🌱 Ginger May Help Treat Autoimmune Disorders
These supplements have shown promise with specific autoimmune diseases
😴 What to Know About “Sexsomnia” and “Sleep Eating”
People often associate sleepwalking with clumsy nighttime wanderings, but recent research suggests it can involve more complex behaviors. Sleepwalkers might engage in activities like having sex (known as 'sexsomnia'), eating junk food, cooking, chatting, or even attempting to drive.
Jennifer Mundt, lead researcher and assistant professor of sleep medicine, psychiatry, and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, highlights the wide range of sleepwalking behaviors, some harmless and others potentially dangerous.
Unlike sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or insomnia, there are no established guidelines for treating "arousal disorders" or "parasomnias," according to a recent review in the journal Sleep Medicine.
Mundt and her team conducted this review to assess the current treatment approaches for these disorders. They discovered 72 papers published between 1909 and 2023, most of which were case reports or uncontrolled clinical trials.
Parasomnias, typically occurring during deep sleep, involve parts of the brain being awake while others are asleep. This partially awake state allows people to perform actions that appear as if they are awake. However, they usually have no memory of these actions.
Approximately 7% of people experience sleepwalking, 10% have sleep terrors, 7% engage in sexsomnia, and 4.5% have sleep-related eating. Some behaviors, like sleepwalking, can be hazardous when people attempt complex activities like cooking or using sharp objects.
Childhood parasomnias like sleepwalking, sleep terrors, and confusional arousals tend to decrease with age. On the other hand, adult-onset parasomnias like sexsomnia and sleep-related eating often persist into adulthood.
A combination of genetic predisposition and lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep deprivation, alcohol, medications, or external stimuli can trigger these parasomnias. While medications can be used for severe cases, most treatments focus on non-pharmacological approaches.
Additionally, it's crucial to address underlying medical conditions that may contribute to sleep disturbances, such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or acid reflux.
Mundt recommends seeking evaluation at a sleep clinic if sleepwalking behaviors are concerning or disruptive, as sometimes they may indicate underlying conditions like epilepsy that require different treatment approaches.
Ginger May Help Treat Autoimmune Disorders
Ginger supplements have shown promise in helping individuals with specific autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis manage inflammation, according to recent research.
This study provides further evidence of ginger's impact on white blood cells, particularly a type known as neutrophils. The researchers focused on neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation, also called NETosis, and its role in controlling inflammation.
The research revealed that when healthy individuals consume ginger, their neutrophils become more resistant to NETosis. NETs, microscopic web-like structures, contribute to inflammation and clotting, both of which are associated with various autoimmune diseases, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Kristen Demoruelle, senior co-author and associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, noted, "There are many diseases where neutrophils are abnormally overactive. We found that ginger can help to restrain NETosis, and this is important because it is a natural supplement that may be helpful to treat inflammation and symptoms for people with several different autoimmune diseases."
In a clinical trial involving healthy volunteers, a week of daily intake of 20 mg of gingerols elevated a chemical called cAMP inside neutrophils, which subsequently inhibited NETosis in response to disease triggers.
Dr. Jason Knight, another senior co-author from the University of Michigan, emphasized, "Our research, for the first time, provides evidence for the biological mechanism that underlies ginger's apparent anti-inflammatory properties in people."
The research team's future plans include conducting clinical trials in patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and COVID-19.
📲 The Trouble with Teens and Their Phones
A recent study sheds light on the pervasive presence of smartphones in the lives of teenagers. Common Sense Media's findings reveal that teens use their phones constantly, from the moment they wake up until bedtime, often interfering with their mental health and daily activities.
According to the study, teenagers receive an average of 237 daily notifications, constantly diverting their attention and negatively affecting their well-being. Common Sense Media's founder and CEO, Jim Steyer, characterizes this as an "arms race for kids' attention," with smartphones coming out as the victors.
More than two-thirds of teenagers admit to struggling to put down their phones, indicating a potential addiction issue. On a typical day, American kids and teens spend around five hours on their smartphones, which equates to approximately one-third of their waking hours.
The study highlights the following key findings:
Social media apps, YouTube, and gaming consume the most of teens' screen time.
Teens check their phones over 100 times a day on average.
Over 50% of teens use their phones during school nights.
TikTok stands out for its "ease" and high usage frequency.
Teens frequently access inappropriate content such as pornography or sports betting apps via their smartphones.
Individual teens in the study received up to a staggering 4,500 notifications daily, a situation Steyer considers "insane." Snapchat and Discord were the apps with the highest notification rates.
Study participants interacted with only about a quarter of the notifications they received, and roughly the same percentage arrived during school hours.
There is no definitive age at which a child should receive their first smartphone, but approximately half of U.S. children receive one by age 11. Research indicates that about 90% of teens possess their own smartphones.
Steyer, a parent himself, suggests delaying the decision to provide a smartphone to children and advocates for setting limits, maintaining open dialogues about digital media habits, and modeling appropriate cellphone behavior.
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