Turn everything off to sleep better and other health news

Turn everything off to sleep better and other health news

At night, we switch off!

Even dim lighting at night is harmful to cardiovascular health. The sleeper is unaware of this, but the nervous system remains on high alert and the heart beats remain too fast. Also, the blood glucose level is higher than normal when you wake up.

These adverse effects occur from the first night spent in an overly lit room, according to a team of researchers from Northwestern University, Illinois. To reach this conclusion, they invited twenty volunteers to sleep in the dark; the following night they left a reading lamp on. In addition to disturbing the participants’ vital signs, this light source shortened the duration of their deep sleep, during which the heart rate is slower.

Need a night light for safety reasons? We choose a low-light model that we place as far as possible from the bed, near the ground. And we draw the curtains!

Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Photo: iStock.com

A cure for back pain

Psychotherapy could treat chronic back pain where other medical approaches fail. Quite unusual, right? Pain Reprocessing Therapy (Pain Reprocessing Therapy) involves retraining the brain so that it stops interpreting pain signals as a threat to physical health. The patient relearns to make movements that he avoided, by taming the painful sensations. And these even end up fading, according to an American study carried out with 150 volunteers.

Among the participants who had undergone eight sessions of psychotherapy, nearly three-quarters no longer experienced back pain. In the placebo group, made up of those who received a saline injection, only 20% felt the same improvement. As for the usual approach (taking painkillers and medical visits), it only succeeded in providing lasting relief to 10% of patients. A year later, the pain had still not reappeared in the patients who had benefited from the psychotherapy sessions.

Source: Jama Psychiatry


Photo: iStock.com

All is well on the plate

Exercising and consuming a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables affect well-being. This is the conclusion of a study conducted in Great Britain with 14,000 respondents aged 18 to 64. Participants who had opted for good eating habits reported more satisfaction with life. A balanced lifestyle therefore leads to better psychological health, and not the other way around, according to the researchers. The ability to project oneself into the future seems to play a crucial role in the equation. Thus, people able to anticipate the long-term benefits of healthy behaviors are more inclined to adopt them. This way of life in turn improves the impression of psychological well-being. While men are turning more to sport, women better understand the importance of including plants in their menu.

Source: Journal of Happiness Studies