A good night's sleep really is the best medicine

 Slumber boosts our immune systems by making white blood cells more able to fight off infection

 Sleep can boost the immune system by making white blood cells more able to attack, a study has found, according to Daily Mail.

When we are awake, there are more stress hormones such as adrenaline in the body, which researchers have discovered slow down parts of the immune system.

The reduced function is associated with conditions including cancerous tumour growth, malaria infection and stress, experts said.

Research also suggests why people with difficulty sleeping may end up with a weakened immune system and be more at risk of chronic stress and depression.

Sitting in front of the TV puts kids in the obesity hotseat

The simple act of switching on the TV for some downtime could be making a bigger contribution to childhood obesity than we realise, according to new research from the University of South Australia.

The study investigated the impact of different sitting behaviours -- watching television, playing video games, playing computer, sitting down to eat, or travelling in a car -- and found that watching TV is more strongly associated with obesity in both boys and girls than any other type of sitting, according to Science Daily.

UniSA researcher, Dr Margarita Tsiros says the study provides new insights about the impact of sedentary behaviours on children.

To sleep, perchance to heal: Newly discovered gene governs need for slumber when sick

Humans spend nearly one-third of their lives in slumber, yet sleep is still one of biology's most enduring mysteries. Little is known about what genetic or molecular forces drive the need to sleep -- until now. In a study of over 12,000 lines of fruit flies, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found a single gene, called nemuri, that increases the need for sleep, according to Science Daily..

The NEMURI protein fights germs with its inherent antimicrobial activity and it is secreted by cells in the brain to drive prolonged, deep sleep after an infection.

"While it's a common notion that sleep and healing are tightly related, our study directly links sleep to the immune system and provides a potential explanation for how sleep increases during sickness," said senior author Amita Sehgal, PhD, a professor of Neuroscience and director of Penn's Chronobiology Program.

Without the nemuri gene, flies were more easily aroused during daily sleep, and their acute need for an increase in sleep -- induced by sleep deprivation or infection -- was reduced. On the other hand, sleep deprivation, which increases the need for sleep, and to some extent infection, stimulated nemuri to be expressed in a small set of fly neurons nestled close to a known sleep-promoting structure in the brain. Overexpression of nemuri increased sleep in bacteria-infected flies and led to their increased survival compared to non-infected control flies.

Now you need to eat TEN-a-day! Adding more fruit and veg to your diet boosts your mood and emotional wellbeing as much as landing a new job, study finds

It has long been known that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is good for our hearts.

But now research suggests filling up on apples, carrots and bananas even gives our mental health a boost, according to Daily Mail.

Adding ten additional portions of fruit and vegetables to your daily diet has the same effect on our emotional wellbeing as going from unemployment into a job, a study found. 

Plant-based diets stimulate the release of 'beneficial gut hormones that regulate insulin release, appetite and weight'

Going vegan may help you shed the excess pounds, research suggests.

The plant-based diet can stimulate the release of good gut hormones that control insulin release, appetite and weight, scientists say, according to Daily Mail.

Researchers conducted the study on 60 men, who were asked to eat either a tofu burger or a meat and cheese patty.

Plant-based food, such as lentils, chickpeas and grains, are also higher in fibre than animal products, which adds bulk and helps people feel fuller for longer.

The researchers believe their study has 'important implications for those with type 2 diabetes or weight problems'.