There is so much news about health and wellness. Here are some of this week’s health headlines and what you can take away from them to improve your health.
It might be okay to hit the snooze button
Good news for people who can’t help but hit the snooze button every morning: New research published in Journal of Sleep Research noticed, that by pressing the snooze button According to a small study of 31 people who sleep regularly, getting a little more sleep can actually improve your cognitive function — or at least not negatively affect it.
Even snoozing for about 30 minutes didn’t seem to have a negative impact on stress hormones or mood. Corresponding author Tina Sundelin from Stockholm University said of the study: “The results suggest that there is no reason to stop sleeping in the morning if you enjoy it, at least not with a snooze time of around 30 minutes.” In fact, it can even help people with morning sleepiness feel a little more alert when they get up.”
Why it matters: This research follows a 2022 study published in Sleep This suggests that waking up after two or even three alarms is not much different than waking up after just one. However, there’s a catch: While you may feel encouraged to get the extra 30 minutes of sleep, it’s worth noting that the reason you’re so compelled may be because: You suffer from lack of sleep. Snoozing can be a safe and effective way to get a few extra minutes of shut-eye, but it may also be worth looking into ways to improve sleep quality, which might include a better bedtime routine or even focusing on mental health. Because better sleep could help you live longer.
Do you want to be spicier? Try golf or hiking
A new study of 25 healthy golfers aged 65 and over found that playing 18 holes of golf or walking 6.0 kilometers significantly improved their immediate cognitive function. The study, published in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, highlights “the value of age-appropriate aerobic exercise,” said Julia Kettinen, the paper’s first author and a doctoral student in sports and exercise medicine at the University of Eastern Finland.
Why it matters: As we age, our physical abilities change – but that doesn’t mean we don’t do any physical activity may loses value, both for our mental and physical health. While not everyone may be inclined to pick up a putter for a round of golf, walking seems to be crucial here: Research consistently shows that walking has huge health benefits Reducing the risk of heart disease And dementia To Improving the quality and duration of your sleep.
You don’t have to include your partner in your weight loss journey
A study published in Journal of Behavioral Medicine studied couples on a weight loss journey together to find out whether their partner’s behavior influenced their weight management. Researchers wanted to find out whether couples had similar levels of self-control and the ability to stick to long-term goals, which previous research found had the best effect on weight management. The new research suggests that couples aren’t necessarily compatible in this way, and while it’s possible to improve these traits over time through behavior changes, it didn’t necessarily have an impact on the partner.
Why it matters: There are plenty of feel-good stories about couples improving their lifestyle together, but that doesn’t mean you need a partner on board with making a big change to make one yourself. Instead of focusing on what your partner is doing, know that you can do it Improve your own self-control and strength, which can make you care less about your partner’s habits. “Sometimes people think self-control is something that doesn’t change. But this study shows that with a behavioral weight loss program that teaches behavior change strategies, we can improve people’s self-control or goal pursuit,” said one of the study authors, Tricia Leahey, a professor of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Connecticut.
The Mediterranean diet might offer even more benefits than we thought
New research published in Mental health of nature found that participants who followed a Mediterranean diet had a reduction in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research suggests there may be a link between the gut microbiome and mental health, and that the Mediterranean diet – which emphasizes vegetables, fruit and fish – has a positive effect on the growth of a bacteria with PTSD-protective properties.
Why it matters: Gut health and mental health may go hand in hand, but you don’t necessarily have to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder to reap the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. Other research on the Mediterranean diet suggests that this diet may protect against dementia, cancer and even depression.