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Benefits of Sleeping ‘Early’

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Adolescents who went to bed early were less likely to suffer from depression or contemplate suicide, a new study has found.
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It shows that adolescents with parental-set bedtimes of midnight or later were 24 percent more likely to suffer from depression and 20 percent more likely to have suicidal thoughts than those with parental-set bedtimes set for 10 p.m. or earlier.

Those who reported sleeping five or fewer hours per night were 71 percent more likely to suffer from depression and 48 percent more likely to think about committing suicide than those who reported eight hours of sleep.

Also, participants who reported that they “usually get enough sleep” were significantly less likely to suffer from depression and suicidal ideation.

James E. Gangwisch, assistant professor at the Columbia University Medical Centre (CUMC), who led the study, said the results strengthen the argument that short sleep duration could play a role in a person’s history of depression.

“Our results are consistent with the theory that inadequate sleep is a risk factor for depression, working with other risk and protective factors through multiple possible causal pathways to the development of this mood disorder,” said Gangwisch.

“Adequate quality sleep could, therefore, be a preventive measure against depression and a treatment for the disease,” added Gangwisch, according to a CUMC release.

Data were collected from 15,659 adolescents and their parents who had participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a school-based, nationally representative, probability-based sample of US students in grades seven to 12 in 1994 to 1996.

Source: The study was published in the Friday issue of Sleep. (Republished in the Times Of India)

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Featured Healthy Tips

Broccoli ‘May Help Protect Lungs’

 

A substance found in broccoli may limit the damage which leads to serious lung disease, research suggests.
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Sulforapane is found in broccoli and brussel sprouts

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often caused by smoking and kills about 30,000 UK residents a year.

US scientists found that sulforapane increases the activity of the NRF2 gene in human lung cells which protects cells from damage caused by toxins.

The same broccoli compound was recently found to be protective against damage to blood vessels caused by diabetes.

Brassica vegetables such as broccoli have also been linked to a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Cell pollutants

In the latest study, a team from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found significantly lower activity of the NRF2 gene in smokers with advanced COPD.

Writing in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, they said the gene is responsible for turning on several mechanisms for removing toxins and pollutants which can damage cells.

“We know broccoli naturally contains important compounds but studies so far have taken place in the test tube and further research is needed to find if you can produce the same effect in humans” :-Spokeswoman, British Lung Foundation

Previous studies in mice had shown that disrupting the NRF2 gene caused early onset severe emphysema – one of the conditions suffered by COPD patients.

Increasing the activity of NRF2 may lead to useful treatments for preventing the progression of COPD, the researchers said.

In the study, they showed that sulforapane was able to restore reduced levels of NRF2 in cells exposed to cigarette smoke.

“Future studies should target NRF2 as a novel strategy to increase antioxidant protection in the lungs and test its ability to improve lung function in people with COPD,” said study leader Dr Shyam Biswal.

A spokeswoman for the British Lung Foundation said: “This is an important study for the 3 million people in the UK with COPD because of its findings about the imbalance of oxidants and antioxidants in the lungs.

“We know broccoli naturally contains important compounds but studies so far have taken place in the test tube and further research is needed to find if you can produce the same effect in humans.

Sources:BBC NEWS:Sept 12. ’08

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