A Heavy Blanket Helps People with Anxiety and Insomnia

A good nights sleep can make a world of difference to one’s health, getting that sleep can be hard though. A simple solution can help those who need more slumber: a heavy blanket. Sleeping under a weighted blanket kind of acts like a hug for your whole body – and everybody likes a good hug. This is a nice and simple way to help people who have trouble sleeping from insomnia, anxiety, or even PTSD.

A weighted blanket molds to your body like a warm hug. The pressure also helps relax the nervous system. It’s a totally safe and effective non-drug therapy for sleep and relaxation naturally. Psychiatric, trauma, geriatric, and pediatric hospital units use weighted blankets to calm a patient’s anxiety and promote deep, restful sleep. In a similar way to swaddling comforting an infant, the weight and pressure on an adult provides comfort and relief.

When pressure is gently applied to the body, it encourages serotonin production, which lifts your mood. When serotonin naturally converts to melatonin, your body takes the cue to rest.

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A Little Bit of Exercise Goes a Long Way

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You don’t have to go to a gym to live a healthy lifestyle, you can work out while you vacuum. Recent research has concluded that even a mild amount of effort can improve one’s health and add years to one’s life. All you need as a minimum is 2.5 hours a week of being active. Being active can include chores around your house, going for a walk, or anything that gets your blood pumping from exertion. Obviously, gyms and working out more than 2.5 hours a week can greatly improve your health more than just vacuuming.

“I would dispel the notion of having to put out money to be active,” said Dr. Scott Lear, the study lead author and a professor at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences in Canada, in an email. “Our findings indicate that nonrecreational activity — work, housework, active transportation — is just as beneficial in reducing the risk for premature death and heart disease.”

So, yes, even vacuuming your house or walking on your lunch hour for a solid 30 minutes can help avert an early death and chronic disease.

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Parkinson’s Research Using Massive Data Collected from 23andMe

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23andMe hopes to find a cure for Parkinson’s through data mining. Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological disorder that affects millions of people, and a cure is hard to find. The company collects gene samples from people who want to know their genetic lineage, which it then stores and uses for research. Along with submitting their gene users answer questions that allow researches to look into things that were previously too expensive. To properly do the the research 23andMe teamed up with Genentech for the analysis of data.

Which is why Genentech’s next step is to sequence the full genomes of 3,000 of 23andMe’s Parkinson’s patients. These volunteers have answered questions about their family history, how quickly their disease is progressing, what treatments they’ve tried and how well they’ve worked. By drilling down into all 3 billion base pairs, the pharma firm hopes to get past the most common traits of Parkinson’s—the ones that each exert a small effect to sum up to the heritability of the disease. Instead, they’re looking for those rare variants, which destroy more biological machinery than average, leaving a trail of rubble that’s easier to track.“ They’re the extreme breaks in the system,” says Rob Graham, a senior scientist in Genentech’s human genetics group, and coauthor on the Nature Genetics paper.

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Trans Fats Ban in Canada Starting in 2018

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Trans fats are really bad for you and governments around the world are starting to ban them. Canada just announced that they too will be banning trans fats alongside the United States next year. The ban is expected to improve the health of the nation, the Heart & Stroke foundation claims that 12,000 heart attacks will be prevented in the next 20 years thanks to the ban.

Eat well everyone!

The oils are the main source of trans fats in foods that raise levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol, which can take a toll on our heart health.


It will apply to all foods sold in the country, including imported products and foods prepared and served in restaurants and food service establishments.

Heart & Stroke said it will reduce the number of heart attacks in Canada and save lives.

Heart & Stroke co-chaired a task force with Health Canada in 2006 that first recommended the ban.

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Helping Addicted Loved Ones

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The opioid crisis in North America damages countless lives every year, and we may be making it worse in the way we talk about addiction. FiveThirtyEight decided to look into the best ways of helping addicts using a scientific approach, they conclude that love and compassion is the best approach. Addiction is a problem for addicts and there communities, which ultimately means that the way we help addicts impacts our communities at large. If somebody you know is suffering from addiction reach out and ask them what you can do to help.

Addicts need love and support not condemnation and rejection.

“The pure tough love approach does not seem particularly effective and is sometimes quite cruel and potentially counterproductive,” Compton said.

Research on a compassionate, supportive alternative, known as Community Reinforcement and Family Therapy, finds that it is at least twice as effective at getting people into treatment, when compared with the traditional type of intervention or with 12-step programs like Al-Anon for family members. In CRAFT, family members are taught how to reduce conflict and positively motivate addicted loved ones to begin and sustain recovery. Both parties are also taught self-care skills and ways to help avoid relapse. CRAFT’s technique has none of the risks of cutting a family member out of your lif

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