Sedative Meds

Prolonged use of electronics disrupts teenagers’ sleep

Teens who use electronic devices more often suffer more from insomnia, according to a new study . They take longer to fall asleep and sleep less on average. The study was conducted on nearly ten thousand teenagers from Norway in 2012. Teens who used electronic devices (including computers, phones, mp3 players, tablets, TVs, and game consoles) for more than five hours a day were 3.5 more likely to sleep less than five hours, and 50% more likely to spend more than an hour sleeping. At the same time, an inverse relationship between sleep time and gadget use time was observed : the more they used them, the less they slept. Also, the use of gadgets in the last hour before a person goes to sleep has a pronounced effect on sleep duration.

The author of the study, Dr. Haising, said that often teenagers, out of boredom or because they cannot sleep, use gadgets in bed, thus falling into a vicious circle. If they can’t sleep, they use gadgets, which makes them even worse sleep. It is known that the biological rhythms of a person are strongly influenced by light. The glare of screens and electric lighting knocks down the internal clock and interferes with normal sleep. But the researchers found it difficult to give an unambiguous explanation for the found effect. In addition to light, other factors can be involved in the process – for example, emotional excitement from the use of gadgets, or something else. 

Google X and Biogen Idec will fight multiple sclerosis

Not much is known about what Google’s special division, Google X, does. I already wrote that from time to time we learn about the work of the unit from the news, but the main area of ​​activity of Google X remains hidden from prying eyes. Now we managed to find out about another project: the fight against multiple sclerosis . Google X and partner pharmaceutical company Biogen Idec decided to focus their efforts on studying the disease in order to find the best treatment. According to Bloomberg , the project is designed for several years. Google’s computing power will be used to study case histories of people with multiple sclerosis, a disease for which there is currently no cure. In this case, the disease manifests itself very differently in different patients. Some experience temporary numbness, while other patients are completely paralyzed. Google is now planning to find out why multiple sclerosis manifests itself so differently. As for Biogen Idec, this company is developing drugs aimed at reducing the negative manifestations of multiple sclerosis (the disease cannot be completely cured, as mentioned above). If scientists make progress in the study of multiple sclerosis, Biogen Idec can develop more effective treatments. At the same time, the company plans to use an individual approach to patients. It is worth noting that Google X has recently begun to expand its scope of activities, including health care. Last year, the division unveiled a prototype of smart contact lenses capable of measuring blood glucose levels. In the summer, Google X tried to define what it means to be “completely healthy.” In addition, the unit is engaged in the study of Parkinson’s disease and some other projects. Google X representatives said that the division is not going to become a pharmaceutical company, instead, Google X specialists will work with healthcare professionals (pharmaceuticals, biotech companies, hospitals, research institutes) to solve various problems, for example, difficult, incurable now diseases. 

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