Posts tagged ‘Health’

December 11, 2012

Without sleep, your long hours of studying will not be retained

By Krista Brooks

Monday, December 11, 2012 – The Daily 49er

Never underestimate the power of sleep. Most of us have altered our sleeping patterns drastically to accommodate our strenuous studying for finals and finishing the work we put off until the very end. Good news is, it’s finally almost over.

Before the big celebration you may have planned, catch up on sleep with a long power nap or a well-needed eight hours. Americans are typically sleep-deprived while only sleeping six hours at most each night. This puts us at risk of health and cognitive problems.

Without enough sleep, we are prone to making bad decisions, loss of memory and chronic fatigue. Growth hormones are produced while we are sleeping to build or repair tissue to restore our bodies each night. The chemical reactions that occur with less sleep can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, lowered IQ and depression.

When our bodies are sleep deprived, we have increased appetites and are likely to overeat. The feeling of fullness in women, hormone GLP-1, is reduced with less sleep; and the hunger-stimulating hormone in men, ghrelin, increases with up to only four hours of sleep. We become hungry the following day because our ability to process food is altered without appropriate sleep.

Sleep can reduce pain sensitivity better than painkillers when over eight hours are achieved. With less sleep, bacteria and virus fighting antibodies are produced at dramatically lower rates.

Some of us will return home from our last final and immediately hit the hay. Others may find trouble sleeping with all the stress lingering from the semester. After finals were over last semester, I could not sleep for more than four hours without waking suddenly from dreams about missing a test or putting a wrong answer. This year is going to be different.

Without sleep, we cannot function properly or utilize our full potential. To help aid sleep without medication, drink a cup of chamomile or mulberry tea an hour before sleep.

Thanks to certain vitamins and minerals, different foods can help the sleeping process. Fish and chickpeas contain high levels of vitamin B6 that is essential to produce melatonin, the chemical that regulates our sleep cycle. Fish also contains magnesium, which is a mineral that allows our bodies to unwind naturally and relax muscles. Whole grains also ensure that your body is plenty with magnesium. Calcium is key to manufacture melatonin, and also combines with magnesium to remove restlessness from our sleep. Milk, yogurt, kale and jasmine rice are all foods to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Going to bed earlier can also improve your sleeping. Exercise, stretching and meditation with deep breathing can clear your mind and relieve stress to help fall into dreamland.

Be sure to get some sleep in between finals and after they are through. To absorb all the studying you have immersed in this week, sleep eight hours before your hardest final, rested and aware. Sleep can be your worst enemy during deadlines, but will be your best friend to retain information, eat less, and improve your mood and performance overall.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

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September 4, 2012

More states should allow children to carry sunscreen at school

By Krista Brooks

Published Wednesday, June 27, 2012 – The Daily 49er

In Tacoma, Wash., a mother of two found her daughters badly burnt after school, and requested sunscreen be made available to them during hot sunny days.

Her request was denied.

In 49 of the 50 states in the U.S., it is forbidden for children to apply or carry sunscreen with them to class. California is the only state that allows SPF lotion at school.

Yes, even students in Hawaii have to leave their sun block at home, unless they have a note from their doctor.

Sunscreen is recommended by doctors, teachers and parents to provide much-needed protection from the sun. It’s purchased in the impulse-aisle in grocery store next to gum and lip balm.

Without sunscreen, we are susceptible to harmful rays from the sun, that can lead to very serious skin cancers and more.

The mother blogged about her pale-white children being terribly burnt on a day that began with rain.

In no way could she have anticipated a sunny day.

Dan Voelpel, Tacoma school district spokesman told ABC news, “Since so many additives in lotions and sunscreens cause an allergic reaction in some children, we really have to monitor that.”

In this defense, Washington school district’s focus more on the select students with allergies. Meanwhile, skin cancer can affect anyone.

The most critical time to seek protection from the sun is before the age of 18. This is the time when 23 percent of the skin damage is caused to one’s body. Every decade adds another 10 percent of skin damage after age 18.

Sun block is not a prescribed medication. It is purchased over-the-counter.

With the recent scares of melanoma, the most critical form of skin cancer, schools should focus on how to protect children from the sun’s harmful rays.

The law forbidding any students to carry or apply sun block at school in any state is ridiculous. It’s dangerous and I am glad to say we live in the one state that does not follow such poppycock. Living in a place where it reaches temperatures of 115 degrees, it seems unreal to live without it. Wear your sunscreen everybody, protect that skin this summer!

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