Visiting the land of Nod…

For some unknown reasonzzzzz, ūüėČ articles about sleep deprivation zzzzzz have been popping up on my screen lately. Indeed, I’ve been reading about some rather scary stuff, such as the fact that if you don’t get enough sleep your brain will start eating itself (nope, I’m not kidding!). How about that for the freaky fact of the day???

This morning I came across another sleep-related article, titled¬†“What’s another hour of lost sleep? For some, a hazard,” which I found¬†so riveting, in a good sense this time (no super scary stuff, I mean!), that I decided to post about it. It’s a¬†Harvard Gazette interview with¬†Jeanne Duffy, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a sleep researcher at Brigham and Women‚Äôs Hospital.

Here’s the link:¬†https://goo.gl/wMF3qY

Prof. Duffy gives us heaps of food for thought…or rather, one would hope, food for sleep! Hehe. ūüôā Here’s an excerpt, e.g.: “[…] getting inadequate sleep makes your immune system less efficient.” That sentence alone should make us want to visit the land of Nod… ūüôā

Anyway, a highly recommended read, even for those who think they are getting enough sleep…

“Educate your immune system”

I just finished reading a fascinating¬†New York Times article on the immune system and thought I’d post the link. Remember my April 5 post, “The gut factor,” on the connection between gut bacteria and cancer? Well, this article provides more food for thought in that same area: http://goo.gl/cVDygk

Note: toward the end of the article, there is a reference to the Epstein-Barr virus and the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. No, no mention of multiple myeloma. However, I still think it is of interest to those of us who have had EBV in the past and would like¬†to know about any¬†possible repercussions…

Links, links, links…

P.S. By the way, since I have received a couple of condolence notes, I thought I should mention that my mother is not only alive but is actually¬†doing a bit better these days. She has begun eating a bit more, gaining a bit of weight, and seems more interested in interacting with others. When Stefano and I left the U.S.A. to return to our home in Florence just a few weeks ago, her¬†situation seemed hopeless. I didn’t think she had long to live, to be honest.

But now…who knows?

Guided imagery, celiac disease, wine and tooth decay

Intriguing title, eh?  I don’t have time to write a proper post today, although I am working on a couple of different, rather complicated (!) items, but I did want to post about a recent Mayo Clinic report on the benefits of guided imagery. You can read about it here: http://tinyurl.com/ythf5x An excerpt, which is practically the whole thing!: “Aristotle and Hippocrates believed in the power of images in the brain to enliven the heart and body. Today, research shows they were right. Guided imagery is helping patients use the full range of the body’s healing capacity […]. Guided imagery is more than listening to relaxing sounds. It’s a learning process to listen to someone’s voice, relax the breathing and consciously direct the ability to imagine. The effect of guided vivid imagery sends a message to the emotional control center of the brain. From there, the message is passed along to the body’s endocrine, immune and autonomic nervous systems. These systems influence a wide range of bodily functions, including heart and breathing rates and blood pressure.”

Guided imagery apparently can reduce side effects from conventional cancer treatments, reduce fear and anxiety before surgery and help manage stress and headaches. I have never heard of this technique. Has anyone tried it?

Celiac disease sufferers, have a look at this: http://tinyurl.com/ysrtex An excerpt: “Researchers have discovered a new structure for a key enzyme associated with celiac disease, a finding that could lead to the design of new medications for the common digestive disorder.” Hah!

And finally, wine-drinkers will certainly be interested in this Science Daily report: http://tinyurl.com/yqfn6s Basically, specific polyphenols found in the waste products from winemaking (fermented seeds and skins, which normally get tossed) may prevent tooth decay and, even more importantly, lessen “the ability of bacteria to cause life-threatening, systemic infections”? Hmmm. How about that?