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Is it healthy to sleep with the window open?

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Sleeping with the window open is considered to be a fairly popular choice amongst many individuals, especially for those who live in fairly quiet areas. Such a minimal habit you do every night could impact the way you sleep and your overall health.

Keeping a window open can often lead to a cool breeze and some ambient noise that can help to guide people into an even deeper sleep. If you don’t regularly sleep with the window open because it could disturb your slumber, you may want to think ahead to opening the window before you head to sleep tonight.

Some studies are actually showing that opening up a window before you go to bed can have some major health benefits. Here are some of the top reasons why sleeping with the window open can be essential for your health:

  1. Getting a deeper sleep: According to a Dutch sleep study of 17 participants, even a small crack in your window before you go to sleep can often lead to a more restful night. Fresh air as you are falling asleep can help you to fall into a more restful sleep and enjoy better airflow throughout the night. Getting more oxygen can help you feel more rested and this leads to more energy from a regular sleeping cycle.
  2. Less CO2 in your air quality: A room that has better ventilation leads to less CO2 that you will be inhaling throughout the evening. Shutting your doors and windows for privacy and to save energy may not be the healthiest solution for us after all. Improved concentrations of CO2 as we sleep at night can often lead to more allergens in the air, toxins that can affect our immune system, and more.
  3. Reduction in air pollution: Opening up a window can really help with reducing air pollution over time. Getting more air circulating through your home can create a living environment that is much safer for you and your family. Improved air quality can give you more energy through the day and it can cut down on dust throughout your home too.
  4. Potentially help you lose weight: Some experts would suggest that keeping your room just a few degrees cooler can prevent diabetes and obesity. A cooler room can help you to enjoy better sleep which will help you to burn more calories throughout the day. Sleeping in a room that’s a little bit cooler could be a secret that helping you lose weight a bit faster.
  5. Improve your home ventilation: If you regularly rely on your furnace fan to provide you with ventilation through your home, opening up a window could help to improve your indoor air quality. This can lead to better efficiency for your home as well as better overall air quality throughout your property. Rather than the maximum amount of airflow having to go through one conduit, you can make sure that you are getting a better flow of air in and out of your home. Recycling the air will help you enjoy a far better experience in your property, plus cheaper utility cost!

If you are interested in enjoying a far better night’s sleep, consider opening up a window before you go to bed tonight. With consistency and making this a natural habit, you could potentially find great health benefits overtime.

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Alzheimers

The Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s Explained

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The difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s is unknown to many people. As a result,  they are used interchangeably during everyday understanding and conversation. So what is the difference between these two terms? According to a report from National Institute on Aging, dementia is a brain-related disorder that negatively impacts the performance and communication of routine activities. On the other hand, Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that impacts brain parts, particularly those parts that control language, memory, and thoughts. Here are some specifics on each of the terms.

What is dementia?

A big misconception is that dementia is a disease; in fact, it is considered a syndrome, which is a group of symptoms that do not have a definitive diagnosis. Therefore, we can think of dementia as an umbrella term used for a set of different symptoms. Some of these symptoms include loss of memory and impaired thinking, which is connected with the cognitive decline of the phenomenon of aging. A range of screening tests is used by doctors to find out the root cause of dementia such as brain scans, mental status assessments, and blood tests. There are many types of dementia symptoms including the following.

  1. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: CJD occurs when a protein is folded into an abnormal shape, thus resulting in brain damage and rapid mental decline. Some of the common symptoms of CJD are mood changes, movements composed of twitching, and issues with walking properly.
  2. Frontotemporal Dementia: FTD is a form of dementia symptoms in which the nerve cells located in the front and side of the brain are lost. This leads to personality and behavior changes that are quite pronounced.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

According to the statement of the Center for Disease Control, the common cause behind dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in around 70% of all the cases of dementia. In reality, Alzheimer is regarded as a progressive disease of the brain leading to memory loss and cognitive decline.  The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease comprise of confusion, impaired speech, and impaired thought. These symptoms start to appear around the age of 60.

Additional differences between the two diseases

Whenever a patient is diagnosed with dementia, they are also being diagnosed with a number of different symptoms. This can be compared to diagnosing a sore throat. The throat is sore but the actual reason for this cause is not known. It could be a common cold, strep throat, or allergies. Likewise, when a person is suffering from dementia, they are encountering symptoms without knowing what the reason is behind these symptoms.

An additional difference between these two diseases is that Alzheimer’s disease is not reversible. It is incurable and degenerative at this time. However, some types of dementia, such as vitamin deficiency or drug interaction, are actually temporary or reversible.

More research and public awareness is needed

While families experiencing Alzheimer’s and dementia diseases have a clear understanding of the respective diseases, more public awareness is needed for these diseases. Additional understanding of what are the factors causing Alzheimer disease will assist in clearing any ambiguity, thus resulting in better treatment plans.

Sources:

  1. https://www.alzheimers.net/difference-between-alzheimers-and-dementia/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/alzheimers-and-dementia-whats-the-difference#1
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/alzheimers-disease/difference-dementia-alzheimers#alzheimers-disease

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Interviews and Stories

Meet Kellen Kartub: A Game-Changer in the Field of Science Communication

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Have you ever found science difficult to understand? Or do you ever wonder how it is actually used in real life? Maybe you went into a science class thinking it would be interesting, but instead, you found the material tough to grasp. Well, a UCI grad student is here to change that! Meet Kellen Kartub, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Irvine, that strives to make chemistry more accessible to everyone, including those from a non-STEM background. On October 2017, she created an Instagram page known as chemwithkellen to not only further her passion of science communication but also to make chemistry enjoyable to a larger audience.

Kartub’s educational background is from Wellesley College, a liberal arts college that heavily emphasizes writing. Through taking several classes, she began to understand the importance of why good writing matters, as writing can shape our perceptions on certain topics. As she continued her academic career at UCI, she realized that there were few academic papers that explained chemistry concepts or studies well. Many times, these papers did not explain bigger concepts properly or excluded important technical details. Her passion for writing, education, and chemistry along with these experiences gave her the inspiration to start this Instagram page.

With regards to her content, Kartub aims to make the posts relevant and wants the topic to resonate with her audience members. For example, many of her posts revolve around food chemistry that explains the chemistry behind the food making process. Her recent post about sugar chemistry started off with determining sugar’s melting point and organic structure and at the end, she explained the applicability of that information in caramelizing the sugar. In a similar vein, her writing style breaks down complex topics from the bottom up, meaning that it leads audience members to think about the questions leading up to the bigger point. The writing is crafted in the form of solving a puzzle as she builds up from given information leading to what we as audience members can conclusion. Ultimately, she wants to inspire people to see that there is chemistry in everyday life and everyone has the capability to understand it.

Kartub believes that science and communication are extremely important, as information is often miscommunicated in our society. After her PhD, she hopes to continue to incorporate science communication in her future career. Go follow her account at and keep up with all the awesome work she does! Kartub is poised to change the game of chemistry/science communication, working day by day to make the fun and technical aspects behind science more tangible.

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Fitness/ Diet

Kombucha: The Drink that Will Revolutionize your Health

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You might have seen your friends carry a mysterious, colorful drink enclosed in a glass case with a white hue on the surface of the bottle. This drink is known as Kombucha, and it is currently gaining prominence amongst millennials for its various health benefits. Kombucha is a fermented-mushroom tea drink that contains bacteria, yeast, and sugar. Here are a few benefits of drinking Kombucha.

  1. Improves Digestion: The white component of the drink forms during the fermentation process when bacteria and yeast combine together to form a “mushroom like film,” which is extremely rich in probiotic bacteria that can aid in digestion, inflammation, and weight loss.
  2. Increases Antioxidant Levels: Kombucha is known to have quite a few antioxidants that help the liver. On studies with rats, those who drank Kombucha reduced the toxicity of their liver by at least 70%.
  3. Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease: Research demonstrates that drinking Kombucha can influence cholesterol levels, specifically LDL and HDL. Low density lipoprotein cholesterols (LDL) is typically known as the “bad cholesterol” because cholesterol is taken into the arteries, leading to plaque building up in the artery walls. On the other hand, HDL is known as the “good cholesterol” because higher levels of it are known to reduce risk of heart diseases. Kombucha is known to increase HDL levels by promoting its absorption through the body.
  4. Promotes Cancer Prevention: Kombucha is known to “strengthen our natural defences” that help prevent cancer. Specifically, the lauric acid found in the drink and the Lactobacillus microbes help reduce cancer risks by stimulating natural cancer killing cells.
  5. Improves Mental Health: The vitamin B component of Kombucha helps balance mood and enhances concentration. It also inhibits the release of the stress hormone cortisol. In addition, drinking Kombucha can alleviate the leaky gut which is often thought to be a symptom of depression. The leaky gut means that there is decreased permeability in gut regions, and this problem can manifest itself through inflammation, and ultimately depression.

Thankfully, you don’t always have to go to the store to get Kombucha; you can make it at home!  Watch this video by HGTV that shows you how to make different flavors of Kombucha at home. Give us your take on Kombucha in the comments below!

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