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Tag: Stroke

The best thing you can do for your health is to sleep well

Getting a consistent seven- to nine-hours of sleep each night is the single most effective thing each of us can do for our health and wellbeing.

Matthew Walker, writing for The Guardian:

Related is the association between plentiful slumber and athletic performance. Sleep is perhaps the greatest legal performance-enhancing “drug” that few people are taking advantage of. Obtain less than eight hours of sleep a night, and especially less than six hours a night, and the following happens: time to physical exhaustion drops by 10 to 30%, as does aerobic output; limb extension force and vertical jump height are reduced; peak and sustained muscle strength decrease. Add to this the cardiac, metabolic and respiratory effects: higher rates of lactic acid buildup and reductions in blood oxygen saturation with converse increases in carbon dioxide, due in part to a reduction in the amount of air that the lungs can expire in a sleep-deficient state. And then there is injury risk. Relative to sleeping nine hours a night, sleeping five to six hours a night will increase your chances of injury across a season by more than 200%.

Routinely sleeping less than six hours a night also compromises your immune system, significantly increasing your risk of cancer. So much so, that recently the World Health Organization classified any form of night-time shiftwork as a probable carcinogen.

Inadequate sleep – even moderate reductions of two to three hours for just one week – disrupts blood sugar levels so profoundly that you would be classified as pre-diabetic. Short sleeping increases the likelihood of your coronary arteries becoming blocked and brittle, setting you on a path towards cardiovascular disease, stroke and congestive heart failure.

All it takes is one hour of lost sleep, as demonstrated by a global experiment performed on 1.6 billion people across more than 60 countries twice a year, otherwise known as daylight saving times. In the spring, when we lose one hour of sleep, there is a 24% increase in heart attacks the following day. In the autumn, we gain an hour of sleep opportunity, and there is a 21% reduction in heart attacks.

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Low carb diets are linked to premature death

Yet another study is showing low carbohydrate diets, such as the fashionable paleo and keto variety, may be dangerous and could lead to increased risk of dying of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

A healthy and balanced diet includes foods such as fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, and potatoes.

Popular weight loss diets, that some may view as beneficial in the short-term, may come with a hefty long-term price tag.

“One thing is sure,” Dr Maciej Banach, professor of medicine at Medical University of Lodz, Poland, told Newsweek: “we should avoid [low carbohydrate diets].”

Banach explained low carbohydrate diets have been regarded as beneficial for our health in the past, but based on his team’s research it is now “clear” that is not true. And even though such regimes aid weight loss, the public should be “very careful” when following very restrictive diets, particularly those that feature no carbohydrates for long periods of time. Continue reading

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