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Research Says That Working 8 Hours a Week Is Beneficial For Mental Health

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We all know what burnout and poor mental health can feel like. Feelings of frustration, angst, and worry often plague the minds of employees as they face an insurmountable workload or receive poor treatment from management. In an attempt to further gauge solutions to these issues, recent research from Cambridge University has shown that an 8 hour work week is beneficial to one’s mental health.

The researchers launched a project known as Employment Dosage, which focuses “on how changes in hours spent doing paid work impacted the mental health and levels of life satisfaction.” The participants of the study included 71,000 working age (16-64 years old) individuals in Britain that had their mental health monitored for 9 years. The data was collected through questions about how participants dealt with anxiety and poor sleep.

After analyzing the data, the researchers concluded that working a standard work week of 37-40 hours a week did not have any added mental health benefits for both men and women. Men reported feeling 30% more life satisfaction upon working for less than 16 hours. Women noted a similar increase in working between 20-24 hours per week. Furthermore, working 8 hours a week boosted mental health in those who were unemployed, allowing researchers to suggest that roughly 8 hours a week is most optimal for everyone regardless of gender. The scientists also noted that a five day weekend may be beneficial.

The amount of paid working hours is important to consider for future employees, as artificial intelligence will reduce the number of human jobs available. As we see the rise of technology and automation, the 37-40 hour work week may need to be reconsidered. While the research may be relevant, this idea is not novel. Author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss published “The Four Hour Work Week” in which he discusses not just shorter work weeks but also societal norms have embedded this idea of equating business to honor and self worth. Alternatively, he proposes the concept of the “New Rich” in which richness is derived from life rather than monetary value.

Although a capitalist society is unlikely to advocate for this idea, a reduction in working hours could contribute to improving empowerment and motivation in peoples’ jobs. The research can also shed some insight into how businesses could tailor their models to address the growing presence of technology.

Sources:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325529.php
  2. https://www.gq.com.au/success/career/scientists-confirm-were-all-overworked-just-8-hours-a-week-is-the-recommended-dose/news-story/cb6020f13e258d43efb78af88e3d55f1

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Lifestyle

The Health Benefits of Live Cultures in Yogurt

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Yogurt is gaining prominence as a new superfood and for a good reason. It is known to help prevent osteoporosis, aid digestion, and relieves irritable bowel syndrome. What is special about yogurt is the various live cultures that keep the intestines healthy, thus contributing to gastrointestinal health. Here is a summary of the importance of different types of bacteria present in yogurt: 

In short, eating yogurt into your diet can be beneficial for your digestion and overall health. Let us know in the comments if you eat yogurt on a daily basis and have seen tangible benefits. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295714.php
  2. https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpgi.00005.2011
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/80/2/245/4690304
  4. https://www.water-for-health.co.uk/our-blog/2017/11/the-health-benefits-of-streptococcus-thermophilus/
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323364.php

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Lifestyle

CBD and THC Can Help Treat Insomnia

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Many adults in the US are undergoing sleep problems. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 30-40 percent of adults are likely to experience insomnia in their future. Recent research is showing that cannabis can help alleviate symptoms of insomnia. The co-administration of CBD and THC has been found to induce sleep. It is important to note that CBD is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, meaning you do not feel the “high.” THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that can induce the feeling of being “high.” 

A study published in 2004 stated that the administration of THC increased the duration of slow-wave sleep in participants of the study. Slow-wave sleep is defined as the deepest part of your sleep of non REM sleep. These participants were administered 5 or 15 mg of CBD with the same doses of THC. When consuming higher levels of THC, however, research shows that this reduces REM sleep. REM sleep is when dreams are most prevalent. Therefore, higher strains of THC can be beneficial for those with PTSD because less REM sleep could contribute to fewer nightmares. Since REM sleep is decreased, the amount of time spent in deep sleep increases. 

It is also important to note the different strains of marijuana that can contribute to treating your insomnia. The indica strain has soothing and relaxing properties, while the sativa strain increases feelings of excitement and energy. There is a hybrid version of these two strains as well. Talk to your doctor to learn more about how using CBD and THC can improve your sleep. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15118485
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/medical-marijuana/cannabis-for-sleeping#science-says
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18313952
  4. https://www.nature.com/subjects/slow-wave-sleep

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Lifestyle

Medical Cannabis and Autism

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Autism is exceptionally prevalent worldwide, especially among children. Autistic children experienced behavioral outbreaks, communication blocks, and stress. Cannabis-based treatments are rapidly emerging as a safer, well-tolerated option to combat some of the autistic symptoms. In previous studies, researchers had administered Dronabinol, which is a THC based drug. They found reductions in hyperactivity, irritability, and lethargy. Another study demonstrated that the administration of Dronabinol reduced self-destructive behavior in a group of 10 adolescents. 

The mechanism of cannabis in affecting autistic patients is not understood entirely. However, research hypothesizes that GABA and glutamate action can limit the dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system. Other research studies have suggested that cannabis can enhance the release of oxytocin and vasopressin. These are hormones that can contribute to increased processing of social information

A recent study aims to analyze the efficacy and safety of cannabis-based treatments on young autistic patients. The results of the study demonstrated that compliance of the treatment is high, with 85% of participants completing the treatment. The side effects of the treatments included restlessness, which was present in 6.6% of the patients. These side effects were easy to manage, which potentially contributes to the high efficacy of the treatment. About 80% of participants reported significant or moderate improvement in their symptoms. 

While cannabis seems to impact autistic behavioral systems positively, there is more research needed on the subject. Let us know in the comments if cannabis has alleviated autistic symptoms in anyone you know! 

Source:

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-37570-y

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