Benefits of getting up early


large-scale genetics study recently conducted by Exeter University revealed that people who are “early birds” have greater levels of happiness and are at a lower risk of depression compared to those who are “night owls”. The authors speculated that this was because the “night owl” body clock conflicts with work patterns and school timetables, and this could have negative outcomes.


Early risers are also better performers academically, according to a Texas University study. The study asked if the students were “morning” or “evening” people and it showed that “morning” people had a grade point average (GPA) a point higher than the evening types. The researcher’s explanation was simple: early birds get to their classes on time and drink less.

Reducing the risk of breast cancer

In a 2018 study by the University of Bristol, researchers looked at 341 snippets of DNA that controlled whether someone was an early bird or night owl and showed that being a morning person reduced the likelihood of developing breast cancer.


Post-menopausal women who exercise in the morning report a better night’s sleep. A report by scientists from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, found that participants who exercised for 45 minutes in the morning five days a week reported 70% better sleep than before the study. Researchers speculated that exercising early in the morning doesn’t interfere with the body clock.


A study of 346 German teenagers found that early birds scored higher for persistence and cooperation, while a further study from the University of Education Heidelberg of 1,231 participants found them to be more conscientiousAnother study said that they procrastinated less.

Digital detox!

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Multiple sclerosis

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Sleep and exercise

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society both recommend seven or more hours of sleep per night, yet more than a third of adults in the U.S. say they sleep less than that.
“We all have 24 hours in a day, so for the people who only sleep five or six hours, are they doing a healthy behavior or sitting in front of the TV eating chips?” Basner said in a phone interview. “We’ve been trying to identify activities that could be traded for more sleep.”
Basner and colleagues analyzed American Time Use Survey data for nearly 48,000 working men and women interviewed on a weekday between 2003 and 2016. As part of the survey, participants logged how they spent their time in the previous 24 hours.
Researchers found that people spent most of their time working and commuting. About 17 percent said they had exercised in the last 24 hours. Overall, long work hours were associated with both short sleep and low exercise rates. At the same time, those who exercised slept an average of 15 minutes less than those who didn’t. In fact, sleep time dropped as exercise time increased.
The strongest association between exercise and sleep was seen among people who exercised between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. or between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Exercise for up to an hour either in the morning or the evening was not associated with significantly shorter sleep.
“The problem is, we can’t tell people to work less, but we can look at habits before bed, which is usually TV watching, or in the morning, which is commuting and grooming,” Basner said. “This study suggests it’s possible to both exercise and get enough sleep.”
Basner and colleagues were surprised to find that in contrast to previous advice about not exercising before bed, those who got physical activity later at night seemed to still get plenty of sleep. Instead of harming sleep, exercising during the day, even if close to bedtime, might help people to sleep more deeply or fall asleep sooner, he said.
“This probably depends on personality, too, and whether someone has an early or late circadian preference,” he added. “An owl who is likely to go to bed at 1 a.m. might exercise well at night, and the lark who wakes up at 5 a.m. anyway might exercise before work.”
Family income and education levels influenced sleep time as well. Generally, those who earn more and have higher education tend to get less sleep, but they’re also more likely to exercise. Although this study was based in the U.S., Basner speculates the same would apply in other developed countries.
“There is the impression that we are pressed for time now more than ever. This is probably due, in part, to exposure to more time-wasting things like social media, nevertheless, clearly for many people there is a perceived choice between healthy behaviors,” said Shawn Youngstedt, a researcher at Arizona State University in Tempe who wasn’t involved in the study.
A limitation of using American Time Use Survey data to study exercise and sleep, he said, is that “sleep” includes lying in bed and resting, which could skew the results.
At the same time, he said by email, “This advances an excellent idea to try to promote exercise at times in which it does not curtail sleep. Offering exercise opportunities at work would probably facilitate healthy and more productive workers.”

Type 2 Diabetes


The amount of insulin needed to effectively treat type 2 diabetes worldwide is unknown. It also remains unclear how alternative treatment algorithms would affect insulin use and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) averted by insulin use, given that current access to insulin (availability and affordability) in many areas is low. The aim of this study was to compare alternative projections for and consequences of insulin use worldwide under varying treatment algorithms and degrees of insulin access.


We developed a microsimulation of type 2 diabetes burden from 2018 to 2030 across 221 countries using data from the International Diabetes Federation for prevalence projections and from 14 cohort studies representing more than 60% of the global type 2 diabetes population for HbA 1c, treatment, and bodyweight data. We estimated the number of people with type 2 diabetes expected to use insulin, international units (IU) required, and DALYs averted per year under alternative treatment algorithms targeting HbA 1c from 6·5% to 8%, lower microvascular risk, or higher HbA 1c for those aged 75 years and older.


The number of people with type 2 diabetes worldwide was estimated to increase from 405·6 million (95% CI 315·3 million–533·7 million) in 2018 to 510·8 million (395·9 million–674·3 million) in 2030. On this basis, insulin use is estimated to increase from 516·1 million 1000 IU vials (95% CI 409·0 million–658·6 million) per year in 2018 to 633·7 million (500·5 million–806·7 million) per year in 2030. Without improved insulin access, 7·4% (95% CI 5·8–9·4) of people with type 2 diabetes in 2030 would use insulin, increasing to 15·5% (12·0–20·3) if insulin were widely accessible and prescribed to achieve an HbA 1c of 7% (53 mmol/mol) or lower. If HbA 1c of 7% or lower was universally achieved, insulin would avert 331 101 DALYs per year by 2030 (95% CI 256 601–437 053). DALYs averted would increase by 14·9% with access to newer oral antihyperglycaemic drugs. DALYs averted would increase by 44·2% if an HbA 1c of 8% (64 mmol/mol) were used as a target among people aged 75 years and older because of reduced hypoglycaemia.


The insulin required to treat type 2 diabetes is expected to increase by more than 20% from 2018 to 2030. More DALYs might be averted if HbA 1c targets are higher for older adults.

Best supplements for sleep

CBD oil  (Read more)

CBD (cannabidiol) oil is Dr Brewer’s own sleep-promoting supplement of choice.
She said: “CBD is a natural extract from industrial hemp plants which is relaxing, lifts mood and generates feelings of wellbeing.
“CBD enhances the effects of brain chemicals such as serotonin and anandamide, and helps you achieve a good night’s sleep by reducing muscle tension, reducing restlessness and anxiety, and by supporting a normal pattern of REM sleep. It also reduces the perception of pain and may help if aches and pains are keeping you awake.
“Ever since I started taking a capsule at night I’ve slept really deeply and woken feeling refreshed. While some people experience vivid dreams when taking CBD, I now sleep so heavily that I rarely recall my dreams.”
But she notes: “If you have a health condition or are taking any prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, always check with your doctor or a pharmacist before taking CBD, as it interacts with enzymes involved in metabolising some medicines. Many doctors and pharmacists feel unable to advise on this, however.
“The best Drug Interaction checker I have found is on, which includes most herbs, supplements and prescribed medicines. While it does not specifically include CBD it does include cannabis (which as well as containing CBD also includes the legally-regulated, psychoactive ingredient, THC).”
Best supplements for sleep: Six natural remedies to ensure a good night’s rest

Ketogenic diet

Ketogenic diets are well-established as a successful anticonvulsant therapy. Based on overlap between mechanisms postulated to underlie pain and inflammation, and mechanisms postulated to underlie therapeutic effects of ketogenic diets, recent studies have explored the ability for ketogenic diets to reduce pain. Here we review clinical and basic research thus far exploring the impact of a ketogenic diet on thermal pain, inflammation, and neuropathic pain.

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