Archive for November, 2013

The cold and flu season is upon us. To help understand the difference and reduce the possibility of acquiring either, read the follow 10 suggestions.

  1. Cold germs can survive on bathroom sinks, kitchen counters and doorknobs for up to 3 hours.  Sanitize these areas regularly.
  2. Colds are most contagious before symptoms start to appear.
  3. There are over 200 viruses that can cause a cold.
  4. Since colds are due to a virus, the use of antibiotic will not work.  Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections like the flu.
  5. Stress is the number one cause to increased susceptibility to a cold or flu infection.
  6. Chicken soup does help fight colds.  It breaks up nasal congestion and the lean protein (chicken) helps boost your strength to fight off the illness.
  7. Though you can run a mild fever with a cold in most cases a fever, especially a high fever will indicate it’s a flu not a cold.
  8. The flu is bacterial and must be treated with antibiotics.  If left untreated, it could lead to pneumonia, a life threatening respiratory illness.
  9. Flu shots do not carry an active flu viruses in them.  You can’t get the flu from taking a flu shot.
  10. Protect yourself from a cold or flu by washing your hands regularly, several times a day, with soap and water.  Hand sanitizers can also help when soap and water are not available.

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Nov
05

Can You Learn By Dreaming?

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A recent article in the Harvard Gazette suggests we do. In a sleep study, people were awaken repeatedly during their dream cycles. What researchers found was that these people had a hard time retaining what they had learned the previous day. Whereas, those who had uninterrupted sleep, produced significant differences in remembering the previous day’s activities and information. Dreams are a way for the brain to categorize thoughts, activities and acquired knowledge from the previous day. That sleeping and the process of dreaming are what helps us learn and retain knowledge.

Dreams are the brains way of synchronizing thoughts, repeating the process over and over to help build and strengthen neural pathways. In essence the more we dream the better we are able to retain information that we learn. For athletes, the suggestion from their coaches of getting a good night’s rest maybe be more important than previously thought. Our dreams of running, throwing and catching are another way of practicing. Just like when practicing physically, dreams help us improve and strengthen the new connections we create in our brains when we learn new information.

Nightmares may even help you learn. It has been theorized that some nightmares maybe Mother Nature’s way of practicing for dangerous events. Back in our history, cavemen where constantly aware of possible dangers and many times had to react to dangerous situations. Our life styles now do not present the same dangers, our brains thinks differently in the subconscious. It must be prepared and remain ready. In an attempt to preserve itself, the brain runs scenarios of dangerous situations teaching us to either run or fight, the fight or flight response. How we behave in our dreams is how we most likely will behave in an extreme situation. Our brain runs these games to re-enforce our neural pathways to danger in an effort to protect itself or us.

Not all dreams and nightmares may not fall within these categorizations, but many scientist believe good sleep with dreams help the body to stay in good physical and mental health.

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