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Well-Being

The Health Benefits of Gaming

Marcus Clarke

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There are many roads to good health. Popular routes include to eat healthily, to go to the gym, or to start jogging. However, people probably do not consider taking up gaming. However, this may be a mistake, as there is growing empirical evidence to suggest that playing video games can actually improve your health in a surprising number of ways.

Firstly, gaming can improve your cognitive health. Playing video games can actually increase the grey matter in your brain, particularly in areas associated with tasks such as motor skills, spatial awareness, and long-term planning.

In plain English, gaming can make you brainier! Also, gaming, particularly if you play 3D platform video games, can help to improve your memory, and games have been shown to improve concentration levels, even in those who suffer from attention disorders such as ADHD. This fact is surely beyond the wildest dreams of most students, as it means that playing games may help, rather than hinder, learning.

Gaming, as the research has started to indicate that it can be health giving, has increasingly been used in medical treatment. For example, studies have been conducted on the use of gaming to aid recovery from trauma and surgery, and have found that playing games can quicken recovery, and lessen the incidence of flashbacks in those who have faced trauma.

Likewise, studies have also found that gaming can reduce the rate of cognitive decline in the elderly, and can also help those in retirement communities to form social bonds and to feel less isolated, which means that gaming can have many applications in the growing, for obvious reasons, field of elderly care.

The future of the games industry is exciting, not least because there is increasing evidence that there are health benefits to playing video games. Whether these are cognitive, physical or whether they involve the treatment of a disorder or disease, playing video games clearly has more to offer us than even the most avid of gamers would have thought.

To find out more about the health benefits of gaming, see the infographic below from Computer Planet, which outlines a number of them, providing example studies.



Marcus Clarke
Community and Content Manager at Computer Planet
Marcus is the Community and Content Manager at ComputerPlanet.co.uk, creating and sharing content to their community and beyond. Computer Planet design and build custom gaming PC’s, CAD workstations and desktop computers.
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Well-Being

Is Lack of Sleep Really So Bad For Your Health

If you suffer from lack of sleep, your symptoms may be more serious than just a simple case of moodiness. Yes, lack of sleep brings along a plethora of health issues that most people are just not aware of. If you are sleep deprived the following issues may be waiting just around the corner for you.

Olivia Almeida

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It is obvious to many people that lack of sleep has ill effects. Being tired and moody are just a few signs of a restless night. However, if you struggle to fall asleep quickly or are in the habit of not getting enough sleep for weeks and months, your symptoms may be more serious than just a case of moodiness. Yes, lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health.

Below is a look at how a lack of sleep can negatively impact your health.

What exactly is enough sleep?

This question is pivotal; we all need different hours of sleep but the minimum recommended is 6 hours every night. Ideally, getting 8 to 10 hours can also be beneficial to your health. Children and young adults will obviously need more sleep than older people.

Lack of sleep weakens the immune system

A lot of things happen in your body when you are sleeping. One of these activities is the production of antibodies to fight off infections.

This way, your ability to fight bacteria and viruses is boosted greatly. Lack of quality sleep means that there is no adequate production of vital cytokines or antibodies that are able to fight infections effectively. [1]

Because your immune system will be compromised, infections will take longer to clear; and this is definitely a bad thing. Over time, your body will be prone to chronic conditions like diabetes and heart problems; because sleep deprivation is a risk factor.

Poor sleep encourages respiratory conditions

With a weakened immune system as mentioned above, respiratory conditions like the flu and common cold become prevalent. If you are wondering why you cannot seem to get rid of the flu, you probably need to get more sleep.[2]



People who are already suffering from chronic lung infections will find that sleep deprivation makes it worse.

Lack of sleep causes enhanced weight gain

Lack of sleep causes enhanced weight gain

Poor quality sleep has been linked to weight gain in young children [3] and adults [4], and this is according to a report by the Harvard Medical School. People who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be obese. The reason for this is because poor sleep will increase cortisol; the infamous stress hormone. As a result, you overeat to feel better.

Another reason is that the hormone leptin decreases with lack of sleep. Leptin is a hormone that informs the brain that you are full when you have had enough to eat. Lack of sleep also raises the hormone that stimulates your appetite. This hormone is called ghrelin.

As if this is not bad enough, lack of sleep will ensure that more insulin is produced promoting extra storage of fat. As you know, this is the road to getting type 2 diabetes.

Lack of sleep lowers your libido

Research has shown that people who are sleep deprived do not have enough drive for sex. This is because the body is not able to rejuvenate properly; so that your sexual functions can be replenished fully.

It is no wonder that more and more people nowadays are looking for remedies that can enhance their sex lives. The answer could be as simple as getting more sleep and spending more time in bed.[5]

Lack of sleep can dent your fertility

Are you trying to have a baby with no success? The problem could be a lack of sleep. There are vital hormones that need to be secreted during sleep so that your fertility can be in top shape. Poor sleep will, however, compromise this process in both men and women and the result is reduced fertility. [6]



Lack of sleep can cause fatal accidents

When you are not getting enough sleep, your body will look for a way to compensate during the day. Many times, people dose off in sleep without realizing it; this is called micro sleep. [7]

If this happens to you when you are driving or operating equipment, accidents may occur. In this regard, lack of sleep can cause fatalities.

There are many other ill effects of insomnia that range from hallucinations to manic episodes. There is no doubt that a night of poor sleep will leave you feeling under the weather.

Conclusion

Prevention is better than cure, and the best thing is to start taking deliberate steps to boosting the quality of your sleep. If you cannot get quality sleep naturally, look at remedies that can aid this.

From going to bed early to practicing breathing techniques, you can work towards improving your sleep patterns. At the end, you will avoid the common pitfalls that come with sleep deprivation.

 

References
[1] The Role of Cytokines in Sleep Regulation: NCBI
[2] Does Lack of Sleep Make You More Suseptable to colds?: NHS
[3] Too Little Sleep, Too Much Fat: Harvard.edu
[4] Sleep Deprivation and Obesity: Harvard.edu
[5] When Sleep Problems Cause Sex Problems: webMD
[6] How Lack of Sleep is Hurting Your Fertility: RRC
[7] Microsleep: Wikipedia



 

Olivia Almeida
Wellness Sage & Writer at OverSavvy
Olivia is passionate and super savvy when it comes to Weight Loss, Well-Being and everything Health & Fitness related. As the ultimate coach and cheerleader, this girlboss will help you take charge of your life to drop those extra pounds and look and feel your best. Nobody understands better than Olivia that the struggle is real, but if you follow her advice, you’ll be feeling fit, fierce, and fabulous in no time.
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Well-Being

The Savvy Way To Fall Asleep In 60 Seconds Using 4-7-8 Breathing Method

The title of this post may seem a little far fetched. You may be thinking, what on earth is this 4-7-8 breathing trick and can I really fall asleep in 60 seconds?
Well, the answer is a big fat YES! But you will have to practice this one just a little bit.

Olivia Almeida

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Modern living is highly demanding, to say the least. With busy work schedules, many people work around the clock in a bid to make their lives better. In this warring reality, it goes without saying that quality sleep gets put on the back burner.

Many people are sleep deprived and this only works to increase stress and anxiety. Poor quality sleep habits are also associated with certain ailments like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

What do you do when you simply cannot fall asleep?

Fall Asleep In 60 Seconds Using 4-7-8 Breathing

This is the all-important question. Remedies range from medications to supplements, and it is worth noting that one will have to contend with side effects that may follow.

There is, however, a unique way to fall asleep that is relatively easy to implement. This method promises that you will fall asleep in 60 seconds.

This one-of-a-kind method that promises to knock you out in under a minute is known as the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It sounds too good to be true for insomniacs who have tried the warm milk and dim lighting without any success. The only sure way to know the merits of this remedy is to try it out for yourself.

The 4-7-8 breathing technique was researched and developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, who is Harvard-trained.[1] Dr. Weil discovered this method while on a quest to sort out his own anxiety problems.

This technique is based on an ancient practice from India called Pranayama[2]. This simply means regulation of breath. From this, Dr. Weil was able to try it and observe the merits therein. What does this technique entail and how do you get started?



4-7-8 Breathing Method Explained

4-7-8 breathing method refers to the literal counting of breaths to attain a state of relaxation. This action has been seen to have a tranquilizing effect on your system. This, in turn, will reduce the tension in the body for better relaxation. This is the premise in which one is able to fall asleep faster.

The simplicity of this method is the most fascinating; there are no tools or equipment needed. No matter where you are, you can put it into action to enjoy the benefits. Below are the steps that go into doing the breathing technique.

Follow These Steps to Fall Asleep In 60 Seconds

The first thing you do is to exhale deeply through your mouth. With the tongue behind your front teeth, make a ‘whooshing’ sound while exhaling. Then, with your mouth closed, inhale through the nose with a count of four. This count should not be rushed, just a mental count up to four will be enough to move to the next step.

After inhaling, it is time to hold your breath and count to seven. It may sound like a long time to hold your breath, but practice makes perfect. Holding your breath for up to seven counts will ensure that oxygen is distributed in your bloodstream accordingly.

After holding your breath for seven counts, the next step is to exhale completely through the mouth. Exhale while making a ‘whoosh’ sound to the count of eight. This is to make sure that all the carbon dioxide is released efficiently; which is highly beneficial. This is one cycle of the technique and you should repeat up to three times to attain up to four breaths.

Doing this when you want to fall asleep faster will boost the process. Falling asleep under a minute has never been easier. However, does this method really work? What is the logic behind it?

Falling asleep in 60 seconds has never been easier, but what is the logic behind it?



How the 4-7-8 Breathing Method Works

According to Dr Weil, this technique is an optimal way to fill the lungs with much-needed oxygen. It is this extra oxygen that works to relax the parasympathetic system.[3] This, in turn, promotes calmness in the mind and body.

Stress and anxiety are the causes of overstimulation and lack of balance in the body, which leads to insomnia. With this method, Dr. Weil says that you will not just fall asleep faster but you can find calmness in times of anxiety as well.

Conclusion

This method may not work overnight but Dr. Weil advises people to practice for six to eight weeks. After this time, falling asleep in just under 60 seconds will be attained.

There are numerous reviews from people who have tried this method and have succeeded. The best way to find out how well it works is to try it. You literally have nothing to lose.

Simply follow the guide above and see the difference it makes in your life. With the hustle and grind of everyday life, we all need to find ways to attain quality sleep naturally. This technique is definitely the most natural way you will find. You just need to be focused and disciplined enough to practice until you have perfected it. Good luck

 

References
[1] Three Breathing Exercises And Techniques: DrWeil.com
[2] Pranayama Exercises & Poses: YogaJournal
[3] Parasympathetic nervous system: Wikipedia
Video credit: Andrew Weil, M.D.



 

Olivia Almeida
Wellness Sage & Writer at OverSavvy
Olivia is passionate and super savvy when it comes to Weight Loss, Well-Being and everything Health & Fitness related. As the ultimate coach and cheerleader, this girlboss will help you take charge of your life to drop those extra pounds and look and feel your best. Nobody understands better than Olivia that the struggle is real, but if you follow her advice, you’ll be feeling fit, fierce, and fabulous in no time.
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