Cherry juice key to a good night’s sleep


A glass of cherry juice every morning is believed to boost sleep time for older people by 90 minutes and is a better alternative to sleeping pills, research suggests.

Two glasses a day of cherry juice can ensure a better night’s sleep, according to a new study.

Among older people, a glass of the juice every morning and evening can boost sleep time by nearly 90 minutes.
Researchers gave participants cherry juice every day over two weeks to discover its affect on people who suffer from insomnia.
Insomnia is a common health problem among older adults, affecting up to one in three people over 65. It is defined as trouble sleeping on average more than three nights per week. If long-lasting, it can seriously damage health.

It is linked to a higher chance of long-term pain, high blood pressure, diabetes, a decline of mental functions and even dementia.

Dr Frank Greenway, the study leader, of Louisiana State University, warned against older people taking sleeping pills to combat insomnia. He said that such medications, “quadruple the risk of falling, which can lead to broken hips and, often, earlier death”.

In an experiment, seven adults with an average age of 68 with insomnia drank eight ounces of cherry juice twice daily for two weeks, followed by a two-week break, then two weeks when they took a placebo drink.
They were observed to see how quickly they fell asleep and how long they stayed sleeping. Participants also completed questionnaires related to sleep, fatigue, depression and anxiety.

Researchers found that those who drank a sour cherry juice in the morning and at night were able to sleep an average of 84 minutes more each night, compared to those who drank a placebo. In addition, their sleep was less disrupted.

Sour cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
The study team believe the naturally occurring red pigments in sour cherry juice, known as proanthocyanidins, also play a role because they produce chemicals that help with sleep.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition in San Diego, California.

Source: The telegraph


Sleep quality does affect decision-making ability

Fragmented or lower sleep efficiency may affect executive function as it is linked to decline in cognitive abilities of older people over a period of three to four years, a study has found.

Poor sleep quality is associated with a 40 to 50 percent increase in the odds of clinically significant decline in executive function, which was similar in magnitude to the effect of a five-year increase in age.

“This study provides an important reminder that healthy sleep involves both the quantity and quality of sleep,” said M. Safwan Badr, president of American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The study involved 2,822 community-dwelling older men at six clinical centres in the US
Participants had a mean age of 76 years.

An average of five nights of objective sleep data were collected from each participant using a wrist actigraph.

Cognitive function assessment included evaluation of attention and executive function using the Trails B test.

According to the study authors, executive function is the ability for planning or decision making, error correction or trouble shooting and abstract thinking.

The study appeared in the journal Sleep.

Source: Khaleej times

Good sleep needed to fight diabetes, obesity

It’s widely known that sleep is crucial for maintaining our health. Now, a new study sheds light its benefits, concluding that a lack of good sleep can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic disorders.

The research, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, says sleep aids in both the prevention and treatment of metabolic disorders because it helps regulate the metabolism of glucose, control food intake, and energy balance.

Disrupting the body’s sleep cycle is also linked to poor metabolic health, increased chronic illness rate, and premature death, according to the new study.

Researchers say more people are getting lower-quality sleep due to the modern lifestyles, including the use of technological devices at nighttime, such as tablets and smartphones.

Source: Health Central

7 Healthy reasons to go bananas!

If you thought bananas were just for training monkeys, think again! The health benefits of bananas are so vast and widespread that we wonder why the popular idiom an apple a day, keeps the doctor away was not switched to bananas!!

Banana is a huge source of energy and packs a potent nutritional punch that includes vitamins A, B, C and E along with minerals like potassium, zinc, iron, etc. Read on for some surprising health benefits of eating bananas. We promise you will never look at this fruit in the same way again.

1.Controls blood pressure
Research indicates that potassium keeps blood pressure under control. Bananas, being very rich in potassium and very low in sodium, help regulate blood pressure levels. The fruit not only aids in maintaining water balance in the body but also helps detoxify it thereby shielding you against heart attack and stroke.

2. Improves sex life
Yes, you heard it right! Bananas can actually spice things up in the bedroom! They are known to have aphrodisiac effects that help produce sexual hormones and also improve male libido. The humble fruit also regulates the secretion of serotonin which is responsible for that euphoric feeling during an orgasm.

3. More energy
Need proof of how bananas increase energy? Just watch a tennis player during a break from the game. You will notice more often than not, he’s eating a banana. The combination of natural sugars, balanced with potassium and soluble fiber provide good stable energy. And the best part, bananas contain only about 100 calories. They are a perfect way to satisfy your sweet cravings without compromising on your weight.

4. Smooth bowel movement
Constipated? Eat a banana. Yes, it’s that easy. Bananas have a certain type of fiber that helps assist bowel motility and eases out constipation. Ideally you should get about 14 grams of fiber in your diet for every 1,000 calories you consume. Believe me, it beats using any laxatives that might have chemicals or other synthetic substances! Bananas also help with other bowel problems such as diarrhea.

5. Good for eyes
Bananas have a lot of vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in protecting your eyes and normal vision. The compounds in bananas preserve the membranes that surround your eyes and are a component of one of the proteins that brings light into your cornea. Adequate daily intake of vitamin A not only slashes your risk of night blindness but is essential for everyday vision. One 6-inch banana has nearly 10 micrograms of vitamin A so adding the fruit to your diet will ensure good eye health.

6. Gives good sleep
Bananas promote sleep. This fruit is known to have a high level of tryptophan which gets converted to serotonin in the brain. This gives a soothing effect to the body which allows a person to sleep well. Bananas are also known to make you more alert and improve your concentration levels.

7. Get glowing skin
Besides having great health advantages when ingested, bananas when used externally are also quite beneficial. They have high moisture content, so are great for dry skin. Add bananas to your beauty regime for smooth, supple and glowing skin naturally.

Source; The med guru