12
Wed, Jun

How Alcohol Messes With Your Sleep — And What You Can Do About It

WELLNESS--You may want to reconsider your nightly nightcap if your goal is solid slumber. Wine, beer and liquor can all help you fall asleep faster (or “shorten your sleep latency,” to use a more technical term), but experts agree that if you drink before bed, you’re more likely to wake up throughout the night and get less deep sleep.

Read more ...

Five Things To Know Before You Try Meditation

WELLNESS--So many people want to meditate but they either don’t know where to start or can’t find the time. Fitting meditation into your life doesn’t need to be complicated or elaborate. Start small and be realistic about what will work for you. Here are five tips to get you started.

Read more ...

Want to Improve Your Diet? Plant a Fruit Tree.

WELLNESS--One of the simplest ways to improve your family’s diet? Plant a fruit tree. Or plant several.

The last time I was fortunate enough to have a yard, I planted four of them. Unfortunately, I broke up with my then-boyfriend and moved out right about the time all four began producing fruit.

Read more ...

5 Science-Backed Ways to Have a Happier Morning … Even if You are Not a Morning Person

WELLNESS--Before I became a mom, I woke up naturally, as bluebirds pulled back my covers with their little beaks and doe-eyed deers brought me my slippers. At least that’s my sleep deprived memory of it all.

One thing is for sure, with or without kids, getting up in the morning with a smile on your face can sometimes be hard.

For those of not predestined to be “morning people,” you can try to counter this grumpy mood by investing in a good, comfortable mattress, getting enough sleep (but not too much) and waking up slowly.

If you usually have a case of the grumps when you first open your eyes try these tips to turn that early morning frown upside down.

  1. Get things tidy the night before

A few simple steps taken before bed can make all the difference to our morning happiness. For me, that means placing a bottle of water on my nightstand (I always wake up thirsty,) and making sure the coffee pot is programmed to start brewing the minute my eyes are pried open by an enthusiastic toddler.

Try laying out your clothes for the day, prepare your lunch and if you are feeling really ambitious have your gym bag packed and ready at the door.

A study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that that women who described their homes as “messy” or “cluttered” were more prone to depression, fatigue, and anxiety. Having a quick tidy before bed ensures you wake up without a list of chores to do. 

  1. Do some quick stretches

Most people get up too quickly in the mornings without giving their body time to wake up. Instead try lying in your bed for a while and stretching out all your muscles, then slowly rise and do more simple stretches

Scientific American reported on a study that shows even small amounts of physical activity can make you feel good.

  1. Indulge in the bathroom

Instead of just jumping in the shower and sudsing with a basic soap take the time to make this a mini spa experience. Use a luxe shower gel, body lotion and invest in fluffy towels. Add some whale song for the ultimate in gentle waking.

Innovative thought and creativity can strike you in the shower, bolstering happiness and self worth, according to Washington University psychologist R. Keith Sawyer.

  1. Eat, even if you don’t feel like it

Make something really tasty that gets you down the stairs and fuelled up for the day’s work. If you can’t bear to eat early in the morning try a liquid breakfast like a smoothie or veggie juice with mood boosting ingredients

A study in Psychological Science found that by being organized with a little pre-planning we naturally make better nutritional decisions.

  1. Plan something fun for later

If all else fails, having something to look forward to during the day really helps to chase away the early morning blues. Plan to make your favorite meal for supper, arrange to get coffee with a friend, or send a sexy text message to your honey.

After all anticipation, itself can make you happy

(Fiona Tapp posts at Huff Post … where this report originated.)

-cw

Beware Java Lovers: More Coffee Calories than You Think

WELLNESS--For some of us, the best part of waking up is a piping hot cup of coffee. However, a majority of Americans are doctoring those drinks with a lot of added calories, according to an analysis published in the journal Public Health.

Two-thirds of coffee drinkers include milk, cream, sugar or other calorie-laden additives in their beverages, according to researchers at the University of Illinois and University of California. And it’s not just java lovers: An estimated third of tea drinkers do the same.

The researchers examined more than a decade of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to measure the consumption of the drinks with add-ins as it relates to the overall energy, sugar and fat intake of U.S. adults. Of the more than 19,000 people analyzed, approximately 51 percent were daily coffee drinkers and 26 percent were daily tea drinkers. 

More than 67 percent of the coffee consumers drank the beverage with at least one caloric add-in, as did some 33 percent of tea drinkers. Researchers estimate these additives equate to about 69 extra daily calories on average for coffee drinkers, 60 percent of which is from sugar while the rest comes from fat. Tea lovers add on average 43 calories to their diet a day with add-ins, the majority of which comes from sugar. 

Of course, the total number of daily calories may not seem like a lot ― and consumed every so often, it isn’t. But the researchers stress that this consumption is daily, and many people don’t consider this intake as part of their overall diet.

“Our findings indicate that a lot of coffee and tea drinkers regularly use caloric add-ins to improve the flavor of their beverages, but possibly without fully realizing or taking into consideration its caloric and nutritional implications,” lead study author Ruopeng An, a kinesiology and community health professor at the University of Illinois, said in a statement.

Translation: Excess sugar and fat are critical to monitor in an effort to curb health effects like weight gain. So while fewer than 100 calories may not seem like a lot in theory, the researchers warn that stuff stacks up over time ― often without you thinking about it. An extra 69 calories in your coffee each day adds more than 25,000 calories to your diet per year; as running a mile burns about 100 calories, you’ll have to run approximately 250 miles to burn that off.

This doesn’t mean you have to give up your drink entirely. The best way to avoid this calorie trap is to ditch the sugar, spice and everything nice and opt for a plain version of the beverage. (It may actually be beneficial for your health.)

But if that’s not your cup of tea, try swapping for healthier options, like cream for milk with a lower fat content. And take heart in the meantime: Research shows your taste preferences change over time, so maybe one day you’ll get to the point where you’re a black coffee person.

(Lindsay Holmes is Deputy Healthy Living Editor at Huff Post … where this wellness piece was first posted).

-cw

Los Angeles: Largest Latino Eye Study Focuses on Quality of Life Impact

LATINO PERSPECTIVE-The University of Southern California (USC) Roski Eye Institute researchers and clinicians published results of the largest population-based study of adult Latinos and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the National Eye Institute-funded "Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES)." The study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, is the first to analyze the risk and prevalence of early and late stage AMD and its impact on quality of life for older Latinos. 

According to the National Eye Institute, AMD is a chronic, progressive disease affecting two million Americans and typically diagnosed in those aged 50-60. The LALES study, conducted among 4,876 Latinos in Los Angeles with a mean age cohort of 54.8 years old, indicates that Latinos diagnosed with bilateral AMD with large drusen (the lipids or fatty proteins that are yellow deposits under the retina) and depigmentation, as well as a more severe AMD, had a substantially lower health-related quality of life as compared to those with AMD lesions in only one eye. 

"The study results are a wake-up call for both ophthalmologists and those in the Latino community to avoid a quality of life decline due to ocular conditions, especially in earlier stages of eye diseases such as AMD," said Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, interim dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and director of the USC Roski Eye Institute. "What was significant but not intuitively obvious was that Latinos diagnosed with AMD in both eyes or more severe AMD had a markedly diminished vision-specific quality of life requiring us to shift our clinical focus from treating advanced stages of AMD to finding earlier stage interventions and treatment options." 

The LALES study was conducted among 4,876 participants in six U.S. Census tracks in La Puente, Calif. More than half of the participants were female (59 percent) and 41 percent were male with a median cohort age of 54.8 years. The participants underwent comprehensive eye exams and interviews to assess risk factors for health-related quality of life impact related to either an early or late AMD diagnosis. Photographs of the inside of the eyes were taken to also detect signs of AMD. Typical AMD symptoms are straight lines or faces appear wavy, objects appear smaller or further away and there is blurriness or blind spots in central vision. 

The Latino population is the largest minority segment of the U.S. population and is the largest ethnic population in Los Angeles County, surpassing the caucasian population in 2014. According to the U.S. Census 2015 report, Latinos are 17 percent of the U.S. population (55 million) and by 2060 they will be 29 percent (119 million). At the same time, American society has a growing aging population with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day and AMD, an ocular disease that typically affects those age 50 and older, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness.

 

(Fred Mariscal came to Los Angeles from Mexico City in 1992 to study at the University of Southern California and has been in LA ever since. He is a community leader who serves as Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition and sits on the board of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council representing Larchmont Village. He was a candidate for Los Angeles City Council in District 4. Fred writes Latino Perspective for CityWatch and can be reached at: [email protected].) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

More Articles ...

Page 4 of 5

Get The News In Your Email Inbox Mondays & Thursdays