Sleepless nights might be in your genes

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

How is it that some people can get away with just a few hours of sleep, while others need 8 or more?  The answer may be found in your genes.  New research from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine suggests there is a common genetic link to those who just can not get enough sleep.  The gene variant is connected to narcolepsy.  It can be found in about 30% of people who are always tired.  In this report, over 100 people were studied.  Researchers measured their sleep quality over several nights.  Those with the gene variant were found to be more tired and had fragmented sleep, waking up as often as 4 times per night.  So, if you slept through your alarm this morning and you were late for work, try blaming it on your genes!  Probably won’t fly with your boss…

Daily heath tip: Relieve arthritis pain with these supplements

If you have arthritis pain that’s not getting better, try glucosamine and chondroitin.  The combination of these supplements may be able to give you the relief you’re looking for.  Just be careful. Chondroitin can interact with blood thinners and glucosamine can cause problems if you’re allergic to shellfish.

Trick to making airplane food palatable?

When was the last time you had a meal on an airplane that you actually enjoyed?  It’s not just the quality of food, it’s the ambiance.  New research suggests that the background noise from the jet engines impacts how much we enjoy the food we’re served.  So, next time you’re flying try wearing noise reducing headphones.  The researchers blindfolded 48 volunteers and gave them a variety of foods to eat while wearing ear phones.  The higher the noise level, the more the volunteer tasted sweet and salty flavors in their meals.

What’s the numb, tingling sensation in your foot?

Do you ever get a tingling or numbing sensation in your foot?  This is a familiar feeling that just about all of us have experienced.  Usually, you get this pins and needles feeling after putting pressure on a part of your body like sitting on your foot or sleeping on your arm.  What’s happening is this pressure squeezes nerve pathways so they can’t transmit signals properly.  This pressure can also squeeze arteries, stopping them from carrying blood and nutrients to body cells.  So the initial tingling sensation your feeling is your body telling you to move around…nudging you to change position!

Link between poor health & depression

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of The Academy

If you’re feeling down these days you’re not alone.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9% of adult Americans currently meet the criteria for clinical depression.  Overall, more people in the Southeast are depressed compared to other parts of the country.  This clustering may be partly due to chronic health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, stroke and sleep problems, which are also common in that region.  Other risk factors include being female, minority, unemployed, single or divorced with lower education, sociaoeconomic status, and no health insurance.  The good news is more people these days are seeking treatment for depression, but there’s still a stigma.  Symptoms of depression include crying spells, feeling unhappy, hopeless, guilt or worthless and losing interest in normal activities.