Avoid Staring Screen Before Bedtime

Insufficient sleep is associated with impaired immune responses, depression, anxiety and obesity in children and adolescents.

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A person using Smartphone, Wikimedia

Using mobile phones or watching TV in a dark bedroom just ahead of bedtime can sabotage your sleep more than when used in a well lit room or not using them at all, researchers say.

“While previous research has shown a link between screen use and the quality and length of young people’s sleep, ours is the first study to show how room lighting can further influence this,” said lead author Michael Mireku from the University of Lincoln in the UK.

Insufficient sleep is associated with impaired immune responses, depression, anxiety and obesity in children and adolescents.

The study, published in the journal Environment International, found that night-time use of phones, tablets and laptops is consistently associated with poor sleep quality, insufficient sleep, and poor perceived quality of life.

sleeping, impairment, inflammation, SLeep
  Insufficient sleep is associated with impaired immune responses, depression, anxiety and obesity in children and adolescents. . Pixabay

For the study, the research team collected data from 6,616 adolescents aged between 11 and 12 and more than 70 per cent reported using at least one screen-based device within one hour of their bedtime.

They were asked to self-report a range of factors including their device use in both lit and darkened rooms, their weekday and weekend bedtimes, how difficult they found it to go to sleep and their wake up times.

The results showed that those who used a phone or watched television in a room with a light on were 31 per cent more likely to get less sleep than those who didn’t use a screen.

mobile phone
Using mobile phones or watching TV in a dark bedroom just ahead of bedtime can sabotage your sleep. VOA

 

Also Read:Alzheimer’s Linked To Improper Sleep In Elderly: Study
The likelihood increased to 147 per cent if the same activity took place in the dark.

It has been reported that globally, 90 per cent of adolescents are not sleeping the recommended nine to 11 hours per night, which has coincided with an increase in the use of screen-based media devices.

Previous studies have shown that sufficient sleep duration and quality are vital in childhood to maintain physical and mental development. (IANS)

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Young Women More Likely to Depend on Alcohol to Improve Mental Health: Researchers

The study also tells that young women are more affected by alcohol use than men

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A recent study tells that young women appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than me leading to less interest in academics. Pixabay

Female college students are more likely to depend on drinking alcohol to improve mental well-being, say, researchers, adding that the young women appear to be more affected by high alcohol use than men, which may lead to less interest in academics.

“Cognitive aptitudes of young women appear to be more affected than for men with high alcohol use,” said study lead author Lina Begdache, Assistant Professor at Binghamton University in the US.

“These behaviors are regulated by the limbic system of the brain. However, the cognitive functions for high drinking alcohol use among the young men and women were different,” Begdache added.

For the findings, published in the journal Trends in Neuroscience and Education, researchers sought to compare neurobehaviours and academic effort among college students with low alcohol use with those of high alcohol consumption and build conceptual models that represent the integration of the different variables.

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The study found that young men and women exhibit common behavioural responses to high alcohol. Pixabay

They sent an anonymous survey to assess college students’ alcohol use and frequency along with questions on sleep, academic performance and attitude toward learning. They compared gender responses and found that both young men and women exhibit common behavioural responses to high alcohol use such as abuse of other substances and risk-taking.

The findings showed that young women reported generally less interest in the academic work and performance than young men. The latter reported more risky behaviours, such as being arrested, from excessive drinking.

The study also found that young women are more likely to depend on alcohol to improve mental well-being, which is also concerning, as they may self-medicate through drinking. In both genders, the researchers reported an increase in impulsive behaviours, which are under the control of the limbic system (the oldest part of the brain, evolutionary speaking).

girl alcohol
The study also found that young women are more likely to depend on alcohol to improve mental well-being. Pixabay

Also Read: Young Scientist Develops Panic Button to Tackle Domestic Violence

Another reason for the difference seen is the differential metabolism of alcohol. Women metabolise alcohol at a slower rate, therefore, they are more likely to feel the effect of alcohol. Consequently, their brain is more likely to accumulate a toxic metabolite, acetaldehyde, which may be altering brain chemistry further to add to the differential behaviours identified in this study.

“Academic performance and risky behaviours among college students may be linked to their drinking habits, so more education and awareness should be shared with college students,” said Begdache.

“These findings are also explained by the fact that women tend to have higher connectivity between cortices, while men have a large cortical volume in the areas on the limbic system that support impulsivity,” Begdache added. (IANS)

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Here’s How You Can Keep Dark Circles Away

Dr. Veenu Jindal MD Dermatologist, shares tips to get rid of dark circles

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dark circles
Lack of sleep is usually the main reason behind getting dark circles. Pixabay

By Puja Gupta

Lack of sleep is the main reason behind getting dark circles. But it is not the only cause. Looking at the screen constantly for long duration results in tired, itchy and dry eyes; rubbing the eyes can lead to darkening of the undereye skin.

Also, High-energy visible (HEV) light or blue light released from these devices not only disrupt our circadian rhythm but also generate free radicles responsible for pigmentation, fine lines and premature ageing, points out Dr. Veenu Jindal, MD Dermatologist.

High-stress levels increase the levels of cortisol in our body which also lead to dullness and wrinkles. An unbalanced diet as well as less water consumption also increases the appearance of dark circles, she adds.

undereye
Rubbing the eyes can lead to darkening of the undereye skin. Pixabay

Dr. Jindal shares quick home remedies that can help get rid of dark circles.

Use of a cold jade roller to massage – Under the eyes in an outward direction. This helps in lymphatic drainage of the fluid collected underneath.

Cucumber slices or grated potatoes – Cucumber is rich in antioxidants along with Vitamin C and K. Vitamin C is known for skin brightening benefits and also has cooling effects. Potato reduces blemishes and works wonders in removing dark circles.

Cotton balls dipped in cold rose water when kept around the eyes for 10 minutes every day hydrates the skin and makes it look healthy.

For Dry Skin:

Almond oil or a Vitamin E capsule can be used to give a gentle massage to moisturize and replenish the skin.

Moisturizing twice in a day and applying appropriate under eye creams or serums also help a lot. Sunscreen is a must, even when at home as it protects the sensitive under eye skin from photo damage manifesting as pigmentation and fine lines.

DIY Face Mask:

A mask made of 2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp raw milk and � a tsp of lemon is a great way to gain the luster back.

Turmeric is an excellent antiseptic with healing properties, milk is a gentle moisturizer and lemon is rich in Vitamin C with a brightening and cooling effect.

The mask should be kept for half an hour and then rinsed with lukewarm water.

It can be applied for 2-3 times in a week for maximum benefits.

 dark circles.
Drink more water as less consumption of water is also a factor which leads to dark circles. Pixabay

Also Read: 60% Decrease in Pediatric Fractures During Pandemic: Study

What to do on a regular basis to keep dark circles at a bay?

Start with having a proper schedule, this also brings the sleep cycle to normal. It’s easy to monitor screen time by setting a time limit to most-used apps. One should build hobbies away from the screen such as cooking, gardening or playing board games. Utmost importance should be given to eating healthy and staying hydrated. Salt contains sodium which causes the body to retain water and bloat, leading to more prominent under-eye bags. Cutting down on processed foods, fatty meat, canned beans, and other foods that contain high amounts of sodium helps in reducing the under eye bags. Seasonal fruit and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants which help in getting the glow back. (IANS)

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67% Indians Altered Sleep Schedule Due to Work From Home: Survey

Work from home changed sleep schedule of 67% Indians: Survey

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work home
While the current lockdown has given many the opportunity to work-from-home and try their hand at household works, it has however impacted the sleep patterns of many. Pixabay

Working from home has altered sleep schedules of about 67 per cent of people in India with more people now sleeping after 11 pm than prior to start of the lockdown period, said a survey on Friday.

The study by Bengaluru-based sleep solutions startup Wakefit.co suggests that while the current lockdown has given many the opportunity to work-from-home and try their hand at household works, it has however impacted the sleep patterns of many.

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Over 81 per cent of the respondents believe their sleep schedule will be better once the lockdown ends, according to the study which involved 1,500 people.

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Working from home has altered sleep schedules of about 67 per cent of people in India with more people now sleepinig after 11 pm. Pixabay

While 46 per cent of the respondents used to sleep before 11 pm prior to the lockdown, now only 39 per cent go to bed before 11 pm.

Also Read- Inadequate Sleep Affects Emotional Processing Negatively: Study

Similarly, about 25 per cent of the respondents used to go to bed post 12 at night during normal circumstances, post the lockdown, 35 per cent have started going to bed after 12. This indicates a 40 per cent rise in late night sleepers since the lockdown.

Coronavirus related concerns like job security, managing finances at this time and worrying about family/friends’ security accounted for most sleepless nights among respondents, with 49 per cent staying up because of these issues, said the study. (IANS)