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Who would’ve thought: Singing can help alleviate some of the breathing problems associated with lung disease. [AP]
Lube is the fountain of youth! Well, sort of: Having regular sex might be the secret to a long life, according to a new paper presented at a psychology conference in England. [UPI.com]
In incredibly scary news, some spray sunscreens are flammable. [NPR]
Almost half of all babies get flat spots on their heads because of the carriers we’re putting them in—yikes. [NBC News]
You know those embarrassing questions you would only ask a computer? Some health websites are sharing them with third parties. [Reuters]
A new urinal design comes with a built-in sink to encourage men to wash their hands after peeing. Shouldn’t they be doing this anyway?! [The Frisky]
The next generation of Twinkies will last 45 days (as opposed to the 25 they were good for before). We don’t even want to think about what kinds of crazy preservatives it took to extend their shelf life by three weeks. [USA Today]
Drinking hot chocolate might help prevent diabetes (as long as it’s made with actual cocoa powder), according to a new study. [Mail Online]
On a (semi) related note, Starbucks just announced that it’s going to add calorie counts to menus nationwide. [The Atlantic]
Getting to a healthy weight may help improve your memory. [ScienceDaily]
Did your brother or sister bully you when you were little? It could still impact your mental health. [UPI.com]
Pregnant women are often laid off or forced to take unpaid if they ask for temporary job changes, according to a new report. [OrlandoSentinel.com]
Eyeball licking is a real trend in Japan. If for some bizarre reason you’re tempted to try it, don’t—it could lead to blindness. [CBS News]
Twenty percent of men choose their bride’s dress, according to a new survey. We didn’t realize this particular right to choose was up for debate… [Huffington Post]
Fast-food companies plant info about fake products (like pizza-delivery drones and hands-free burger devices) to get free publicity—and the sad thing is it works shockingly well. [Grub Street]
photo: Image Source/Thinkstock
Yeah, it would be great to wake up feeling more rested—but you can’t seem to kick your pre-sleep Netflix ritual. New research could help solve your bedtime woes: By dimming the brightness level on your device, you can ensure that the amount of light coming out of the screen won’t mess with your sleep quality, according to a new Mayo Clinic study presented recently at SLEEP 2013, the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting in Baltimore.
Melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone secreted by your brain, can only be produced in a dark or dimly lit room with an illuminance of less than 200 lux (the units used to measure brightness), says study co-author Lois Krahn, MD, a psychiatrist and sleep expert at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.
So for this study, researchers set out to see if it was possible to get smartphones, tablets, and other devices—all suspected to hamper sleep quality when used before bed—way below that: under the 30-lux mark. After using a light monitor to measure the brightness of a variety of gadgets, they found that either dimming the screen to about the 50 percent mark or holding the device at least 14 inches away from your face gets the light exposure to that less-than-30 lux threshold.
Another way to ensure you catch more Zzz’s even if you take your tablet to bed: Be mindful of what you’re looking at, says Krahn. Sometimes it’s the content itself that might keep you up at night (that means no Facebook stalking your ex and his new girlfriend before bed). Also, you’ll want to cut yourself off before your normal bedtime, says Krahn. Staying up watching Homeland into the wee hours of the night is guaranteed to leave you wiped the next day—no matter how dim you make the screen.
Blossoming flowers and blooming trees are gorgeous, but for the 40 million Americans living with allergies, they can also be a major bummer. See, allergies don’t just make you miserable during your waking hours: They can also mess with your sleep, according to a new survey released by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Teva Respiratory, a subsidiary of a pharmaceutical company.
Of the 2,000 U.S. adults polled, 59 percent reported having sleep issues. In the survey, this was defined as any kind of sleep disruption, although previous research has linked allergies with a more serious sleep disorder—obstructive sleep apnea—because of their nasal allergy symptoms.
In addition to the nearly six out of 10 allergy sufferers who said their allergies impacted their sleep quality, 48 percent said that their symptoms also interrupted their partner’s sleep.
Want to make allergy season much more bearable—and keep it from messing with your Zzzzs? Arm yourself with these tools and strategies:
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Meditation can help boost memory and focus, according to a new study. [The Atlantic]
If your most-wanted superpower is underwater breathing, you’re in luck: Researchers have created injectable oxygen that could help people do just that. [Medical Daily]
This GIF of Jennifer Lawrence photo-bombing SJP at last night’s Met Gala = amazingness. [Vulture]
A new study from the Pentagon reveals that sexual assaults in the military are on the rise. [NYT]
Half of the people in the U.S. who are infected with hepatitis C have never been properly tested for it, according to the CDC. [Reuters]
Because Obama voiced support for selling Plan B over the counter to women as young as 15, a Fox News host publicly wondered if he plans to put his 14-year-old daughter on birth control. So wrong. [MadameNoir]
High school students are dropping loads of cash on “promposals.” Because there’s no better way to blow $ 1,000 than on a plane banner that says, “Ashley, will you go to prom with me?” [NY Post]
As if you needed more incentive to stay away from Capri Sun, researchers have found mold in the juice pouches. [The Daily Meal]
Apparently, licking your kid’s pacifier can help protect him or her from allergies. If you’re going to try this trick, you’ll probably want to do it in private. [NPR]
Protecting your ticker never tasted so good: Eating grapes may help protect against cardiovascular disease. [Medical Daily]
The “cinnamon challenge,” where people film themselves eating an entire spoonful of cinnamon and then post it on YouTube, is officially dangerous: It’s resulted in lots of ER visits and poison control center calls—and has even left some people with collapsed lungs. [NYT]
A fake AP Tweet from a hacker sent the stock market reeling. Scary stuff. [WSJ]
Some of the people who finished the Boston Marathon are selling their medals on eBay. [LA Times]
A new $ 99 “smart fork” can help you lose weight by counting your bites and reminding you to eat slower. Or you could just eat less and save yourself the cash. [CNN]
Doctors are less likely to bond with overweight and obese patients—even though they need a source of healthy support the most. [ScienceDaily]
When you start dating a guy, there are all kinds of clues you look for to assess if you’re right for each other: Would you rather spend time with him than with anyone else? Can you totally be yourself around him? Are there fireworks between the sheets? Well, according to recent research, there’s one incredibly crucial factor that probably doesn’t even cross your mind: money. A new survey by TD Ameritrade found that only five percent of people say money is an important consideration when choosing a partner—yet 40 percent admitted they don’t fully trust their significant other with their combined finances, and couples argue about money an average of five times per year.
A ton of divorces are caused by financial conflicts, say Scott and Bethany Palmer, “the money couple,” authors of The 5 Money Personalities. “Many people assume these fights revolve around long-term decisions like debt and retirement planning,” they say—but that’s not always true. Couples often clash over small issues that come up every day, like your spouse buying a double skinny mocha latte for $ 4.50 when he could make coffee at home for pennies. “It’s those nitpicky things that can ultimately kill a relationship,” says Scott Palmer. So even though financial compatibility may not be on your radar early on, it should be. Here’s how to tell if you and your newish man are a good pair-up when it comes to cash.
Start the conversation
“Soooo…got any credit card debt?” Uh, not exactly the opener you want to throw out there on a date. But discussing where you each stand on finances will give you insight into a guy’s money mindset. A better convo starter? Use this blog post as a jumping-off point. Tell him you were reading an article about money and relationships, and realized that you’re more of a saver than a spender. Then ask him, “Off the top of your head, would you say you’re a saver or a spender?” “It’s a non-confrontational way to get the ball rolling because you’ve revealed something about yourself first,” says Scott Palmer. “Plus, you’re probing him based on who he is rather than what he has.” From there, segue into a more in-depth chat. If anything he says freaks you out (yikes, he’s 35 and doesn’t have a 401K— or he’s so cautious with money that he hasn’t taken a vacation in three years), that’s evidence there might be financial drama in your future.
Certain money habits that you find attractive in a boyfriend might drive you crazy in a husband, so you’ll want to stay a few steps ahead of the game. For example, who wouldn’t love being pampered by a guy who takes you out to fancy dinners and surprises you with blingy birthday jewelry? But ask yourself if you’d feel differently about those earrings he dropped a grand on if the dough was coming out of your joint account. “Your dating lens is often very different from your marriage lens,” says Bethany Palmer. Don’t expect him to change his tune after you walk down the aisle, though.
Spot red flags
Even in the early stages of a relationship, there are tip-offs that a guy will be a crappy money partner down the line. One warning sign: He’s fiscally controlling. “If he’s telling you how you should spend your income, run,” says Scott Palmer. At this point, it’ll show up in subtle ways (think comments like, “Is that another new dress?”). Later on, that behavior can translate into him holding the purse strings, deciding where your money goes and how much you can access…and you feeling resentful and powerless as a result.
Another biggie is keeping secrets. “People are secretive because they don’t want to be told no,” says Scott Palmer. “So someone who lies in general will also lie about money.” A guy who claims he’s working late but actually goes out with his buddies all night is the type to have a hidden bank account or conceal a bad financial decision from his wife.
Finally, take stock of how he acts when he’s out of his fiscal comfort zone. Let’s say you like to splurge on vacation, whereas he’s pretty thrifty. Does he insist on staying at a hostel in Cabo when you’re pushing for the luxe resort, or can he compromise with a mid-range hotel? Does he make a stink when you treat yourself to a massage on the beach, or can he let it go and indulge so long as it’s only once in a while? It’s fine for you to have different philosophies about spending. But whether or not he’s able to find common ground with you even when he doesn’t agree with you reveals a lot about how you’d get along if your earnings were linked.