Getty ImagesBy Matt McMillen
Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling drowsy and slow-witted, but that's not all: New research suggests it may also rev up your appetite.
After sleeping for only four hours, people tend to eat more calories on the following day than when they get a good night's sleep, the study found. This was especially true of women, who consumed an average of 329 more calories when sleep deprived than when well rested. By contrast, men consumed just 263 more.
These findings may explain the link between insufficient sleep and overweight that has been shown in previous studies, says the lead researcher, Marie-Pierre St. Onge, Ph.D., a research associate at Columbia University's New York Obesity Research Center. "This study shows a possible causative effect," she says.
Health.com: 11 surprising health benefits of sleep
Overweight people often have sleep problems-most notably sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that causes frequent awakenings-but it's not clear if they're
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Getty ImagesBy Matt McMillenRead More »from Women who sleep less eat more
Getty ImagesBy Anne HardingRead More »from Heart-attack risk spikes after sex, exercise
Exercising or having sex roughly triples a person's risk of heart attack in the hours immediately afterward, especially if the person does those activities infrequently, according to a new analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Heart patients shouldn't abstain from sex or forgo exercise based on this finding, however. Although a threefold increase in heart-attack risk sounds scary, the overall likelihood of having a heart attack after working out or making love is still very low-on the order of 3 in 1,000,000, as opposed to 1 in 1,000,000.
"Definitely, one should not interpret our findings as meaning that physical activity or sexual activity are dangerous or harmful," says one of the study's authors, Issa Dahabreh, MD, a researcher at Tufts Medical Center's Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, in Boston. "The effect at an individual level is small."
Health.com: Surprising heart attack risks
Moreover, the study participants
By Suz RedfearnRead More »from 9 secrets health insurers don't want you to know
Health insurance companies like to keep secrets. And they like to save money. Example: You have surgery, and weeks later you get a bill for using an out-of-network anesthesiologist. Ridiculous, right? You didn't choose who put you under, so you shouldn't have to pay extra. But your insurer sent the bill anyway, hoping you wouldn't notice.
Fighting back against this kind of trickery-and winning-is a lot easier than you think, says Kevin Flynn, the president of Healthcare Advocates, a Philadelphia-based firm that helps patients wrangle with their health plans. We checked with Flynn and other insurance-industry insiders, lawyers, doctors, and regulators to uncover nine little-known ways to get the health coverage you deserve-for less.
Health.com: 8 steps to saving money on all your your medical expenses
Don't pay if you don't have a say
When you purposely see an out-of-network doctor, your plan usually makes it clear that it'll cost you. But when you have surgery, the
Getty ImagesBy Sara Reistad-LongRead More »from 11 things you should buy organic
By now, we all know there's a benefit to buying some stuff organic. But these days you're faced with the option of getting everything organic-from fruits and veggies to mattresses and clothing. You want to do right by your body, for sure, but going the all-natural route en masse can be pricey.
So we wondered: What's really essential for our health? That's why we came up with this definitive list. Here's what should be in your cart-and what you don't have to worry about.
You've probably read plenty of stories about the risks of eating chicken. But the most important protein to buy organic may well be beef. "Research suggests a strong connection between some of the hormones given to cattle and cancer in humans, particularly breast cancer," says Samuel Epstein, MD, professor emeritus of environmental and occupational medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Specifically, the concern is that the estrogen-like agents used on
- Health.com | Work + Money – Mon, Mar 21, 2011 8:21 PM EDT
It starts piling up during the chilly winter months, builds through March, and by the time spring-cleaning season rolls around, it's everywhere. Yep, it's clutter! And chances are, it's driving you crazy right about now. Luckily, we've got the secret to getting it under control in seven essential, game-changing steps. Each one addresses a notoriously difficult tidying issue and fixes it fast, so you can focus on more important things-like updating your Facebook status to "totally organized!"Read More »from Get organized ASAP: How to straighten up without stressing out
Step 1: Clear the rubble in your purse
Business cards, receipts, shopping lists-they all multiply exponentially and get lost in your handbag. "These are things we always need to access in a hurry, too, like at a checkout counter," says Mary Carlomagno, a professional organizer and author of Live More, Want Less. Carlomagno suggests reserving your wallet for payment cards, cash, and important IDs, and keeping everything else in a coupon organizer.
By Alison PratoRead More »from Neve Campbell's love-your-body tricks
Has Neve Campbell taken a dip in the fountain of youth? At 37, she looks exactly the same as she did in the '90s when she played the ultrasensitive teenager Julia Salinger on Party of Five, the hit show that launched her career. Sipping green tea in a Manhattan hotel restaurant, the eco-conscious Toronto native talks to Health about the pressures of looking slim and beautiful in Hollywood, what she finds inspiring now, and her new movie, Scream 4-which also happens to be one of the most anticipated films of the year.
Q: Neve, you look beautiful, and you're not even wearing any makeup!
A: Thank you. But I am wearing some!
Q: You used to be a ballet dancer. Do you still dance?
A: I don't really. With ballet, unless you're doing it all the time, it's too challenging on your body. I do Cardio Barre, which uses some dance techniques.
Health.com: Dance your way slim
Q: What else do you do to stay in such great shape?
A: Yoga, Pilates, and running. I mix it up so I don't get
By Leslie BarrieRead More »from 4 fresh uses for vanilla
Sure, it's great in baked goods. But check out all the other stuff this natural wonder can do for you.
Take a whiff of vanilla extract right before digging into any delectable meal, and you might just eat less of it. That's because smelling a satisfyingly rich scent (like, you guessed it, vanilla) can trick your brain into thinking you've eaten more than you actually have, says Alan Hirsch, MD, founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.
"If you smell a delicious aroma before you take a bite of something indulgent, you'll lose the sensory excitement earlier," he explains. "This cues your body to feel content sooner, so you'll eat less."
Health.com: Bananas: The ultimate hunger buster
Kick household stenches (and maybe even some germs) to the curb-sans chemicals-with vanilla. Not only does it lift odors, but a compound in vanilla may serve as an antibacterial. You can concoct your own nontoxic deodorizing spray by
Getty ImagesBy Judie HurtadoRead More »from 14 tips for treating kids' colds
Treating a kid's cold is trickier than ever. Parents have long reached for over-the-counter cough and cold remedies, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration no longer recommends them for children younger than 4. And, the FDA is investigating whether these drugs are safe for older kids.
One thing's clear: None of these over-the-counter medications can cure the common cold or make it go away any faster.
So what's a parent to do? Follow these 14 steps to help your child get through the stuffy-headed misery.
Keep them home
Talk to any school nurse and you'll find that plenty of parents send their children to school or day care when they shouldn't. Don't be that parent.
If your child has a fever over 101°, or any fever just as he is starting to get sick, keep him home, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Even if your child doesn't have a sky-high fever, consider keeping him home if he's too sick to take part in school activities or
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Thu, Mar 17, 2011 4:34 PM EDT
Getty ImagesBy Sara Reistad-LongRead More »from 5 surprising things you donâ€™t have to buy organic
You're pretty safe with fruits and vegetables like avocados, which have a thick skin that you don't eat. Just remember to wash the peel before cutting into them to get rid of any residue.
Health.com: 11 things it's best to buy organic
Chickens as a rule are not given growth hormones. And research has shown that factory eggs don't have higher quantities of contaminants than organic eggs.
Frozen food in plastic bags
The risk of leached chemicals is heightened by heat, and frozen produce is, well, as cold as ice. As long as you're not boiling in the bag, the chance of ingesting harmful chemicals from these is low.
Health.com: Ultimate organic wines
"Even when you're using spices liberally, you're consuming such small amounts of each that the risk is minimal," says Sonya Lunder, senior analyst at the EWG.
Health.com: America's healthiest grocery stores
While there's no question that organic cotton is excellent for the environment,
By Ilana BlitzerRead More »from The secret to great skin and hair
Surprise: It's changing up your cleansing routine.
"I'm having an oil crisis on my face."
Cleansing Rx: When the seasons change, it can seem like your skin has multiple personalities (dry one day, oily the next). Interestingly, your skin doesn't actually pump out more oil this time of year, but the oil on your face becomes more fluid so you see and feel it more, says Leslie Baumann, MD, a dermatologist in Miami Beach, Florida. "If you were using a milky or creamy cleanser all winter, now's the time to switch to a foaming or gel-based wash-something that has a bit of oil control to it," Dr. Baumann says.
Overdo the cleansing, though, and you could end up stripping healthy fatty acids that protect the skin's surface. A good guideline: If you're very oily, use an oil-controlling wash twice a day. But if you're only somewhat oily, switch to a foaming wash in the morning (to curb daytime shine), and use your creamy cleanser at night (to keep your skin soft).