Deep Sleep Can Calm and Reset the Anxious Brain

Recent research from the University of California – Berkeley, US, finds that the deep sleep, which is called non-rapid eye-movement slow-wave sleep (NREM), can calm and reset the anxious brain.Deep Sleep Can Calm and Reset the Stressed Brain

To study the effect of the deep sleep, a team of researchers performed a series of experiments using functional MRI and polysomnography of 18 young adults as they were exposed to emotionally stirring videos after a full night of sleep and after a sleepless night.

The brain scans, made after a sleepless night, showed a shutdown of the medial prefrontal cortex and the brain’s deeper emotional centers were overactive, and after a full night of sleep, the scans showed that the participants’ anxiety levels declined significantly.

Study lead author Eti Ben Simon, a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Human Sleep Science at UC Berkeley, says: “People with anxiety disorders routinely report having disturbed sleep, but rarely is sleep improvement considered as a clinical recommendation for lowering anxiety. Our study not only establishes a causal connection between sleep and anxiety, but it identifies the kind of deep NREM sleep we need to calm the overanxious brain.”

Eating Late in Evening Associated with Poorer Heart Health in Women

A new study from the US, that will be presented at the American Heart Health Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019, suggests that eating later in the evening, after 6 pm if more specific, is associated with poorer heart health in women.Eating Late in Evening Associated with Poorer Heart Health in Women

For participation in the study, the team of scientists recruited 112 healthy women whose average age was 33 years. The researchers checked the participants’ heart health at the beginning of the study and 1 year after.

During the study period, the participants used dairies to track the amount and type of food, as well as the time of having a meal for one week at the beginning of the study and one week after a year.

The results of the analysis showed that for each 1 per cent increase in calorie intake after 6 p.m., the heart health score declined.

Lead researcher Nour Makarem, Ph.D., an associate research scientist at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York, comments: “These preliminary results indicate that intentional eating that is mindful of the timing and proportion of calories in evening meals may represent a simple, modifiable behavior that can help lower heart disease risk.”

A Fat Molecule in Avocados May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes

A new study from the University of Guelph, Canada, suggests that a fat molecule that can be found only in avocados may reduce insulin resistance and thus reduce the type 2 diabetes.A Fat Molecule in Avocados May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes

For the study, the researchers tested this avocado in mice. To do this, they fed mice a high-fat diet for eight months to promote obesity and insulin resistance. After this period, the scientists added a fat molecule avocation B, or AvoB, to the mice diet for the next 5 weeks.

After 13 weeks, the mice which got AvoB supplementation had gained weight more slowly and their insulin sensitivity had increased compared to their counterparts.

The researchers also conducted a separate study with human participants. The trial showed that the participants had tolerated the compound well. Though, the researchers concluded that with a sedentary lifestyle, this compound will not provide the potential benefit.

Smokers Double Their Risk of Having Depression or Schizophrenia

Recent research from the University of Bristol, UK, finds that people who smoke regularly may have a doubled risk of developing mental health conditions, such as depression or schizophrenia. The results were published in the journal Psychological Medicine.Smokers Double Their Risk of Having Depression or Schizophrenia

The researchers believe that nicotine affects dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for emotion regulation, and serotonin contributes to wellbeing.

For the study, the scientists used data on 462,690 people of European ancestry from Biobank. All of them were 40 to 69 years old.

Lead study author Dr Robyn Wootton says: “Our work shows we should be making every effort to prevent smoking initiation and encourage smoking cessation because of the consequences to mental health as well as physical health.”

Exercising for 30 Minutes a Day May Cut Your Chances of Getting Depression

In their new study, researchers from Harvard University, US, suggest that exercising for as little as 30 minutes per day may decrease your chances of getting depression by 17 per cent.Exercising for 30 Minutes a Day May Cut Your Chances of Getting Depression

Within the scope of the study, the scientists performed analysis of around 8,000 participants in the Partners Healthcare Biobank, a long-term research program with the purpose to understand how genes affect human health.

The data analysis showed that people with higher genetic risk of depression had 20 per cent higher risk of being diagnosed with the condition, while people with the same genetic risk but who exercise regularly were 17 per cent less likely to get depression.

Drinking Coffee May Halve the Risk of Developing Liver Cancer

A new study by the researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, UK, suggests that coffee may reduce the risk of developing liver cancer by 50% due to polyphenols, contained in coffee beans, that may stop cancer cells dividing.Drinking Coffee May Halve the Risk of Developing Liver Cancer

For the study, a team of the researchers tracked 365,157 people who drank coffee regularly and more than 100,000 people who didn’t drink coffee over 7.5 years with the help of national cancer records. Within this period of time, 88 people were diagnosed with the common form of liver cancer.

Lead author of the study Kim Tu Tran says: “People with a coffee-drinking habit could find keeping that habit going is good for their health. That is because coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine, which may protect against cancer.”