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October 24, 2016

Mediterranean Diet, Caffeine May Be Good for Your Eyes

ironworkers shared this story from WebMD Health.

Study found both were linked to lower risk of leading cause of blindness

October 24, 2016

I Banned The Snooze Button For A Week, And This Is What Happened

ironworkers shared this story from Prevention.

I have an unhealthy relationship with the snooze button. As in, I hit it 2 to 3 times each morning…on two separate, staggered alarms (one on a regular digital clock, the other on my iPhone because my cat often steps on the buttons of my digital clock during his attempts to wake me in the night). Once I'm out of bed, I'm actually a pretty peppy morning person: I go running, make breakfast, and manage to un-dishevel myself all in time for work at 9 AM. But when it comes to physically getting out of bed, I'm like Sisyphus with that darn boulder. (Make 2017 YOUR year by taking charge of your health and jump-starting your weight loss with the Prevention calendar and health planner!)

Recently, this tedious waking ritual of mine started to throw off my morning timeline, and I was leaving for runs later and later. It's really no fair that the sun gets to rise later in autumn, but I don't. I had to wonder, was all of my snoozing making it even harder for me to get out the door? What if I just set my alarm for the time I really wanted to wake up, rather than a half hour in advance? 

Studies confirmthat groggy, can't-get-out-of-bed state many of us know all too well. That's because as we fall back into slumber after alarm #1, we enter a new sleep cycle that's doomed to be disrupted. And even though most of us know this already, we still rely on that "just 10 more minutes" every morning. I decided it was time for me to buck the trend and ban the snooze button for a full week to see if it actually made any difference. Here's how it went.

MORE: 49 Reasons You're Always Tired

At first I considered scrapping the entire experiment.

snooze button
Leah Wynalek

Even though I set my alarm later to account for the whole no-snooze situation, it was a struggle to keep myself from pushing that button. When my alarm went off at 6:15 AM, I sort of just lay there for a couple minutes, forcing my eyes to stay open, before making the big move to sit up for another 5 minutes. I was still in bed, but I was awake, and I considered that a win.

MORE: 100 Simple Strategies To Sleep Better Every Night

I spent more time on my phone.
Was I just replacing one unhealthy habit with another? Before willing myself out of bed, I found myself checking email and Facebook longer than usual on each day of this experiment. I recognized that it was procrastination, but it was also so cold outside the covers and being warm is just so nice. Plus, cat snuggles.

When I was finally up, I got moving faster.

morning run
Leah Wynalek

I didn't time how long it took me to change into my workout clothes and get out the door compared with the snoozy days prior, but I do think that I moved more quickly once I was out of bed. Maybe that sitting-on-my-phone time prepared my mind to go through the motions of changing, teeth brushing, and lacing up my shoes in a more timely fashion. But whatever the reason, I left for each morning run this week on schedule rather than 5 to 10 minutes late.

I actually sat down to eat breakfast.

morning breakfast and book
Leah Wynalek

Normally I blend a smoothie and drink it while doing my makeup, or shovel eggs into my mouth while standing and scrolling through my Instagram feed. But the handful of minutes that I saved allowed me to make my breakfast and pull up a kitchen chair to eat it, too. One morning I even read a book with my oatmeal and coffee, and I convinced myself that it was little luxuries like this that would keep me from ever snoozing again.

I walked to work more often.
I live about a mile from my office, and I usually walk at least 3 times a week, but sometimes my snooze habit has a cascade effect, leaving me no time to walk and get to work on time. When I quit snoozing, I added an extra day of walking. I don't own a Fitbit, but I imagine I'd be stoked about these extra steps if I did. 

MORE: 6 Health Benefits Of Adding Just 1,000 Extra Steps A Day

I still missed the snooze button every day.
There was a brief period on Wednesday, Day 3, where I felt energized and ready to go right after waking. I thought maybe I had broken my bad habit, but come Thursday I was back on the struggle bus. It's possible that evening activities and bedtime factored into the energy difference I felt, but I can't be sure. More likely, I'm just human. 

My conclusion: Even though I saved some time in the morning by not snoozing, it wasn't enough to completely change my ways. Next Monday morning I'll probably still hit snooze—but once instead of three times. Baby steps?

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October 24, 2016

Well: Can a Child Drink Too Much Milk?

ironworkers shared this story from NYT > Health.

Cow’s milk is an excellent source of nutrients for kids, but drinking too much can cause nutritional imbalances.

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© Iron Workers Tri-State Welfare Fund. The information on this Web site presents selected highlights of the Iron Workers Tri-State Welfare Fund. The actual Plan provisions of the Plan are in the Plan’s legal document. In the event of a conflict between the wording on the site and the legal documents, the legal documents will govern. The Trustees reserve the right to amend, modify, or discontinue all or part of the Plan at any time.