Friday April 19, 2019

Good quality sleep can reduce the negative consequences of stress in kids

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Toronto: Good quality of eight to nine hours sleep every night, clubbed with other healthy lifestyle behaviours, can reduce the negative consequences of stress in kids, suggests new research.

M_Id_401088_Kids_SleepGetting a good night’s sleep might buffer the impact of stress on kids’ cortisol level, which is a hormone produced in the adrenal gland to regulate the body’s metabolic, cardiovascular and immune systems.

While short-term exposure to cortisol prepares the body for the “fight or flight” response, long-term exposure to cortisol can put people at risk for health problems, like heart diseases, weight gain and depression.

It is important that parents educate their kids at an early age about the importance of consistent and healthy sleep habits,” said lead author of the study Jinshia Ly from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

For the study, the research team recruited 220 kids aged eight to 18 years old. The participants gave saliva samples from which their cortisol levels were measured.

The kids and their parents also answered questions about stress, sleep habits and bedtime routines.

The researchers found that poorer sleep quality, regardless of how long kids spent sleeping, promoted the negative effects of stress on their cortisol levels.

Sleeping throughout the night without waking up, feeling rested in the morning, and absence of sleep problems, such as nightmares, apnea and snoring, are examples of a better quality sleep,” Ly noted.

The study was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

(with inputs from IANS)

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UN: Geneva Can Improve the Health of Citizens Using Digital Technology

Chief WHO scientist Soumya Swaminathan said increased availability and use of digital technology offers new opportunities to improve people's health

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health, citizens, digital technology
FILE - A doctor uses a smartphone to take a photo of a child with facial deformity before surgery at the Vietnam Cuba hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its first guidelines on digital health intervention.

The U.N. agency said governments can improve the health of their citizens by using digital technology to make health systems more efficient and responsive to their patients. The United Nations said 51 percent of the world’s population has access to broadband internet service.

Chief WHO scientist Soumya Swaminathan said increased availability and use of digital technology offers new opportunities to improve people’s health.

health
Chief WHO scientist Soumya Swaminathan said increased availability and use of digital technology offers new opportunities to improve people’s health. Pixabay

She told VOA the technology enables people, even in the remotest settings, to leapfrog into the development of a more effective, inclusive health system. With the use of mobile phones, computers and laptops, she said it is possible to bypass the intervening stages many countries have had to go through.

“So, a health worker in Congo can directly start using a mobile phone if the government is able to provide one to the health worker and get away from filling 30 paper registers, which occupy about one-third of front-line health workers time,” she added.

New recommendations

The new guidelines include 10 recommendations on how governments can use digital technology for maximum impact on their health systems.

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The new guidelines include 10 recommendations on how governments can use digital technology for maximum impact on their health systems. Pixabay

A WHO scientist specializing in digital innovations and research, Garrett Mehl, said the recommendations deal with issues such as birth notification.

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“Knowing that a baby has been born is critical to knowing how to provide vaccinations; knowing that the mother needs different post-natal care visits,” he said. “But without knowing that there was a birth that has happened, it is difficult to trigger those events in the health system.”

The guidelines also address privacy concerns.They have recommendations for ensuring that sensitive data, such as issues of sexual and reproductive health, are protected and not put at risk. (VOA)