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Abstaining from Facebook may help to live stress free life

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Days after the Facebook data scandal came out in the public, a group of researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, has found out that quitting Facebook makes the user de-stressed.

The research, led by Prof. Eric Vanman, who is a senior lecturer at the university’s School of Psychology, stated that if you abstain from Facebook activity, stress hormone cortisol drops.

Data of millions of Facebook users was used to influence the choice of voters during the 2016 United States Presidential elections by Cambridge Analytica.

According to the results published in the Journal of Social Psychology, the cortisol level dropped among the members of the group which was asked not to use the Facebook app.

To study the impact of the app of the social networking giant, Prof. Vanman and his team formed two groups, comprising 138 study participants in total.

The researchers then took saliva samples from the participants and asked one of the groups to abstain from the Facebook activity for five days while told the other to continue using the app.

After five days, their samples were again taken.

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“Taking a Facebook break for just 5 days reduced a person’s level of the stress hormone cortisol,” Medical News Today quoted Prof. Vanman as saying.

Too much cortisol, which is known to soar when a person is stressed, can compromise immune system, impair memory and make us susceptible to obesity.

Their study also suggested that staying away from Facebook might also make you sadder – at least in the beginning.

“While participants in our study showed an improvement in physiological stress by giving up Facebook, they also reported lower feelings of well-being,” Prof. Vanman says.

Also the findings, according to the researchers, may apply to all social networks.

So if you are hooked to WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram etc. abstaining from social media platforms might reduce your stress levels.

With Agency Inputs

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Health

Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But a new study on sleep patterns has suggested that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults too.

Researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a study of 1,978 older adults, have found that people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.

The study  was published Sept 21 in the journal Scientific Reports.

“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said study’s lead author Jessica Lunsford-Avery.

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“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”

African-Americans had the most irregular sleep patterns compared to participants who were white, Chinese-American or Hispanic, the data showed.

Still, the data suggest tracking sleep regularity could help identify people at risk of disease, and where health disparities may impact specific groups.

Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.

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