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Why music is used as a potential sleep aid?

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Besides its potential to help reduce anxiety as well as the negative effects of physical pain, a new study suggests that music might serve as a cheap, non-pharmaceutical sleep aid for people facing difficulty in getting proper sleep. Sleep loss is a widespread problem and poses serious physical and economic consequences. However, there is a lack of systematic data on how widely it is used, why people opt for music as a sleep aid, or what music works.

The study found that music both stimulates sleep and blocks an internal or external stimulus that would otherwise disrupt sleep. “The study offers new understanding into the complex motivations that drive people to reach for music as a sleep aid and the reasons why so many find it effective,” said researchers including Tabitha Trahan from the University of Sheffield in the UK.

Further, to understand why people opt for music as a sleep aid, or what music works, the team investigated music as a sleep aid within the general public via an online survey that scored musicality, sleep habits, and open-text responses on what music helps sleep and why.

They examined 651 adults, who provided new evidence into the relationship between music and sleep in a population that ranged widely in age, musicality, sleep habits and stress levels. The results, published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed that 62 per cent use music to help them sleep. Even those who do not suffer from sleep disorders use music in their everyday lives to help improve the quality of their sleep experiences.

Studies have shown that music has many promising neurological and physiological effects that may be indicative of its effective use in the fight against sleep loss.
The subjective psychological benefits of music have also been linked to chemical changes observed via hormone levels as music increased oxytocin and accordingly levels of relaxation as well as decrease negative thoughts, the study noted.


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Health

What Are The Main Causes Of Childhood Obesity? Tips To Prevent Childhood Obesity

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Childhood obesity is increasing at alarming rate and it is a matter of concern. Childhood obesity is a serious health issue and can affect both physical and psychological health. Childhood obesity occurs when a child is well above the normal or healthy weight according to his or her age and height. Being overweight or obese in childhood could lead to several health issues in the long run. These include high blood sugar levels, joint pain, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, high cholesterol, asthma and heart diseases. Therefore, it is very important that parents give proper attention to their child’s eating habits and weight for their overall well-being. The primary causes of overweight or obesity in young children are similar to those in adults.

Top 4 causes of obesity in young children:

1. Unhealthy eating habits:

Food choices play an important role in maintaining a healthy body weight whether it is children or adults. One of the main reasons your child is overweight is the excessive intake of fatty, junk or processed and sugary foods.

2. Sedentary lifestyle:

If your child is inactive and spends a lot of time watching television, playing video games or on other electronic devices, this may lead to weight gain.

3. Lack of physical activity:

No physical activity is extremely harmful for your child and can make him obese. Children generally tend to eat sugary stuff or junk food which generally leads to weight gain. But if they are not engaging themselves in some physical activity to burn calories, they tend to become obese or develop some or the other health problem.

4. Genetics:

Some rare gene disorders can also cause childhood obesity. If it runs in the family, parents need to be even more conscious of making healthy food choices for the whole family.

5. Stress:

Yes! Even young children might deal with stress issues. These stress can be personal, parental and family stress. Even these factors could cause obesity in young children. Some children overeat in order to cope with stress or to deal with emotions.

Small lifestyle changes to fight childhood obesity:
Parents should make sure that children eat balanced meals with high-proteins and fibrous foods

Snacking is not bad at all. But snacking on unhealthy foods like chips, burger, muffins, pizza can be harmful. So while giving snacks to your children, go for some healthy options like healthy nuts and seeds, protein bars, smoothie, salads, whole eggs or salad

Children should not indulge in eating processed, junk and fatty foods. Even sweetened beverages are harmful for your kids as they are loaded with preservatives and added sugar. These foods do not provide any nutritional value and can lead to unnecessary weight gain

Encourage your child to spend lots and lots of time in physical activity

Limit the screen time of your children

Ensure that your child sips in adequate water throughout the day as that will help him stay hydrated

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Health

Tap into the health powers of garlic

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Garlic, an ingredient found in almost every type of cuisine, is emerging as a superfood that offers health benefits that extend well beyond just making a dish more delicious.

Part of the allium family, which includes onions and leeks, garlic has a number of compounds that supply its health-boosting effects as well as its pungent aroma.

According to wide-ranging research, garlic seems to improve immunity and heart health, help fight certain cancers, and lower triglycerides and total cholesterol, health24.com reported.

Some of these benefits can be seen after eating just one meal with raw garlic. Yet overall there’s enough evidence to have at least half a clove every day, researchers suggest.
Garlic is readily available and relatively inexpensive. Buy one whole head of garlic at a time – the skin should be dry and papery and the visible bulbs should be firm and full, not shriveled.

Get all the benefits

To get the most benefits, chop, slice or crush fresh garlic to use it. This fires up a process that makes its compounds more potent. Wait five to 10 minutes before eating or adding to a dish, especially if you’ll be mixing it with a highly acidic food like lemon juice.

Some easy ways to use minced raw garlic are to blend it into avocado, along with red onion, jalapeño and cilantro for guacamole; into chickpeas for hummus; or into cooked white beans for bean dip. Whisked into oil and vinegar with your choice of herbs, garlic adds zest to salad dressings and marinades.

But you don’t have to always eat it raw. As long as the garlic is prepped as suggested and added toward the end of a recipe, it will retain its nutritional value when cooked

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Heavy screen time appears to impact childrens’ brains

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The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends parents “avoid digital media use – except video chatting – in children younger than 18 to 24 months”

Researchers have found ‘different patterns’ in brain scans among children who record heavy smart device and video game use, according to initial data from a major ongoing US study, AFP wrote.

The first wave of information from the $300 million National Institute of Health (NIH) study is showing that those nine and 10-year-old kids spending more than seven hours a day using such devices show signs of premature thinning of the cortex, the brain’s outermost layer that processes sensory information.

“We don’t know if it’s being caused by the screen time. We don’t know yet if it’s a bad thing,” said Gaya Dowling, an NIH doctor working on the project, explaining the preliminary findings in an interview with the CBS news program 60 minutes.

“What we can say is that this is what the brains look like of kids who spend a lot of time on screens. And it’s not just one pattern,” Dowling said.

The NIH data reported on CBS also showed that kids who spend more than two hours a day on screens score worse on language and reasoning tests.

The study – which involves scanning the brains of 4,500 children – eventually aims to show whether screen time is addictive, but researchers need several years to understand such long-term outcomes.

“In many ways, the concern that investigators like I have is, that we’re sort of in the midst of a natural kind of uncontrolled experiment on the next generation of children,” Dimitri Christakis, a lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ most recent guidelines on screen time, told 60 minutes.

Initial data from the study will begin to be released in early 2019.

The academy now recommends parents “avoid digital media use – except video chatting – in children younger than 18 to 24 months.”

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