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Napping: Helpful or harmful to your sleep?

As kids, we did everything we could to avoid taking a nap. But as adults, some days we would do anything just to get one. We recently received this question from a viewer:                 Dear Dr. Manny, Do afternoon naps help or disturb sleep later on in the night? Thanks, Jamie Your body’s clock creates a feeling of sleepiness between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. – and also a little in the afternoon. The longer you stay awake, the more likely you are to go into deeper stages of sleep when you finally do lay down at night. Scientists think this is caused by a buildup of a neurotransmitter in the brain called adenosine, which increases with each waking hour. Taking a nap causes the brain to get rid of adenosine rapidly, so you may have a harder time falling asleep later on in the night. However, there are some benefits to taking short naps during the day. Studies show that people who took midday naps performed up to 20 percent better in memory exercises than those who didn’t. Researchers believe sleep may help clear out the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for short-term memory – to make room for new information. But napping for too long can leave you feeling groggy, so try to keep your cat naps to about 20 minutes or less. Do you have a health question for Dr. Manny? Send it to DrManny@foxnews.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/02/do-afternoon-naps-disturb-sleep-later-on-at-night/

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Relieve stress naturally with acupuncture

Your body is hardwired to react to stress. But if you are constantly on alert, your health can pay the price. We recently got this email from a viewer looking for some relief. Dear Dr. Manny, I heard acupuncture can help relieve stress, but how many treatments do you need? Thanks, MaryAnn Long-term stress on the body can put you at risk for numerous conditions: -Heart disease -Sleep problems -Digestive problems -Depression -Obesity -Memory impairment And new research shows you can actually wear the effects of stress on your face. Acupuncture can be a great way to relieve stress naturally. Each person responds to treatment in a different way, so the number of sessions required can vary. Experts recommend a minimum of one session per week for five to eight weeks, and patients often start to feel an immediate reduction in stress after just one session. You should always talk to your doctor before making any lifestyle changes, and make sure you find a licensed practitioner for treatment. Do you have a health question for Dr. Manny? Email it to him at DrManny@foxnews.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/09/relieve-stress-naturally-with-acupuncture/

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Chef Lidia Bastianich on why eating lunch is so important

Most people know that following the Mediterranean diet is one of the best ways to gain health benefits, because of the lean proteins, vegetables and olive oil it contains. But there’s another tradition we should be taking from that region: eating a proper lunch. Lidia Bastianich, executive chef and co-owner of the marketplace Eataly in New York City, spoke with Dr. Manny Alvarez about the importance of the afternoon meal. “I think that lunch is one of the most enjoyable and important things in the day,” Bastianich said. “But you need to create the space and the time to do just that.  And in Italy we do that.” Bastianich said it’s important to treat breakfast like a “king,” lunch like a “prince,” and dinner like a “pauper,” meaning portion sizes for each meal should decrease throughout the day.   For Italians, lunch time servings are often filled with different types of pasta. “I think that's a great time to eat pasta,” Bastianich said. “You know if…at night, you have a big bowl of pasta, then a steak…that doesn't work because that's not in balance.” She also said it’s important to savor the foods you eat during lunch and take the time to focus on the meal. “If we don't focus on when we eat – like let’s say we watch television or something – you eat much more.  If you focus on the food – you smell it, you cook it – you're enjoying it already.” In order to bring the feel of an Italian lunch to Americans, Bastianich has opened a new restaurant called Pranzo, which is located inside Eataly in New York.  It offers a quick, wholesome meal for lunchtime. “Every month the menu reflects one of the regions of Italy, so all of the recipes are of that region,” Bastianich said. “ And they are made with that kind of Italian flavor and the portions are just right for lunch -- and the price is right too.” For more go to EatalyNY.comsource : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/03/chef-lidia-bastianich-on-why-eating-lunch-is-so-important/

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Do afternoon naps disturb sleep later on at night?

As kids, we did everything we could to avoid taking a nap. But as adults, some days we would do anything just to get one. We recently received this question from a viewer:                 Dear Dr. Manny, Do afternoon naps help or disturb sleep later on in the night? Thanks, Jamie Your body’s clock creates a feeling of sleepiness between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. – and also a little in the afternoon. The longer you stay awake, the more likely you are to go into deeper stages of sleep when you finally do lay down at night. Scientists think this is caused by a buildup of a neurotransmitter in the brain called adenosine, which increases with each waking hour. Taking a nap causes the brain to get rid of adenosine rapidly, so you may have a harder time falling asleep later on in the night. However, there are some benefits to taking short naps during the day. Studies show that people who took midday naps performed up to 20 percent better in memory exercises than those who didn’t. Researchers believe sleep may help clear out the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for short-term memory – to make room for new information. But napping for too long can leave you feeling groggy, so try to keep your cat naps to about 20 minutes or less. Do you have a health question for Dr. Manny? Send it to DrManny@foxnews.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/02/do-afternoon-naps-disturb-sleep-later-on-at-night/

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Save yourself from summer dangers

Whether you’re hitting the beach or relaxing in your own backyard this weekend, it’s important to remember some important summer safety tips along the way.   Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor for FoxNews.com, spoke to Dr. Mark Melrose, of Urgent Care Manhattan, about how to avoid common summer health hazards. Food poisoning If you’re attending a summer picnic or barbecue, take precautions to avoid food poisoning. After an hour or two in the heat, any foods that are typically refrigerated should be thrown out, Melrose advised. “Don’t be tempted to bring home leftovers that have been left outdoors all day long. You’ve got to toss them,” Melrose said. Water hazards A trip to the beach or a dip in the pool presents its own safety concerns, especially if small children are involved. Make sure children are never unattended near a pool or beach, and if you’re on a boat, everybody should wear a life jacket, Melrose advised. Also, look out for swimming injuries, especially when people are diving into the water, and react quickly if anyone gets hurt. “If you dive into a pool and hit your head, that would be a reason to call 911,” Melrose said. Sunburns and heat stroke People planning to spend time outside in the sun should also watch out for sunburns and heat stroke, Melrose advised. “The number one solution is to avoid the heat, get into the shade. Get into a cool building,” Melrose said. Most importantly, remember to stay hydrated on hot days, and don’t forget to put on lots of sunscreen when you’re spending time outdoors. “Summer time is definitely busier in hospital emergency departments and urgent care centers. If you take proper measures you can definitely save yourself a trip to the doctor,” Melrose said.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/26/save-yourself-from-summer-dangers/

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Foods that trigger headaches

For many headache and migraine sufferers, certain foods can act as triggers. We received this question from a viewer: Dear Dr. Manny, I've noticed that whenever I eat red grapes I get a headache. Could there be something in them that is causing this to happen? Thanks, Jay Alvarez said grapes are low in calories and rich in vitamin C and fiber, so they are a nutritional snack. But they also contain a substance called tyramine, a naturally occurring amino acid that forms from the breakdown of protein in food as it ages. Tyramine can cause your blood pressure to rise, which can trigger headaches in some people. If you experience this reaction, you may want to avoid other trigger foods, such as: • Smoked or cured meats • Aged cheeses • Citrus fruits • Sauerkraut • Soy sauce • Red wine • And certain beers Research shows that tyramine in grapes can have a negative effect on certain antidepressants called MAOIs.  Patients taking these medications should talk to their doctor about their diet. Keeping a food diary to see if you may be sensitive to tyramine-rich foods could also help. The bottom line: Learn what your triggers are – so that you can avoid them. If you have a question, email DrManny@foxnews.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/10/03/foods-that-trigger-headaches/

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What to do when kids ingest poison

Many common household items can be dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands. We recently received this question from a viewer: Dr. Manny, What should a parent do if they think their child has ingested poison? Should I induce vomiting or wait until I see symptoms before taking them to the hospital?

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