Who Needs More Sleep?

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Sleep. Nice healthy sleep. If you’re like me, you could use more of it! According to the CDC – the Centers for Disease Control – 35% of US adults aren’t getting enough! The recommended amount of sleep per night is 7-8 hours. What happens to our bodies when we don’t get that recommended amount? I know with finals coming up, this might be good to know in the event that you find yourself awake at night, stressing over your next exam.

  1. You get sick! Losing sleep can target your body’s ability to fight off illnesses. sick
  2. Your heart pays. Getting too little sleep (less than 5 hours) and getting too much (more than 9 hours) have been shown to have a negative impact on heart health. Your chances of developing coronary heart disease or having a stroke are greatly increased with less sleep.
  3. Risk for cancer increases. Too little sleep is welcoming to different types of cancers such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and also prostate cancer.
  4. You forget stuff and can’t think properly. Even missing just one night of sleep can mess with your cognitive function. Not only can it damage your thinking, it can also make your memory impaired as well. In other words, we need adequate sleep to lock in new information and commit it to memory.
  5. You pack on the pounds! Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep are at a larger risk for obesity.
  6. Your appearance suffers. If all of these effects don’t do it and make you want to change for the better, then perhaps this one will! Having not enough sleep can cause premature wrinkles and dark circles. It can also cause uneven skin tone.

So, with all of this information, you must be ready and willing to make a change. How – do you ask? Here is a list of things you can do to get more sleep, in case you’re having trouble.

  1. Avoid caffeine at night time and also limit yourself during the day. Caffeine is only used to help people stay awake, therefore, if consumed at night, it’ll only worsen your ability to fall asleep at a decent time.
  2. No alcohol before bed! Yes, alcohol is a downer. However, it also keeps your mind going in an opposite direction as opposed to winding down before bed.
  3. Don’t sleep in on the weekends or when you have late class. Wake up close to the same time everyday so that your body and mind get used to the schedule.
  4. Try different decaf coffees or teas to help nurture yourself into sleeping. I know that when I drink something hot or warm at night, it instantly gives me all the warm and fuzzies and makes me feel comforted and ready for bed.
  5. Try working out during the day to wear yourself out! Being tired is half the battle, after all 🙂
  6. Put books and homework away at least 30 minutes before bedtime. When you’re stuck thinking about tomorrow’s exam that’s in store, it’s probably extremely hard to get sleepy!
  7. Listen to a meditation video on Youtube! Just go to Youtube.com and type in “meditation video” in the search bar, press play, close your eyes, and do what they say. You’ll be relaxed in no time!

 

Now that you have these tools, you should be good to go and able to catch up on your z’s! Good luck!

The Benefits of Taking Walks

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If you’ve ever felt cramped from being inside too long, I feel your pain. Going outside is so relaxing and it’s a good way to take a break from everyday duties of studying and taking care of our responsibilities. I mean, lets face it! We all need to get out more instead of being under the same old fluorescent lighting we find ourselves in everyday. Although going on walks outside is a good way to stretch our bodies and minds, there are also a ton of other benefits to it!

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Just walking for 30 minutes everyday can strengthen the cardiovascular system and prevent diseases. Walking greatly reduces the risk of stroke, as well. This exercise is ideal for lowering blood pressure, it improves blood circulation (so no more pesky cold feet), it reduces bad cholesterol, and helps increase good cholesterol.

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Don’t just dismiss this as health mumbo jumbo! There are real benefits to going on walks everyday. Another good benefit is that your mood will improve. Research shows that regular walking modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility.

Anyone worried about losing weight? This may seem obvious, but doing a little cardio (something like WALKING 🙂 or running) can help those jeans to fit a little better!

I know it seems a little redundant, however, it’s time go get some walking shoes and start taking care of the only body you have. Why don’t you go do it in our new gym? That place is AWESOME! They have treadmills that look out over the campus and state of the art equipment ready for you to get some use out of. Best thing is that it’s free!

Foods to Eat to Improve Memory and Focus

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Foods to eat to improve memory and focus

Who wants to focus better in school? What if I told you that by eating certain foods, you could improve memory function and your ability to focus? There are many ways to reach out and grab what you want in this world. The following 15 foods could send you on your way to better grades, which will improve your self esteem!

 

Avocadosavocado

  • Contain Vitamin K and folate which help to ward off blood clots
  • Also contains Vitamin B and C which keep you happy! They also need to be replenished in the body daily
  • Improves cognitive function which helps you make the best decisions for your self throughout the day.

 

Beetsbeets

  • Reduce inflammation and are high in antioxidants.
  • Boosts energy during workouts
  • Increases blood flow to the brain

 

Blueberriesblueberries

  • High levels of gallic acid which protects our brains from stress
  • High in antioxidants
  • Also contain vitamin C, K, and fiber

 

Bone brothbone-broth-recipe-fb

  • Possesses healing amino acids that keep your immune system functioning properly and helps improve memory.

 

Broccolibroccoli

  • High levels of vitamin K and choline. People who eat foods high in choline have been shown to perform better on memory tests than those who lack it in their diets.
  • Vitamin C. Just one cup provides you with 150% of your recommended daily intake.

 

Celerycelery

  • High levels of antioxidants and other vitamins that act as natural anti-inflammatories.
  • Luteolin is also found in celery. It is used to reduce inflammation in the brain which will improve memory function.

 

Coconut Oilcoconut-oil

  • Coconut oil is rich in Ketones. In particular, Medium-Chain-Triglycerides (MCT). Ketones are found to improve the memory.

 

Dark Chocolatedark-chocolate

  • Rich in antioxidants known as flavanols. Flavanols are plant based nutrients.
  • Considered a “superfood”

 

 

Egg Yolks

  • Large amounts of choline!

 

Extra Virgin Olive Oilevoo

  • Rich in powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols.
  • Vitamin E is also present. This vitamin prevents mental decline as we age.
  • Excessive heat can decrease the amounts of vitamins and good things present. Try to use it in salads, or on bread, or other ways that don’t involve high heat.

 

Green, Leafy Vegetablesleafy-greens

  • Adding spinach, kale, collards, and mustard greens to your diet could help slow cognitive decline. This will aid in making better decisions for your life and keeping your brain in tip-top health!
  • Vitamin K is heavily present.

 

Rosemary

  • Carnosic acid helps the brain from neurodegeneration (deterioration of the brain).
  • High levels of antioxidants help protect eyesight from going bad too!

 

Salmonsalmon

  • Packed with omega-3 fatty acids to improve function of the brain and minimize brain fog. Also improves memory
  • Make sure you’re buying wild-caught salmon instead of farm raised. Farm-raised is filled with mercury and toxins that are bad for you.

 

Turmericturmeric

  • Curcumin is a chemical found in turmeric. It is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents
  • Improves your brain’s oxygen intake and helps boost antioxidant levels to keep your immune system healthy!

 

Walnutswalnut

  •  Improves cognitive health.
  • High levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals help improve mental alertness
  • Vitamin E can help ward off Alzheimer’s.

 

Here are some cool recipes I found to help you with this. I hope you like them, and there are tons more on the internet. Also, it doesn’t hurt to be creative! I’ve found that Greek yogurt is a good vehicle for fruits and nuts, as well as pasta for vegetables and oils. If you are gluten intolerant, or just don’t like to eat it, opt for gluten free choices instead.

 

Recipes

 

Grilled Cheese with Smoked Turkey and Avocado

In this recipe, the classic grilled cheese sandwich gets a healthy new makeover. All you need is bread (any kind; the grainier the better!), your favorite cheese, a few slices of avocado, and some turkey.

Butter one side of each piece of bread. Build your sandwich and make sure both buttered sides of bread are on the outside of the sandwich. Place the built sandwich in a pan on medium heat. Flip the sandwich over once the bottom piece of bread is golden brown. Once the other piece of bread is browned, you’re all done!

 

Blueberry mango smoothie

 ½ cup of blueberries

½ of a mango

1 cup of coconut milk

½ cup of plain Greek yogurt

Honey to taste (optional)

*Add walnuts to use another brain power ingredient!

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

 

Well, there you have it, folks! Take care of yourselves and get the most out of your college education with these brain foods. Good luck!

Crystal Well-Being

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Want to learn more about the world of crystals and their many uses?

Thanks to Discover Magazine, here are 20 things you may not have known about crystals:

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1  It’s all about the rhythm: Crystals are repeating, three-dimensional arrangements of atoms, ions, or molecules.

2 Almost any solid material can crystallize—even DNA. Chemists from New York University, Purdue University, and the Argonne National Laboratoryrecently created DNA crystals large enough to see with the naked eye. The work could have applications in nanoelectronics and drug development.

3 One thing that is not a crystal: leaded “crystal” glass, like the vases that so many newlyweds dread. (Glass consists of atoms or molecules all in a jumble, not in the well-patterned order that defines a crystal.)

4  The oldest known pieces of our planet’s surface are 4.4-billion-year-old zircon crystals from the Jack Hills of western Australia.

5  The center of the earth was once thought to be a single, 1,500-mile-wide iron crystal. Seismic studies now show that the inner core is not a single solid but perhaps an aggregate of smaller crystals.

6  Tiny silicate crystals, which need high temperatures to form, have been found inside icy comets from the solar system’s distant, chilly edges. Powerful flares from the sun may have provided the necessary heat.

7  In Chihuahua, 
Mexico, a limestone cavern 1,000 feet below the surface contains the largest crystals in the world: glittering gypsum formations up to 6 feet in diameter and 36 feet long, weighing as much as 55 tons.

8  You may be sitting in a gypsum cave right now: It is a primary component of drywall.

9  Are the streets of New York paved with gold? No, but the bedrock schist beneath them is studded with opal, beryl, chrysoberyl, garnet, and three kinds of tourmaline.

10  In 1885 a garnet weighing nearly 10 pounds was discovered beneath 35th Street near Broadway, close to today’s Macy’s store. According to urban lore, it was unearthed either during subway construction or by a laborer digging a sewer.

11 Cheaper by the pound: The so-called Subway Garnet was sold within a day, reportedly for $100—just $2,300 in today’s dollars.

12  The unit of measure for gemstones had humble beginnings. “Carat” comes from the Greek keration, or “carob bean,” which was used as a standard for weighing small quantities. It is equivalent to 200 milligrams, or about 0.007 ounce.

13  When Richard Burton bought Elizabeth Taylor the heart-shaped Taj-Mahal diamond, he is said to have bragged, “It has so many carats, it’s almost a turnip.”

14 A “fancy intense pink” diamond recently set a world record when it was purchased at auction for $46 million by a London jeweler.

15  The Cullinan diamond is the largest known gem diamond—or, actually, was. It weighed 3,106 carats, or nearly a pound and a half, when it was discovered in South Africa in 1905, but it has since been cut into more than 100 stones.

16  The Cullinan stones, all flawless, are now part of the British Regalia. The largest, a 530-carat behemoth, is set in one of the British royal scepters.

17  For the rest of us, there is crystallized sodium chloride, otherwise known as salt. We are literally awash in it: If the water were evaporated from the world’s oceans, we’d be left with 4.5 million cubic miles of salt, equivalent to a cube measuring 165 miles on each side.

18  Another crystal for commoners: sugar. Each American eats an average of more than 130 pounds of it per year.

19  As if sugar’s ties to obesity and tooth decay weren’t enough, new research out of Imperial College London suggests that it contributes to high blood pressure, too.

20 Snow is near-pure crystallized water, but when it collects on the ground it acts as a reservoir for atmospheric pollutants such as mercury and soot. So you probably shouldn’t eat the white snow either.

Come to the Wellness Activity to explore the power of crystals and see what they are all about!

Tuesday 3/18/14
S103
3:30 – 4:30pm