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Fun Fact Friday

  • Eating chocolate makes you happy because it contains phenylephylamine – the same hormone the brain triggers when you fall in love.

  • Not having enough sleep per day leads to a desire for sex, depression and alcoholism.

  • Stomach rumblings are caused by air moving through your digestive tract and doesn’t always mean you are hungry.

  • Soda is so corrosive that without a liner, the liquid would eat through the aluminum can after three days.

Happy Friday!
 source:   factualfacts.com   https://twitter.com/Fact   @Fact

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10 Former Insomniacs Share the Trick That Finally Worked for Them

There are almost as many insomnia treatments as there are insomniacs. Here’s what some now well-rested folks did to overcome those sleepless nights.

Listen to your inner cave man

Former attorney and current health coach, Jeff Hughes, had insomnia for most of his life. It started when he was a child, and lasted well into his 30s—that was 25 years, and a lot of trial-and-error insomnia fixes ago. “How did I move beyond it? Unfortunately, there was no quick fix. I tried and tested lots of things, until I developed a routine, that worked for me. The main elements included not drinking alcohol right before bed, not having caffeine in the evening, meditating regularly, and using blue-light filters on my electronic devices, since blue light suppresses melatonin production,” he says. All those habits are highly effective bedtime hygiene techniques, but for Hughes, the most important change was learning to respect his circadian rhythms. “Humans evolved to wake up when its light outside, and to fall asleep when it gets dark. In modern times, we create our own schedules, often staying on our electronics 24-7. The body is more comfortable with the Stone Age pattern, which I now follow, on both weekdays and weekends,” he explains.

Combine M&Ms: meditation and melatonin

Jennifer Bright Reich, co-author of The Mommy MD Guide to Getting Your Baby to Sleep, started experiencing insomnia herself, when her boys were five- and three-years old. Her theory is that her newfound insomnia was caused by a very-common combination of stress, and perimenopause. “Ironically, when my boys were little, and didn’t sleep well, I could fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Then, suddenly, I couldn’t. I started to do two things: take melatonin and listen to meditation tapes. Both worked wonders,” she says. Reich takes ten milligrams of melatonin, in the form of gummy bears, each night before bed as a treat, and now has sweet dreams, instead of sleepless nights. Here’s what science has to say about meditation’s benefits.

Consider magnesium

Movement specialist Janis Isaman is committed to helping people achieve health and wellness, but when it came to her own insomnia, she was at a loss. Isaman’s fatigue was unending, and partially explained by a rib that dislocates habitually, causing her physical pain. She also experienced random periods of unexplained wakefulness, which had her up for two-to-three hours a night. “I typically woke up between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m., and stayed awake, unable to get back to sleep until 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. It was basically misery, because at that time of night (and day), there’s nothing to do. I sometimes listened to yoga nidra, or Deepak Chopra meditations, and I sometimes read. But I also sometimes lay there, tossing and turning,” she says. Isaman’s physician realized she was consistently tired, after multiple checkups in a row, and asked if she was sleeping properly. Upon learning of her ordeal with insomnia, he suggested she try magnesium, essential for helping the brain to settle down, as a first line of defense. Isaman’s doctor suggested a dosage of three 100 mg. pills for her to try—and it worked. Even a slight lack of magnesium can have detrimental effects.

Try cognitive behavioral therapy

Like many people, Mary Kaarto’s unending bouts with insomnia left her too exhausted to exercise, or to work. An author, Kaarto found herself unable to put two words together, because her decision-making abilities were too compromised by her lack of sleep. “For years, I was treated solely by my primary care physician, who prescribed various sleep medications. Most of them worked for a while, until my body developed a tolerance for them.” Frustrated, Kaarto turned to a board-certified sleep specialist, with little success. Then, she learned about cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on her own and started working with a CBT therapist who specialized in insomnia. CBT is a powerful form of therapy, designed to help patients identify, and change, negative thoughts, and actions. “My CBT therapist assured me I would be cured, and that she would make sure of it, no matter how long it took. The confidence she had helped give me the faith, confidence, and hope I needed so desperately,” says Kaarto, who has been cured of insomnia for two years.

I scaled back on coffee

Mary Ladd was cursed with a spouse who could sleep through anything. “My insomnia was so lonely, because I could hear him sleeping in bed next to me. The fact that he could sleep through the night, and I couldn’t, reminded me that my eyeballs felt dry, and tired. I begin to tally up the things I did wrong that day, or stress over what I needed to do the next. Ironically, my mom’s death brought some relief, because I had been worrying so much about her, while dealing with my own post-breast cancer symptoms,” she shares. The San Francisco native dealt with feelings of anger about her insomnia, and then, was able to create a change. “What works for me is visualization—picturing myself being cocooned in a nice, fleece blanket, and meditation, to decrease stress, and anxiety.” The 43-year old mom also keeps to a solid sleep schedule, which includes waking up when her body wants to wake up, instead of when an alarm clock says it’s time. “I also had to scale back on booze, and caffeine, many medical folks told me that my two-to-four bowls of daily coffee may have been seriously injuring my chances of a good night’s sleep. At least they didn’t take away chocolate ice cream, or runny Brie cheese, because then I would really have nothing to live for!” she laughingly adds.

Keep a sleep diary

A sleep doctor gave Amy George, a former insomniac, life-changing advice. “Three years ago, I spent the summer seeing a sleep doctor—a psychologist, not an MD. I didn’t want to keep relying on drugs like Ambien, which is addictive, no matter what anyone tells you. She had me keep a sleep diary, so I could see that I was nodding off on the couch, when I should be going to bed! She also said something I still remember, and think of – ‘Don’t put sleep on a pedestal.’ In other words, stop making it so important. Tell yourself if you lose sleep it’s OK. You’ll still function. You’ll still get through the day. Sometimes that’s what you need to do to calm down and go to sleep.”

Try essential oils

Painkillers, muscle relaxants, and anti-anxiety medications..Lynn Julian Crisci had tried them all, and none could provide relief from her 10-plus years of insomnia, following a head injury. “I could only get a few hours sleep in a row, each night. Nothing helped. Last year, I tried hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a proven treatment for multiple medical issues.” Hyperbaric oxygen therapy refers to the administering of pure oxygen, in a pressurized room, or tube. Crisci feels confident that the treatment helped heal her brain tissue, starting her on her journey of sleeping through the night. But that’s not all she did, to get the result she was hoping for. “I added CBD oil, made from hemp, to my morning, and nightly supplements. CBD oil is a neuro-protectant which is thought to protect brain tissue, aiding the part of the brain that controls sleep. Recently, I added CBD oil made from cannabis, to my nightly routine. This has a low dose of THC in it. Since then, I sleep through the night every night and wake up rested. I live in Boston and obtained a medical marijuana card, to get the cannabis-derived CBD oil,” she explains.

Learn to recognize when you’re sleepy

Dr. Sally Nazari is a well-established psychotherapist, but her many years or practice were not enough to provide what she needed to conquer her own insomnia. “I had a significant amount of trouble falling asleep and none of the home remedies were working for more than two or three nights. I learned about cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) which was only a six-session treatment,” she explains. Nazari’s sessions involved learning about cues that affected the way her brain and body responded to her bedtime routine, and rituals. Knowing this, she was able to make modifications that helped her structure her routine in a way that let her wind down, and notice that she was sleepy, instead of just tired. “CBT-I also focused on working through the thoughts related to how I reacted to the possibility of yet another sleepless night and, instead, be more ready for a better night of rest. Without those concerns, I can more easily settle into the night and let my body’s natural sleep rhythms take over,” she adds.

Focus on work-life balance

Marketing and publicity are hardly low stress fields. Even so, Jasmine Powers started not one, but two, agencies, doing that very thing. “Around 2010, I suffered terribly with insomnia, and also had trouble eating. The anxiety from my first year of full-time self-employment, and client demands, made it hard to relax, so I worked around the clock. What helped was taking anti-anxiety meds, and working with higher paying, and lower stress clients. Now, I work part-time, balancing that with lots of time outdoors, practicing mindfulness, and aligning my sleeping times with daylight,” she explains.

Invest in a new mattress

“In my experience, it’s not just one factor that must change when you are addressing insomnia in your life. Insomnia made me short with my kids,” says Hilary Thompson is a freelance writer, and former insomniac. “I was struggling at work, to keep up with demands. I got up every morning desperate for more rest. The desperation drove me to seek a solution. It turns out I had to change several things I was doing to finally get that coveted full night’s sleep,” she explains. For Thompson, those changes meant more daily exercise. “I found that if I didn’t get enough exercise every day, my body was just not worn-down enough to go to sleep. I also gave up having caffeine later in the day. When I chose to restrict my caffeine consumption to nothing after 4:00 p.m.. I was able to fall asleep at the time I wanted,” Her biggest change may have been her mattress. “My mattress was everything. I tossed and turned a lot, and was sore when I woke. I experienced low back pain, and realized that part of my insomnia was due to my inability to get comfortable. There are lots of mattresses on the market for different sleep issues and back pain. I chose a new one and added a Tempurpedic topper, and that’s what made all the difference.” Here are seven signs its time for a new mattress. 

source: www.rd.com

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Fun Fact Friday

  • Hitting snooze on your alarm can make you more tired than if you had gotten up right away.

  • We are subconsciously more attracted to people who have the same taste in music as we do.

  • Warm colors such as yellow, orange and red make you hungry – Which is why many fast food restaurants are yellow, orange and red.

  • Couples who spend at least 10 minutes a day laughing together are more likely to have a stronger relationship.

Happy Friday!
 source:   factualfacts.com   https://twitter.com/Fact   @Fact

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26 Mind-Blowing Psychology Facts That You Never Knew About People

Learning something new about yourself is always interesting and entertaining. And understanding the psychology behind the way we behave, treat others, and express ourselves can be even more appealing.

Today, we have compiled a list of the most surprising psychology facts that can help you better understand yourself and others.

Our emotions don’t affect the way we communicate.
In fact, the very opposite is true:


  1. Any friendship that was born in the period between 16 and 28 years of age is more likely to be robust and long lasting.
  2. Women generally prefer men with deep husky voices because they seem more confident and not aggressive.
  3. The people who give the best advice are usually the ones with the most problems.
  4. The smarter the person is, the faster he thinks, and the sloppier his handwriting is.
  5. Our emotions don’t affect the way we communicate. In fact, the very opposite is true: the way we communicate has an influence on our mood.
  6. The way a person treats restaurant staff reveals a lot about their character.
  7. People who have a strong sense of guilt are better at understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings.
  8. Men are not funnier than women: they just make more jokes, not caring whether other people like their humor or not.
  9. Shy people talk little about themselves, but they do this in a way that makes other people feel that they know them very well.
  10. Women have twice as many pain receptors on their bodies than men, but they have a much higher pain tolerance.
  11. Listening to high-frequency music makes you feel calm, relaxed, and happy.
  12. If you can’t stop your stream of thoughts at night, get up and write them down. This will set your mind at ease so you can sleep.
  13. Good morning and good night text messages activate the part of the brain responsible for happiness.
  14. Doing things that scare you will make you happier.
  15. The average amount of time a woman can keep a secret is 47 hours and 15 minutes.
  16. People who try to keep everyone happy often end up feeling the loneliest.
  17. The happier we are, the less sleep we require.
  18. When you hold the hand of a loved one, you feel pain less keenly and worry less.
  19. Intelligent people tend to have less friends than the average person. The smarter the person is, the more selective they become.
  20. Marrying your best friend eliminates the risk of divorce by over 70%, and this marriage is more likely to last a lifetime.
  21. Women who have mostly male friends stay in a good mood more often.
  22. People who speak two languages may unconsciously shift their personalities when they switch from one language to another.
  23. Being alone for a long time is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
  24. Travel boosts brain health and also decreases a person’s risk of heart attack and depression.
  25. People look more attractive when they speak about the things they are really interested in.
  26. When two persons talk to each other and one of them turns their feet slightly away or repeatedly moves one foot in an outward direction, this is a strong sign of disagreement, and they want to leave.
Based on materials from 8FACT 

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What Happens to Your Brain When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

If you’re tossing and turning every night, there’s some bad news. Your brain could be in big trouble!

And you thought getting your recommended seven to nine hours of zzz’s was the only thing you needed to worry about. Oddly enough, there are some pretty scary side effects to sleep loss, all around. (By the way, getting too much sleep could be bad for your health, too.)

A study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, investigated how the brain responds to bad sleep habits using lab mice. Their surprising discovery revealed that not getting enough deep sleep, along with not sleeping at all, can literally cause your brain to start eating itself. No kidding!

The team of researchers, led by neuroscientist Michele Bellesi from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy, divided the mice into four groups. While the well-rested group slept for six to eight hours, another was periodically woken up from sleep, the third group was kept awake for an extra eight hours, and a final group remained chronically sleep-deprived, staying awake for five days straight.

When the researchers compared brain activity across the four groups, they noted something odd. The neurons of both the well-rested and sleep-deprived groups continued the same healthy brain-cleaning activity that always happens when we sleep. But the brains of the sleep-deprived mice went into overdrive and began harming themselves, too.

Sound crazy? We don’t blame you. But this isn’t news to the scientific community. As we sleep, our brains do more than replenish our energy; they also clear away the toxic byproducts of neural activity from the day. (It’s also why your brain has a delete button!) While we’ve known that this process occurs when we get a good night’s sleep, apparently the same thing can happen when we lose sleep, too. But because of the lack of shut-eye, the brain goes a bit overboard with its cleaning—hence its terrifying self-eating habit.

We have only one conclusion. In the name of your brain’s health, you have a pretty good reason to hit the hay an hour earlier tonight.

source: www.rd.com

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How To Sleep Well: Fill Your Life With Purpose, Study Says

Though we may constantly feel tired, sleeping isn’t always easy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016 found that one in three Americans doesn’t get enough sleep. This can lead to a host of health problems, and more and more Americans are resorting to sleeping pills to ensure they’re able to get a good night’s rest. The American College of Physicians has recommended against using prescription drugs to treat insomnia, if possible, and now there may be hope for sleeping well without popping a pill. According to a new study, the best way to get through the night in peace may be to simply have a solid sense of purpose in your life outside of bed.

The study, conducted by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, found that people who felt their lives had purpose experienced better sleep quality than those who didn’t. They were also 63 percent less likely to suffer from sleep apnea, and 52 percent less likely to suffer from restless leg syndrome. The aim of the study, published Monday in the journal Sleep Science and Practice, was to examine the relationship between purpose in life, overall sleep quality and the presence of sleep disorders in a bi-racial sample of older adults: people who are more likely to have problems sleeping.

“Helping people cultivate a purpose in life could be an effective drug-free strategy to improve sleep quality, particularly for a population that is facing more insomnia,” said Dr. Jason Ong, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Purpose in life is something that can be cultivated and enhanced through mindfulness therapies.”

To conduct the study, the Feinberg School’s team of researchers gathered 825 people between the ages of 60 and 100. Participants were given surveys on their purpose in life and their sleep. The average age of the participants, 79, was high because people have more trouble sleeping as they get older (almost 40 percent of older adults suffer from a sleeping disorder). Trouble sleeping is also more common among African Americans, which made up more than half of of the pool of participants. None of the study’s participants suffered from dementia.

Through establishing a link between purpose in life and sleep quality, researchers found that the idea of purpose in life may be applied in a clinical setting, and recommended further research into the connection between positive psychology and sleep health. The more this is studied, the more effectively treatments like mindfulness therapy can be used to curb issues like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, which means fewer people will have to rely on prescription pills to make it through the night undisturbed.

BY RYAN BORT                   7/10/17

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Skimping On Sleep In Childhood Could Speed Up Cellular Aging

New U.S. research has found that children who sleep less appear to age faster at the cellular level – a process which can have a negative effect on health later in life.

Previous smaller studies on adults have already suggested that sleep might be linked to a shortening of telomeres – the protective “caps” at the end of our chromosomes.

Telomeres naturally get shorter as we age, every time our cells divide. However, certain lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep, poor diet, and lack of exercise, appear to accelerate this process.

When telomeres get too short, it is believed that cells are no longer able to divide in order to repair and replenish the body – a sign of aging.

Reported by New Scientist, the new study was carried out by researchers Sarah James and Daniel
Notterman and their team from Princeton University, and set out to see if sleep was linked to telomere length in children, not only adults.

The researchers gathered information from a database of 1,567 nine-year-old children from cities across the U.S., which included the children’s average sleep duration.

Saliva samples were also taken from each child to extract DNA and examine the length of their telomeres.

The results showed that those who had a shorter sleep duration also had shorter telomeres, with telomere length 1.5 per cent shorter for each hour less that children sleep per night.

The findings could be significant for children’s future health, as short telomeres have previously been linked to cancer, heart disease and cognitive decline.

Although at just 9 years old the children in the study didn’t show any signs of these conditions, James still commented that the study “raises concerns.”

Exactly how much sleep adults should be getting can be confusing, with some previous studies suggesting that too much sleep could be just as bad as too little. However, it appeared in this study that in the case of children and cell ageing more sleep is better, with James advising sticking to the current recommendation of between 9 and 11 hours of sleep per night.

Whether more sleep could actually help reverse telomere shortening remains unknown.

The findings can be found published online in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Relaxnews   Friday, July 7, 2017 
source:  www.ctvnews.ca