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These Superfoods Can Stop Cancer, Heart Disease, Obesity, And So Much More

In an age where most of our food options are nutritionally deficient and loaded with fats, salts, and carbs, it’s hard to know exactly what to eat to have that well rounded and healthy diet. Introducing: Superfoods. These foods are naturally grown and loaded with important nutrients and antioxidants that fight against everything from your everyday cold to terminal diseases. If you’re looking to prevent issues like high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, clogged arteries, and diabetes, a healthy diet matters most. Some simple changes to your diet and routine exercise are directly correlated to a longer, happier, and healthier life. Read on about the amazing powers of these superfoods and how they can help you live the kind of life you’ve always wanted!

Oranges

Next time you pass by the fruit section of the grocery store, make sure to pick up some oranges. This fruit not only provides the body with tasty hydration, but is also high in various nutrients, fiber, and Vitamin C. The secret behind the power of oranges is in their high levels of pectin, a soluble fiber that naturally gets rid of the cholesterol found in your body. And if you thought bananas were the only fruit with potassium, think again! Oranges have an extraordinary amount of potassium, which gets all that extra sodium out of your system so that your blood pressure naturally returns to a healthy level. Best of all, the potassium in oranges neutralizes proteins that can scar the development of heart tissue and lead to heart failure.

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Kale

The popularity of kale has grown substantially in recent years, and now it’s difficult to find a supermarket that doesn’t carry it! This is great news if you’re looking to stop the onset of heart disease. Kale has a variety of nutrients that regulate your cardiovascular system which regulate the function of vital organs, including your heart. You might not believe that kale has way more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber than most other vegetables out there! As an added bonus, it has low calorie and fat content, so if you haven’t been adding kale to your meals already, it’s time to get started!

Kale

Garlic

Garlic is well-known for its ability to repel vampires, but did you know that it has superfood properties that make it a worthy addition to your diet? Garlic has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce the plaque in your arteries that can lead to heart problems. But wait, there’s more! Garlic can also decrease the number of enzymes that constrict your blood vessels. If you’re not a fan of the taste or lingering smell of garlic, a great alternative is to take a garlic supplement in the form of a pill. Studies show that this method of ingestion reduces the build-up of plaque in the arteries by as much as 50%!

Garlic

Chocolate

We have some good news for all you chocolate lovers out there! We all know this sweet treat helps with our mood, but did you know that it also reduces the chance of heart disease and strokes? A new study from Harvard found that people who regularly ingested raw cocoa showed absolutely no signs of hypertension and in fact, their blood pressure reduced! This is because dark chocolate has an antioxidant called flavnols, and eating a small and regular amount can lower blood pressure and lower the chances of heart-related diseases.

Chocolate

Lentils

Lentils are a great superfood already part of many diets around the world. Besides being a great way to add some flavor to salads or other dishes, lentils have tons of great health benefits. This powerful legume reduces the risk of strokes and heart disease. Lentils have high amounts of proteins, potassium, and magnesium, and this combination has been shown to regulate blood pressure, decrease high levels of cholesterol, and eliminate dangerous plaque build-up in blood vessels.

Lentils

Almonds

Who knew that such a tasty nut could boost your IQ? Almonds are a popular snack choice, but did you know their unique mix of nutrients has been shown to increase intelligence and memory? As if that wasn’t reason enough to grab a handful, they also lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The reason is that almonds have a high level of plant sterols, which prevent your body from absorbing bad LDL cholesterol that can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Almonds

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a great addition to salads, smoothies, and shakes. If their great taste wasn’t convincing enough to add it to your pantry, this fantastic superfood harbors an excellent mix of antioxidants that protect the accumulation of plaque on the walls of your arteries. If warding off heart disease isn’t reason enough, scientists have found that the fruit helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and also helps keep your skin, joints, and liver healthy and in working order! Oh, and pomegranates also help your teeth look great.

Pomegranates

Blueberries

Have you ever found yourself craving… blueberries? This superfood is part of the family of berries that regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduce plaque build up in arteries. Each berry is jam-packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that are so powerful that they stop some types of cancer right in their tracks! Last but not least, they help lower the risk of heart disease. Now that’s what we call a superfruit!

Blueberries

Beets

These purple vegetables are unique in their color and in the high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Unlike other vegetables, they contain B-vitamin folate and betaine. Studies have shown that this colorful addition to salads brings down homocysteine levels in the blood, which reduces the chances of developing heart disease. Moreover, beets have been found to mysteriously strengthen various organs and eliminate the chances of contracting certain forms of cancer.

Beets

Green Tea

Green tea recently became popularized in the West thanks to lattes and other tasty drinks. This herbal drink is a superhero when it comes to the number of antioxidants it contains. Just one cup of green tea can stimulate the reduction of plaque in arteries, lower bad cholesterol levels, and also improve heart regularity and overall health.

Green Tea

Salmon

Salmon has always been a restaurant staple for its fantastic taste, but did you know this type of fish has enough omega-3 fatty acids to stop the onset of heart disease? The combination of nutrients and good fats found in the fish can reduce triglyceride levels, open up closed off blood vessels, and stop the occurrence of blood clots.

Salmon

Turmeric

Turmeric is the best ingredient to enhance the flavor of any kind of curry. This spice has been a part of medical treatments in the East for centuries, but only recently has it entered the diets of those living in other parts of the world. Recently, scientists have isolated the active compound that makes turmeric a superfood. Curcumin, specifically found in turmeric, has been found to block cardiac hypertrophy, also known as heart enlargement. Turmeric also fights against obesity, high blood pressure, and lowers the chances of developing heart disease.

Tumeric

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds taste great in pudding or as an addition to any kind of smoothie. These tiny seeds are among the world’s best superfoods. They’re loaded with protein, antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Better yet, they’re super low in calories! Their combination of nutrients and antioxidants work hard to lower your cholesterol, lower the risk of a plethora of diseases, and keep your heart healthy and strong — no pills necessary!

Chia Seeds

Apples

We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” That old adage isn’t far from the truth! Apples are a commonly overlooked superfood that have incredible amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. That apple a day lowers blood pressure and reduces the chances of developing heart disease. The best news is that, since there are so many varieties of apples, you’re bound to find one that you like! Or, if you get bored, you can always switch it up for a new tasty flavor.

Apples

Avocados

Avocados are a tasty addition to your meal or snack, any time of day! They are probably the one kind of superfood we could never live without. In addition to being amazingly delicious and versatile, avocados have tons of antioxidants, potassium, and monounsaturated fats. This combination promotes the health of your heart and also reduces the chances of developing heart disease.

Avocadoes

Eggplant

These fantastic purple vegetables are great grilled or baked, as well as in a  cold vegetable dish. They have high amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, flavonoids, and even nasunin! These purple vegetables are your cardiovascular system’s best friend because they increase circulation, lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and also reduce the risk of heart disease. Your brain might also enjoy your next eggplant dish, too! They help prevent cell membrane damage and ward off cancers in brain tissue.

Eggplant

Broccoli

Broccoli might be one of the most dreaded dinner vegetables for children and teens, but these little green trees are an excellent source of nutrition for your heart. So as an adult, we hope you’ve overcome your dislike for this green giant because it’s an excellent addition to stir-frys, pasta, and sometimes even salads! Broccoli is known to lower cholesterol and keep your blood vessels healthy and strong. This superfood is rich in sulforaphane, which helps with problems related to blood sugar issues.

Brocolli

Carrots

Carrots are a great crunchy snack by themselves or paired with ranch, hummus, or other delicious dips. They are also a food that keeps your heart in tip-top shape, and in fact, can help you see better at night! This orange superfood has high levels of carotenoids and this antioxidant fights against the free radicals that can lead to heart disease. Carrots also have an abundance of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C, and a ton of other nutrients as well. This combination of vitamins and nutrients have been studied and seen to fight against the onset of cancer, promote healthy bone growth, and maintain a healthy nervous system.

Carrots

Chicken

Chicken is the first superfood listed that isn’t a fruit or vegetable, and that’s for a very good reason! This amazingly lean meat has less saturated fat and cholesterol than any other red meat. Because of its health benefits compared to red meat, meat eaters often choose baked, stir-fried, or grilled chicken over that cholesterol-dense burger option for dinner.

Chicken

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are much more than the tasty main ingredient of everyone’s favorite side dish: hummus. While small and seemingly innocuous, these little peas are packed with nutrition for your heart. Each one of these little legumes is loaded with potassium, fiber, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin C. More than any other legume out there, chickpeas use this special combination of nutrients to reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

Chickpeas

Coffee

We have some fantastic news for the coffee drinkers of the world! A new study has shown that coffee actually helps your heart (in addition to being a great start to your day). Moderate coffee intake reduces the risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, and even stroke! Hold on, I’m getting my french press.

Coffee

Cranberries

Cranberries might be tart on their own, but they’re a staple juice in households around the world, and also a staple Thanksgiving dessert for Americans. These berries are high in antioxidants, and just like blueberries, they reduce the chances of developing heart disease. Regular cranberry intake also reduces the chances of contracting a urinary tract infection and lowers the chances of developing stomach ulcers and cancer.

Cranberries

Figs

Figs are one of the most underrated fruits at the grocery store! Raisins, dates, and figs all contain the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain a healthy heart. This versatile fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, or even in the form of a jam. Figs are high in fiber and calcium, and these two work together to keep your heart healthy and astoundingly reverse the effects of heart disease.

Figs

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are essential to any diet that doesn’t include fish or nuts. This is because flax seeds are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids which help maintain a healthy heart. Flax seeds can be sprinkled onto smoothies or salads. One tablespoon of these seeds has more estrogen, antioxidants, and other nutrients than many other seeds!

Flax Seeds

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Excuse the comparison, but besides making for a fantastic rock band, this terrifyingly spicy vegetable is, in fact, great for your heart! The tiny terrors contain capsaicin, and this neuropeptide helps lower cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy blood pressure. While they are a great addition to your diet for heart health, it might not be a good idea to ingest them whole, sort of like this guy! If you’re up for the challenge, make sure to have your water ready!

Chilli Pepper

Ginger

If you’re a sushi-lover, we have great news for you! This wonderfully-smelling spice has been linked to maintenance of a healthy heart. You might be surprised to learn that a small daily intake of ginger can lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease and even hypertension. It’s no wonder that this superfood has been a vital part of recipes for centuries.

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Grapefruit

Grapefruit is an exotic fruit in both appearance and taste. The reason for this is because the pink fruit is loaded with nutrition. This delicious fruit has high levels of potassium, lycopene, choline, and vitamin C; now that’s not a combination you see every day! Grapefruit helps keep your heart healthy and is also included in the highly recommended DASH diet. It also helps lower blood pressure.

Grapefruit1

Source: http://www.crowdyfan.com/worldwide/heart-attack-cancer

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In July 2013 Alison Gannett was found to have a deadly baseball-sized malignant cancerous brain tumor in her frontal lobe. After an initial partial surgery, Alison has forgone traditional approaches and instead has used a ketogenic diet, DNA testing, and a new lifestyle to starve the remaining cancer cells and provide health to the rest of her body. Her new goal is to help others customize their diets and lifestyles to either prevent cancer or conquer cancer, and also to start ketogenic cooking camps at their farm. For More Info visit: http://www.lakanto.com/ambassador/ali… How is Monkfruit Sweetener Made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Q_T… The Story of Lakanto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J0v7… Monk Fruit Recipes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9UfO… _______ “For the last several years I’ve been doing a therapeutic ketogenic diet which is very high levels of fat, two and a half cups of fat a day, nine cups of low glycemic vegetables and I’ve been using that to treat my terminal malignant brain cancer because cancer can only ferment glucose so I deprive it of glucose and give it plenty of fatty acids and it can’t grow or spread or do anything. My name is Allison Gannett and we’re here at Holy Terror farm which is where I live and work. I have many different hats for occupations. I’m a cancer survivor a ketogenic diet coach. I’m a world champion extreme skier and a climate change consultant. In 2013, I started behaving very strangely and one day I almost burned the house down making bacon and at that moment my husband knew that I wasn’t just acting bizarrely—that something was truly wrong. He brought me to the emergency room and they found a baseball-sized tumor in my brain and the diagnosis was terminal malignant brain cancer. They rushed me into surgery and said please sign this paper—I don’t even remember signing the paper nor do I remember them you know telling me the odds of coming out of a brain surgery that severe were not good. They extracted one baseball-sized tumor out of the front of my brain—you can see the little dent my head right here and the scar is actually hidden up here in my hairline—very nice that they can do that these day—and they did miss another tumor right here by my ear. I call him Junior and he is kind of my barometer anytime I want to eat something sugary or carb-y, I think about junior as a little Pacman and it keeps me from ever cheating. So a friend of a friend suggested that I get in touch with Dr. Nasha winters of Optimal Terrain Consulting immediately. She put me on the ketogenic diet. The amazing thing about being on this diet that I never expected is not only is it yummy and delicious but it’s had a lot of interesting side effects that I never expected. My Polycystic Ovarian Disease has completely disappeared in two years. My Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was gone in eighteen months. My breast fibroids were gone in five months and those probably would have turned into [they were worried about] cancer with those. You know, I make recipes of all my favorite foods that I used to like like macaroni and cheese and pizza and ice cream and brownies. I figured out how to make all of those without sugar and Lakanto been key for that for me because it’s the first non-glycemic sweetener that actually tastes good. When my doctor put me on the ketogenic diet, my first thought was what do I eat, you know? how do I get all this fat in my diet and what do I do to replace all the things I love like where’s my ice cream? Where’s my brownies? Where’s my pancakes? And at first I just deprived myself of all that food and that wasn’t very fun. And then I started playing with some recipes and trying some different alternative sweeteners. I grew stevia and yokan and tried flavoring things with those and they were okay but it wasn’t what I remembered. And then my husband was trying all my recipes and he hated everything! He thought all the sweeteners—he was just making horrible faces every time I made ice cream—and then one day I ordered Lakanto on the internet and I made ice cream–vanilla ice cream and I handed it to him and he had this big smile on his face and he was like: “this is the best ice cream I’ve ever had!” I couldn’t believe it! He hadn’t liked anything I’d made in over a year and a half so ever since then we’ve used nothing but. I could have my cake eat it to. Cure my brain cancer and have a brownie and ice cream for lunch every day. I sometimes have ice cream and brownie for breakfast–but I still get my nine cups of veggies in every day. When I help other people with my coaching, to have them use the ketogenic diet for cancer or for Alzheimer’s or diabetes–it has to be delicious for them in the same way. It’s delicious for me so I helped them recreate their favorite recipes and having a sweetener that is palatable, yummy and non glycemic non GMO is so important to me and to them.”

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I’m a Psychotherapist Who Sets 30-Day Challenges Instead of Long-Term Goals. Here’s Why

As a psychotherapist, I spend a fair amount of time completing paperwork that convinces insurance companies to pay for someone’s mental health treatment.

In order to help people get their services covered, I have to help patients answer questions like, “How do you hope your life will be different in 90 days?”

Asking people with a mental health problem to look that far ahead can feel like torture. People struggling with depression often can’t see 10 minutes into the future, let alone 3 months down the road.

And individuals experiencing anxiety are often consumed with the future–and they’re usually making catastrophic predictions. They might imagine themselves losing their jobs, becoming homeless, or contracting a rare disease all within the next three months.

But even if you aren’t experiencing a mental health issue, pinpointing how your life will be different 90 days in advance is tough.

Establishing a 30-day challenge can be a more effective way to create positive change. In fact, 30-day challenges (or sometimes 30-day experiments) are how I stay motivated to reach my goals–especially my fitness goals.

Most recently, I set out to see if I could get six-pack abs in 30 days. I hired Robert Brace, a fitness trainer who is known for getting people in shape fast, to help me reach my goal.

And just as he promised, over the course of one month, I saw my formerly flabby stomach morph into a muscular set of abdominal muscles. Almost every day, I could see progress, and it helped me stay on track to reach my goal.

Had I set out to do the same challenge in 90 days, I’m certain it wouldn’t have worked. Having more time would have led to fewer results. Not only do I know this from personal experience and anecdotal evidence from my therapy clients, but science also backs up this notion.

Your Brain Is Designed for 30-Day Challenges

Studies show our brains view time according to either “now deadlines” or “someday deadlines.” And “now deadlines” often fall within this calendar month.

For example, if you have a project due at the end of the month, studies show that you’re likely to start working on it earlier in the month, because your brain tells you that your deadline is looming. You’ll prioritize the project as something that is due “now.”

If however, that same project is due at the beginning of the next month, your brain will categorize it as a “later project”–even if the calendar is set to roll over to the next month within a few days

You’re more likely to procrastinate when it comes to working on the goals you categorize as “later.”

So whether you’re trying to quit smoking, or you want to lose weight, your brain will categorize a 90-day goal as something you can work on later. And if you don’t start out filled with motivation and momentum right from the beginning, you aren’t likely to pick up steam as time passes.

Why 30-Day Challenges Work So Well

Whether your goal is to pay down debt, or you want to start going to the gym, design your own 30-day challenge. In addition to your brain viewing it as a “now” goal, you’re more likely to succeed because:

  • You won’t have time for excuses. When you have a short-term goal, there isn’t time to take days off because you feel tired. And you don’t have time to make up missed work later. You have be all in if you want to reach your goals.
  • Fast progress builds momentum. Your hard work will begin to pay off fast. And when you begin to see results, it’s easier to stay motivated. Building momentum early can help you stay on course and finish your month-long challenge strong.
  • Short-term pain feels tolerable. Working hard to reach a new goal means you’ll have to give something up. It’s easier to give up time with your family or your daily latte when you know there’s an end in sight.

Create Your Own 30-Day Challenge

There are many 30-day challenges that can improve your physical health, mental health, social life, or spiritual life.

And as we approach the beginning of a new year–where many people will be setting gigantic annual goals that they never reach–it’s a great time to launch a 30-day challenge. You might find that a short-term objective is a much more effective way to create big changes in your life.

By: Amy Morin

Source: I’m a Psychotherapist Who Sets 30-Day Challenges Instead of Long-Term Goals. Here’s Why

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Dr. Paul Thompson talks about how imaging has revealed the positive effects of exercise on the brain as well as the detrimental effects of stress and cortisol on the brain. For more information visit: http://www.loni.ucla.edu/ http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/ Photos courtesy of: LONI, the Human Connectome Project For NIBIB’s Copyright Policy: https://www.nibib.nih.gov/policies#co…

A Diet Guru Explains Why You Should Eat Dinner At 2pm – Dr. Jason Fung

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There have been two main changes in dietary habits from the 1970s (before the obesity epidemic) until today. First, there was the change is what we were recommended to eat. Prior to 1970, there was no official government sanctioned dietary advice. You ate what your mother told you to eat. With the publication of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we were told to cut the fat in our diets way down and replace that with carbohydrates, which might have been OK if it was all broccoli and kale, but might not be OK if it was all white bread and sugar…….

Read more: https://qz.com/1419105/a-diet-guru-explains-why-you-should-eat-dinner-at-2pm/

 

 

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The Scientific Argument For Waking Up Early – Leon Biss

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If you want to become elite at what you do, you need to consistently get better. High performance is all about putting in more and “reps.” Doing the same workout every day won’t make you stronger or faster. Just showing up to work every day and doing your job won’t make you better at your job. It’s been shown that most doctors become worse at their job over their career. They are at their height when they come out of medical school and slowly get worse over time…….

Read more: https://medium.com/thrive-global/the-scientific-argument-for-waking-up-early-b3d93c4d74cd

 

 

 

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What’ll Happen to You If You Start Eating 3 Eggs a Day – Bright Side

Eggs have been getting a bad rap in the health and fitness community because they are associated with cholesterol and weight gain. Others say they may trigger a heart attack. But you might be missing more benefits than you realized. Bright Side will crack the myths behind eggs, especially the egg yolks and let you know what will happen if you eat 3 eggs a day.

TIMESTAMPS: What an egg contains 1:02 Eggs keep you full and help with weight loss 3:44 Eggs improve eye health 4:16 Eggs keep your bones healthy 4:54 Eggs prevent iron deficiency 5:17 Eggs help with brain development in infants and fetuses 5:42 How to choose the right egg 6:35 What will happen if you eat 3 eggs a day 8:11 Music: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/… SUMMARY: – Eggs have been getting a bad rap in the health and fitness community because they are associated with cholesterol and weight gain.

Others say they may trigger a heart attack, and people who want to lose weight usually remove eggs from their diet. But what if you tried to eat 3 eggs a day? You might be missing more benefits than you realized. – Egg contain calories, protein, healthy fats, folate, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins A, B5, B12, B2, D, E, K, and B6. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids and dietary cholesterol. – A large egg contains about 6 g of high-quality protein, which may help you eat less for several hours after a meal.

As a result, this helps you lose weight. – Egg yolks contain lutein, which helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. It contains zeaxanthin, which protects you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. – Egg yolks improve bone metabolism and prevent the risk of osteoporosis. They are also a source of iron. – The yolks can also help to prevent birth defects during pregnancy. Vitamin B is important for the development of the spinal cord and fetal nervous system. It also helps prevent breast cancer, according to a study.

– There are 4 types of eggs, and they are organized based on where the hen is raised and fed. Brown and white eggs have the same nutritional value according to the USDA (who debunked all previous myths on this matter). – A study from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut revealed that a person who consumes 3 eggs a day may experience more of an increase in good cholesterol and decrease in bad cholesterol than someone who eats the same amount of egg substitute.

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Eating for Heart Health — Musings of Phoebe, MD

Diet, as most people know, is a big component of healthy living. There’s even much truth to the idiom, “You are what you eat!” However, when it comes to living with chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, having the right diet becomes even more important, as the foods you eat can make a huge difference not only in the symptoms you experience day to day, but also in the way your chronic conditions progress over time.

What this means is that with the right diet, when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, you can take control of your health by helping to slow or even reverse your chronic conditions. When it comes to heart disease, being on a heart-healthy diet can protect you against further narrowing of your heart’s blood vessels and in turn help prevent further complications such as heart attack and strokes.

In this post we will discuss what types of foods make up a heart healthy diet. In a subsequent post, we will cover the essentials of a specific component of heart healthy eating–the low salt diet.

via Eating for Heart Health — Musings of Phoebe, MD

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Can You Catch Up on Lost Sleep On the Weekends? Here’s What Experts Think – Jamie Ducharme

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Sleep experts have long preached the importance of a sleep routine. Going to bed and rising at roughly the same time every day helps to regulate circadian rhythms and improve overall sleep quality and quantity.

But a new study published in the Journal of Sleep Research, offers a surprising asterisk to that advice: If you don’t get enough sleep during the week, it says, sleeping in on the weekends may cancel out at least some of the associated health risks.

The findings are based on survey responses from more than 38,000 Swedish adults who answered questions about their lifestyle habits, medical histories and average weekday and weekend sleep durations. The researchers used this data to draw conclusions about how total sleep, as well as workday versus day-off sleep, relates to mortality.

The researchers analyzed 13 years of data and found that people who slept for five hours or less each night had a 65% higher risk of premature death, compared to those who consistently slept for six or seven hours per night. (This association largely disappeared among adults older than 65, who tend to keep consistent sleep schedules, and who the researchers posit may need less rest overall.)

But when the researchers looked at people who made up for scant weeknight sleep with longer weekend snoozes, they observed something interesting: These people did not seem to have a higher mortality risk than the group that slept about seven hours a night.

This suggests that short weekday sleep may be compensated for during the weekend, and that this has implications for mortality,” the authors write in the paper—though they stress that the results are speculative, as they’re based on self-reported data.

Dr. David Dinges, chief of the division of sleep and chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, was not involved in the research but calls the findings “intriguing.” He cautions, however, that more studies are needed, especially since there’s very limited research looking at “yo-yo sleeping” over long periods of time.

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“Thirteen years is long, but it’s not 30 years; it’s not 40,” Dinges says. “The real question is whether there is, in fact, a build-up of deficit, or biological changes that are gradual over time, even though you get recovery sleep.”

The new study focused only on the link between sleep duration and longevity, yet sleep loss can also have negative effects on cognitive, behavioral and metabolic health. “We’re still in a fairly early stage of understanding the mechanism by which amount of sleep relates to different health risks,” Dinges says.

Sleep is also highly individual. Certain people may be more or less vulnerable to yo-yo sleeping—meaning it may provide adequate recovery for some, but not others.

Another part of the new paper deserves attention, says Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the University of California Los Angeles Center for Sleep Research (who was not involved with the study). People who regularly slept longer than seven hours per night had a 25% higher mortality risk than the control group, a result that appears to be independent of chronic health issues that could cause excess sleep.

Being an inactive ‘couch potato’ is not good for you,” Siegel said in an email to TIME. “It may well be that just as sitting all day is bad for you, lying in bed for extended periods of time is also bad for you. The key issue is determining whether restricting sleep in long sleepers improves their health.” Siegel also notes that multiple epidemiological studies, including this one, have suggested that seven hours of sleep—not the often-recommended eight—is the optimal amount for increasing lifespan.

While it will take more than one epidemiological study to prove anything definitively, the experts says the new paper is a step toward better sleep understanding.

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