Finding the sweet spot of a good night's sleep: Not too long and not too short

Researchers have found a sweet spot of six to eight hours sleep a night is most beneficial for heart health. More or less is detrimental ,according to Science Daily.

Study author Dr. Epameinondas Fountas, said: "We spend one-third of our lives sleeping yet we know little about the impact of this biological need on the cardiovascular system."

The study investigated the relationship between sleep duration and cardiovascular disease using a meta-analysis, a statistical tool for combining the results of previous studies on the same topic. The meta-analysis included 11 prospective studies of more than one million adults (1,000,541) without cardiovascular disease published within the last five years.

Being stressed at work increases the risk of Parkinson's disease - but only in men

Being stressed at work increases the risk of Parkinson's disease - but only in men, new research suggests.

Men in demanding, time-pressured positions that they do not feel they have much control over are more at risk of the movement disorder, according to a Swedish study of more than two million people.

In contrast, women who feel they have control over their jobs are more likely to develop Parkinson's, the research adds.

The researchers believe women with too much control over their jobs may put in more overtime or take their work home with them, which can cause stress, according to Daily Mail.

Snacking on almonds is the best way to compensate for skipping breakfast, study of students reveals

Snacking on almonds may compensate for skipping breakfast, new research suggests, according to Daily Mail.

Students who miss out on the most important meal of the day have better blood-sugar levels if they choose to snack on the nuts mid-morning, a study found.

Lead author Dr Rudy Ortiz, from the University of California, Merced, said: 'This study, the first among a university student population, shows that for those who skip breakfast, almonds are a good snack choice.'  

Previous research suggests almonds contain healthy fats, protein, vitamin E and magnesium.

Consuming milk at breakfast lowers blood glucose throughout the day

A change in breakfast routine may provide benefits for the management of type 2 diabetes. H. Douglas Goff, PhD, and the team of scientists, examined the effects of consuming high-protein milk at breakfast on blood glucose levels and satiety after breakfast and after a second meal. Milk consumed with breakfast cereal reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with water, and high dairy protein concentration reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with normal dairy protein concentration. The high-protein treatment also reduced appetite after the second meal compared with the low-protein equivalent, according to Science Daily.

New approach to treating chronic itch

Two receptors in the spinal cord and the right experimental drug: Researchers at the University of Zurich have discovered a new approach that suppresses itch. In a series of experiments in mice and dogs they successfully alleviated different forms of acute as well as chronic itch. For the latter, current treatment options are very limited, according to Science Daily.

Everybody knows the unpleasant itching sensation after being bitten by a mosquito. Luckily, this kind of itch can be relieved by a number of drugs that are available on the market. These drugs, however, are largely ineffective when it comes to the unrelenting and debilitating urge to scratch experienced by patients suffering from skin, kidney or liver diseases. This chronic condition, which affects about 10 percent of the population, is currently treated with antidepressants or immune suppressants. Originally developed to treat other diseases, these drugs often fail to provide the desired relief or come with severe side effects.