Tips on How to Beat Insomnia

Between 10 to 30 percent of the population will experience symptoms of insomnia at some point in our lives, but what can we actually do about it?

Signs of insomnia are trouble falling or staying asleep, waking up too early, not getting enough sleep even though you have the time and correct environment for it, and your physical and mental health being affected the next day. Lack of sleep can have consequences for your heart, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Here are a few ways to combat insomnia, and read more from our heart disorder blogger Dr. T. Jared Bunch:

  • Don’t take daytime or nighttime naps.
  • Make your bedroom conducive to sleep by turning off the TV, computer, lights and any other stimuli.
  • Use an alarm clock to wake you up at the same time every morning, even if it’s a weekend.
Gut Bacteria Changes Rapidly With Diet

A drastic diet switch such as a swing from being a vegetarian to eating meat may drastically change the makeup of your gut bacteria, according to a study in the journal Nature. Gut bacteria plays a role in digestion and immunity, and research has found it may also affect body weight.

“Not only were there changes in the abundance of different bacteria, but there were changes in the kinds of genes that they were expressing and their activity,” said study author Lawrence David, an assistant professor at the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy at Duke University.

This study shows gut bacteria is extremely sensitive to what we eat and can change quickly. But experts agreed they still don’t know how this could potentially impact our health.

Quadrivalent Flu Shot May Better Protect Kids

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stresses that people shouldn’t worry about whether or not they’re getting the trivalent or quadrivalent flu shot, a new study shows the quadrivalent version may provide more protection for kids.

The trivalent vaccine protects against three strains of the flu while the quadrivalent protects against four. A study of 200 children looked at how kids responded to the four-strain vaccine, and then compared it to response rates for the three-strain vaccine from last year’s flu season.

“The results showed that, by preventing moderate to severe influenza, vaccination achieved reductions [of 61 percent to 77 percent] in doctors’ visits, hospitalizations, absences from school and parental absences from work,” said study co-author Dr. Ghassan Dbaibo, of the department of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, in Lebanon.

Skincare Myths vs. Facts

Do you know the best way to get rid of under-eye puffiness? Is using Preparation H on your face good for your skin?

See if you know the difference between your beauty facts and myths by taking our quiz, and learn ways to improve your skin health along the way.

Erinn Connor