Six Reasons to Get Your Sleep

Chronic sleep loss can have a real effect on your health. If you occasionally miss a few hours of sleep,it’s not a big deal, but serious sleep disorders should be dealt with, and here’s why:

  1. Sleep helps the brain absorb new information to the memory. This process is called memory consolidation, and studies have shown that people who lack sleep have a harder time remembering things.
  2. Sleep directly affects the mood. Sleep loss can result in impatience, touchiness, mood swings and lack of concentration. Chronic sleep loss often results in depression as well. Even occasional fatigue influences your mood and makes your day very hard to get through. Fatigue can result in thirst, nausea, lightheadedness and even a fever.
  3. Sleep has a direct effect on our hormone levels and metabolism. Continuous sleep deprivation can cause weight gain and other metabolic issues.
  4. Sleep can also affect our cardiovascular health. Studies have linked sleep disorders with increased stress levels, hypertension and irregular heartbeats.
  5. Sleep loss can reduce the immune system’s efficiency.
  6. Last, but definitely not least, sleep loss can result in a tendency to fall asleep during the day- in the middle of an activity. This can lead to falls, medical mistakes and road accidents.

Recycling Facts & Figures

While we’ve certainly come a long way as a country in “going green,” there is still much room for improvement. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that while 85% of all household garbage could be recycled, we’re still not recycling even half of that. So, as the week of America Recycles Day draws to a close, here are a few Recycling Facts & Figures to help motivate you to keep recycling throughout the year.

Plastic Recycling – Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the State of Texas. American go through 25 billion plastic bottles each year. If we recycled just one out of every ten, plastic landfill waste would be reduced by 200 million pounds each year.

Metal Recycling – Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough electricity to power a 100-watt light bulb for three hours. And for every one ton of steel recycled, 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone are conserved.

Water – the average American now uses an average of 100 gallons of water daily – that’s enough water to fill 1,600 drinking glasses! On the other hand, if all the homes installed water-efficient appliances, the U.S. would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and over $18 billion a year.

Styrofoam – Every year, we throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups, enough to circle the earth 436 times. Styrofoam is NOT recyclable. Don’t buy it and don’t use it!

Junk Mail – the junk mail Americans receive in one day could produce energy sufficient to heat 250,000 homes. If only 100,000 people stopped their junk mail, we could save up to 150,000 trees annually. Not only the forests would gain – you would gain time as well: the average American spends eight months out of his/her life opening junk mail!

The Health Benefits of Having a Pet

petPets are not only great companions; recent studies have shown that animal owners may be healthier than the pet-less.

First of all, children who grow up with regular exposure to a pet develop a stronger immune system They are also less likely to be affected by allergies and asthma. In addition, exposure to pets from a young age also lessens the risk of developing eczema. Animals tend to be outside more than humans, and are exposed to more types of dirt and microorganisms. When children are exposed to these substances from a young age, the eliminate foreign bodies from the children’s imune systems more quickly and effectively.

Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have less-frequent anxiety outburst if they have an animal in their home. The fresh air acquired while caring for the pet, as well as the companionship, lowers stress and blood pressure.

In general, pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression. Playing with a dog, especially out of doors, can increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the blood. These nerve transmitters are known to have relaxing qualities.

Heart attack survivors have been proven to live longer if there is a pet in their home. Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

Another Reason Why Dogs are Man’s Best Friend

dogRecent research has confirmed what cat owners, have always known: that cats are elegant, efficient and ingenious when it comes to their personal habits and hygiene.

Living with a cat can be quite a strain on a person with less than perfect etiquette. It can be quite embarrassing to a pet owner if his pet cat outdoes him in the neatness department.

Dogs, however, are not so elegant. A dog is the epitome of sloppiness. He slurps. He spills. He lumbers along. Dogs burp in public, and do lots of other things in public as well. Dogs can make the sloppiest, untidy, and spill prone owner look great. And not only that, when you spill your food or drink your dog happily cleans up after you. What more could a pet owner ask for?

California Condors Face More Challenges in Their Efforts Back to Viability

Califoria-CondorCalifornia Condors have sure had a difficult time of it in recent years. On the verge of extinction for many years, attempts to get their population up have been going through hurdles to confound the most dedicated of biologists. Back in 2006 the first nesting attempt in Central California in more than a century happened with a nest 200 feet up a redwood tree. At first delighted with this great new development, biologist Joe Burnett of the Ventana Wildlife Society was stunned to find that the reason the birds did not immediately reproduce was not because of inexperience, but because the eggs which they did produce had fatally thin shells, too thin to support the development of condor chicks inside.

“The eggshell fragments we found appeared abnormally thin,” Mr. Burnett said. “They were so thin that we had to run tests to confirm that it was a condor egg.” The fragments reminded him of the thin-shelled eggs from birds like brown pelicans and peregrine falcons, which had been devastated by DDT but are now on the rebound.

Looking for possible sources of DDT which is a pesticide that has been banned from use since 1972 led Mr. Burnett to suspect the California sea lions, food for the California condors, may themselves by contaminated with DDT.