress for the remainder of this election season. Make positive decisions for the benefit of your mental health. Next time, instead of getting into a heated debate, share these stress-free methods with that person. We could all use a little breather after this long campaign season. So relax and take a deep breathe for your health.

Your Stress Levels Could Be Offsetting Your Healthy Diet

Your mental state could be costing you those health goals that you’ve been working so hard towards. Negative emotions like stress and depression can alter the inflammation levels in your body. And what does inflammation do? Well inflammation is connected to serious health issues such as obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Your healthy diet that combats all of these issues could be offset by your mental health. So let’s find out how effected you could be from your stress levels.

 

What are the facts?

 

In a study published in Molecular Psychiatry, women who ate an unhealthy meal showed signs of inflammation. However, women who had low stress levels and ate a healthy meal did not show these signs, while the women who reported high levels of stress showed signs of inflammation in both meals. These results are loose as there is some ambiguity within the study, but are still in line with other studies that site metabolic changes due to daily stressors.

 

It’s a snowball effect.

 

What’s another side effect of stress? Eating junk food. Stressed people like to turn to “comfort food” in times of trouble. In fact, nearly 40 percent of Americans report overeating or eating unhealthy foods as a result of stress. This means that not only is the stress contributing to inflation, but you will also be compounding the effects by eating unhealthy foods.

 

Stress has been a known trigger.

 

We’ve always known that stress is a big contributor to serious health consequences, but research is starting to investigate how powerful it is in the face of a healthy diet. You may have thought that you could offset your stress with a more healthy diet, however that is probably not the case anymore.

 

If you don’t decrease your stress levels, then you could be signing your name to a future that includes: cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression, anxiety, infertility, memory loss, frequent colds, or digestive problems and more!

 

Lower your stress levels everyday.

 

There are multiple methods that you can try to reduce your levels of stress. It’s ultimately up to each individual to find out what works best. Some ideas for you include: exercise, meditation, reading, any type of hobby, or even spending time with friends or your pets. You can also try eating anti-stress foods such as leafy vegetables, fermented foods, or wild-caught Alaskan salmon. When you find the best methods that work for you, stick to it and make a plan to ensure your stress levels decrease.

 

Your health is one of the most important things that you can invest in. You can ignore your stress levels in sacrifice of work, but you may not have a future that can even support everything you’ve worked up to. So take care of yourself now, if not there may not be a good tomorrow despite all of your efforts.

 

For more information on the effects of stress and how you can combat it, look here.

Anxiety Is Now More Prevalent Than Cancer

If you have been experiencing anxiety, you aren’t alone. According to a 2015 study, anxiety is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the U.S. The results show that the prevalence surpasses that of cancer by 800 percent, making anxiety the most common mental illness in the nation. Learn about the basics, how to cope, and the best plan of attack.

 

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has collected data which has lead them to the conclusion that as many as 40 million people, or 18 percent of adults aged 18 and up, suffer from anxiety. This data includes those with general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and panic disorder. So yes, that means anxiety has surpassed depression as a predominant mental illness with as many as 50 percent of college students seeking clinical help with anxiety.

 

In order to combat this mental crisis, we have to know what we’re dealing with and how exactly is it caused.

 

What Causes Anxiety?

 

Stress is a strong contributor to the issue of anxiety. While genetics, brain chemistry, life, and personality also contribute to the probability of anxiety, any type of stress can be found as the common trigger. Other triggers that are commonly associated with anxiety include: exposure to cell phones/radiofrequencies, food additives, GMOs, food dye, lack of vitamin D or omega-3, artificial sweeteners, excessive sugar or junk food, improper breathing, and exposure to toxic mold.

 

What Happens During A Panic Attack?

 

Panic attacks can be scary even if it’s not the first time it has happened. The attack is normally sudden and develops a serious sense of fear, impending doom, or even death. This sort of fear is typically not proportional to the actual situation. Common physical symptoms include: hyperventilation, heart palpitations, sweating, hot or cold flashes, trembling, nausea, dizziness, and numbness or tingling.

 

Few last longer than an hour and it isn’t uncommon for people to seek medical attention thinking they are having a heart attack or similar problem.

 

How To Cope With Anxiety Attacks

 

It’s all about breathing. The process involves the goal of preserving and gathering CO2. This way you will have calmer breathing and in turn reduced anxiety.

 

  1. So start with taking a small breath into your nose and a small breath out. Hold your nose for five seconds to hold your breath and release.
  2. Breathe ordinarily for 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat steps one and two several times, typically until you reach a relaxed state of mind.

 

Anxiety cannot be dealt with in the same way for every individual, so you can also try taking a brisk walk instead of pacing, listening to sounds of nature or calming music, exercising, or call someone you trust to “talk it out.”

 

Anxiety is a serious mental issue plaguing millions of individuals on a daily basis. If you want to learn more about how to deal with anxiety, treat it, or how to help a friend, then visit this page for more information. Talk to your doctor or seek professional help if you think you are suffering from anxiety because mental health is just as important as your physical health. Seek help and take action.

Health Tips For Women To Improve The Heart, Body, And Mind

Health is an important concept to incorporate into your everyday life so that you can live happily, well into your more mature years. The concept is not exclusive to women, however human anatomical structure is built differently. Thus, the following tips will be aimed at how women can specifically improve their health every day.

Many of these tips will apply to men as well, so men don’t click away! Plus we all have women in our lives, you could help motivate them to be healthier or simply pass along the message.

According to WebMD, here are some great tips to help women improve the heart, body, and mind.

Develop A Heart-Healthy Diet

Who doesn’t want to avoid heart disease and stroke? That’s right, nobody! That’s why you need to take integrate this tips into your life right this second:

  • Choose whole grains when possible. Try brown rice instead of white and whole wheat pasta.
  • Increase you fruit and veggie intake. (Too much fruit could push you into the dangerous sugar amount. Find a good balance.)
  • Eat lean proteins such as fish, beans, poultry, and legumes.
  • Avoid processed foods, salt, sugar, and saturated fat.

You don’t have to have the strictest diet in the world. Take baby steps and show an effort.

Exercise Every Day

Of course, the more active the better! Get your heart pumping, your muscles moving, and your body in shape. At a minimum, you want to aim for two and a half hours a week of moderate activity such as brisk walking. And if you can be more active, try about 1 hour and 15 minutes of running or playing soccer. Strength training can also be helpful.

Try parking your car far away or walking your dog to hit about 10,000 steps every day. Do whatever it takes to be active.

Shed Some Weight

This isn’t simply for aesthetic purposes, you’ll also benefit from lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. This means you’ll have to increase your exercise and improve your diet by avoiding everyday items that contain heavy sugar and salt, like coffee, soda, or salad dressing.

Minimize Your Stress Levels

Stress is not only taking a toll on your mentality, but also affects you physically. Over time, your body and heart could really suffer from built-up stress. To relieve some stress try:

  • Deep breathing
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Healthy Eating
  • Yoga
  • A massage
  • Talking to someone you trust or a counselor

Uphold The Little Things

Make little choices everyday that will help you in the long-run.

  • Brush your teeth twice each day.
  • Limit your alcohol to one drink a day.
  • Take your medication exactly as prescribed.
  • Aim for a healthy 8 hours of sleep.
  • Use sunscreen, but get your vitamin D daily.
  • Don’t smoke

Your health is extremely important so make it a priority! It’s not that hard to improve your body, mind, and soul. You just have to be mindful and put forward a concentrated effort. Do it for yourself and your future.

 

Worried About Hillary’s Health? How About Yours?

Active senior couple in the park
Active senior couple in the park

In the realm of political America, the concern over Hillary Clinton’s health is interesting. People are debating whether or not she’s seriously ill. Aside from the fun certain people get from deliberating how fit she is for presidential candidacy, we could say that this situation is a sound reminder to take care of our own health. This way we can rock the world well past 65.

Maintaining your health is often times seen as too difficult or inconvenient, but it continues to be the most important lifestyle decision for you and your loved ones. You can get started with these simple health tips from Health.com and ease yourself into living a healthy lifestyle and avoid serious illness.

Wash the linens.

Especially if you have allergies, dust mites can be major pests to your health. Wash your sheets and pillowcases each week in hot water and tell those dust mites you’re not dealing with them.

Get moving and do some jumping jacks.

Stress is never a positive factor when it comes to your health. So if you feel overwhelmed or just not in the best mood, do 25 jumping jacks to help stop those negative elements in their tracks.

Get a deep sleep and silence your phone.

Your phone will always be there, but you’re chance at health won’t always be. Turn your phone on silent or completely off to avoid waking up after you’ve laid down for bed. Sleep is essential to recharge and be sufficiently ready for a new day.

Go commando.

Ditching your underwear (perhaps overnight) can allow the external genitals to dry and reduce bacteria growth as a result. You’ll be less prone to bladder infection or UTI’s.

Turn down the volume.

MP3’s and headphones could be the source for your hearing loss overtime. Use the 60/60 rule which suggests listening to music at 60 percent of the max volume for a maximum of 60 minutes a day.

Use carrots as your office snack.

Carrots’ high vitamin A content can help you with maintaining healthy eyes. A half-cup has almost double the amount recommended. So help your eyes out while they’re staring at your work computer and take them to go.

Wear an activity tracker.

It’s proven when people can track their physical activity they tend to do more of it. You can also get together with some friends and have some healthy competition to see who is moving the most. You’ll have fun and get healthy at the same time.

Try these easy and everyday health tips so that you can be on your way to a long and prosperous lifestyle. You don’t want to get bogged down with aching muscles and serious illness during your “golden years.” So plan for the future now and start taking control of your health today.

Health Risks Put Soda Consumption On A Steady Decline

Woman drinking a colaPopular sugary beverage brand Coca-Cola has been struggling to increase or even plateau their profits as Americans and people around the world catch on to the health risks that develop from soda consumption. Around 63 percent of Americans say they actively avoid soda in their daily diet. This is around the same amount that Americans consumed soda in 1986. Even though Coca-Cola continues to increase their marketing efforts to mask the pervasively recognized health effects, their sales have dropped five percent in the year-ago quarter.

So what exactly are these consumer avoiding by decreasing their soda consumption? And should you be following their example? In short, yes! Soda is a sugary beverage that has been linked to numerous health consequences, primarily obesity and cancer. And if that’s not enough for you, here are the dirty details.

Studies Show Soda Connected To Cancer

A recent study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institution has linked the high consumption of sweetened drinks, like ones produced by Coca-Cola, to a possible increased risk of rare cancers. These cancers form in the gallbladder and bile ducts around the liver. Moreover, obesity has been previously linked to these rare cancers. So, not only is soda providing the sugar, but also the obesity.

Diet Soda May Be Even Worse

But what if you absolutely love soda? Are the diet options any better? No, they’re actually not. In fact, they are probably worse for you. Artificial sweeteners that are used in diet options have been consistently linked to weight gain and glucose intolerance. High consumption can lead to an increase in hunger and weight, definitely increasing your risk at obesity, diabetes and other related health issues. One report even shares a story of a woman who had migraines until she stopped drinking diet sodas.

Overall, by switching to diet options, you at increased risk of consuming more calories, gaining weight, and suffering the numerous consequences associated with obesity. Everything that you are already at risk of by consuming high amounts of traditional soda is essentially amplified in diet drinks, an extremely misleading product.

Don’t Do It

Thus, all sugary beverages should ideally be avoided to protect your health. And in the end, it can probably save you money as well. Try drinking filtered water or sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or lime to slowly wane yourself off of drinking soda. Unsweetened tea or coffee can also be a better alternative and for safer sweetener options use natural products like stevia or Luo Han.

Also, consult your doctor if you are concerned about your sugar intake or already have conditions (or have a family history) of diabetes or weight gain. Eliminating sugary foods can quickly benefit your health and prevent future complications. So, if you’re not one of the 63 percent of Americans actively avoiding soda in their diet you should highly consider making the change. The proof lies in the facts, not Coca-Cola’s marketing schemes.