Sleep During Infancy and Childhood.

During infancy.
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For three or four weeks after birth the infant sleeps more or less, day and night, only waking to satisfy the demands of hunger; at the expiration of this time, however, each interval of wakefulness grows longer, so that it sleeps less frequently, but for longer periods at a time.

This disposition to repose in the early weeks of the infant's life must not be interfered with; but this period having expired, great care is necessary to induce regularity in its hours of sleep, otherwise too much will be taken in the day-time, and restless and disturbed nights will follow. The child should be brought into the habit of sleeping in the middle of the day, before its dinner, and for about two hours, more or less. If put to rest at a later period of the day, it will invariably cause a bad night.

At first the infant should sleep with its parent. The low temperature of its body, and its small power of generating heat, render this necessary. If it should happen, however, that the child has disturbed and restless nights, it must immediately be removed to the bed and care of another female, to be brought to its mother at an early hour in the morning, for the purpose of being nursed. This is necessary for the preservation of the mother's health, which through sleepless nights would of course be soon deranged, and the infant would also suffer from the influence which such deranged health would have upon the milk.

When a month or six weeks has elapsed, the child, if healthy, may sleep alone in a cradle or cot, care being taken that it has a sufficiency of clothing, that the room in which it is placed is sufficiently warm, viz. 60 degrees, and the position of the cot itself is not such as to be exposed to currents of cold air. It is essentially necessary to attend to these points, since the faculty of producing heat, and consequently the power of maintaining the temperature, is less during sleep than at any other time, and therefore exposure to cold is especially injurious. It is but too frequently the case that inflammation of some internal organ will occur under such circumstances, without the true source of the disease ever being suspected. Here, however, a frequent error must be guarded against,  that of covering up the infant in its cot with too much clothing throwing over its face the muslin handkerchief and, last of all, drawing the drapery of the bed closely together. The object is to keep the infant sufficiently warm with pure air; it therefore ought to have free access to its mouth, and the atmosphere of the whole room should be kept sufficiently warm to allow the child to breathe it freely: in winter, therefore, there must always be a fire in the nursery.

The child up to two years old, at least, should sleep upon a feather bed, for the reasons referred to above. The pillow, however, after the sixth month, should be made of horsehair; for at this time teething commences, and it is highly important that the head should be kept cool.

During childhood.
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Up to the third or fourth year the child should be permitted to sleep for an hour or so before its dinner. After this time it may gradually be discontinued; but it must be recollected, that during the whole period of childhood more sleep is required than in adult age. The child, therefore, should be put to rest every evening between seven and eight; and if it be in health it will sleep soundly until the following morning. No definite rule, however, can be laid down in reference to the number of hours of sleep to be allowed; for one will require more or less than another.Regularity as to the time of going to rest is the chief point to attend to; permit nothing to interfere with it, and then only let the child sleep without disturbance, until it awakes of its own accord on the following morning, and it will have had sufficient rest.

The amount of sleep necessary to preserve health varies according to the state of the body, and the habits of the individual. Infants pass much the greater portion of their time in sleep. Children sleep twelve or fourteen hours. The schoolboy generally ten. In youth, a third part of the twenty-four hours is spent in sleep. Whilst, in advanced age, many do not spend more than four, five, or six hours in sleep.

It is a cruel thing for a mother to sacrifice her child's health that she may indulge her own vanity, and yet how often is this done in reference to sleep. An evening party is to assemble, and the little child is kept up for hours beyond its stated time for retiring to rest, that it may be exhibited, fondled, and admired. Its usual portion of sleep is thus abridged, and, from the previous excitement, what little he does obtain, is broken and unrefreshing, and he rises on the morrow wearied and exhausted.

Once awake, it should not be permitted to lie longer in bed, but should be encouraged to arise immediately. This is the way to bring about the habit of early rising, which prevents many serious evils to which parents are not sufficiently alive, promotes both mental and corporeal health, and of all habits is said to be the most conducive to longevity.

A child should never be suddenly aroused from sleep; it excites the brain, quickens the action of the heart, and, if often repeated, serious consequences would result. The change of sleeping to waking should always be gradual.

The bed on which the child now sleeps should be a mattress: at this age a feather bed is always injurious to children; for the body, sinking deep into the bed, is completely buried in feathers, and the unnatural degree of warmth thus produced relaxes and weakens the system, particularly the skin, and renders the child unusually susceptible to the impressions of cold. Then, instead of the bed being made up in the morning as soon as vacated, and while still saturated with the nocturnal exhalations from the body, the bed-clothes should be thrown over the backs of chairs, the mattress shaken well up, and the window thrown open for several hours, so that the apartment shall be thoroughly ventilated. It is also indispensably requisite not to allow the child to sleep with persons in bad health, or who are far advanced in life; if possible, it should sleep alone.

Medical Benefits of Green Tea

Although a product of the same bush, typical English teas are not steamed, so they are dark in colour and are referred to as “black” tea. Recent study has confirmed what Eastern healers have known for centuries. Green tea’s unique traditional processing is partly responsible for its extraordinary healing properties. Scientists working in the USA and Japan have found that drinking several cups of green tea each day can have a profound effect on your health.
   
In the last few decades a number of articles have appeared in professional medical journals and lay publications reporting the medicinal benefits of green tea. Some of the benefits of green tea reported by scientists include the following:

•   Reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes
•   Reduces the risk of several types of cancer
•   Helps regulate blood sugar
•   Prevents or lowers high blood pressure
•   Boosts the immune system
•   Facilitates weight loss
•   Helps prevent ulcers
•   Slows the aging process
•   Controls inflammation
•   Reduces blood cholesterol
•   Fights viral colds and flu
•   Prevents gum disease, cavities, and bad breath
•   Can help prevent osteoporosis
•   Can help prevent blood clots

Eat Broccoli to Prevent Cancer

Food plays an important role, for both good and bad. New study continues to open the secrets of how foods (and nutritional supplements) influence every part of our physical and mental well-being or lack thereof. For example is the following; Most people knew that broccoli and the cruciferous vegetables help prevent cancer. But until now, they didn’t know how or why.

In an outstanding example of cellular rejuvenation, a research conducted at Georgetown University and published in the British Journal of Cancer found that indole-3-carbinol, a chemical in vegetables such as broccoli, cauli flower, and cabbage, actually boosts DNA repair in cells and may stop them from becoming cancerous. This is a significant finding because DNA is the material inside the nucleus of cells that carries genetic information. If we are genetically predisposed to cancer, could this mean that we can repair our cells and as a result prevent cancer simply by eating broccoli? It is without doubt a fascinating premise, and scientists are ardently pursuing this line of study.

 “it is now clear that the function of crucial cancer genes can be influenced by compounds in the things we eat: Studies that monitor people’s diets and their health have found links between certain types of food and cancer risk. Our findings imply a clear molecular process that would explain the connection between diet and cancer prevention.”said Professor Eliot Rosen, who led the research. As we’ve learned, carotenoids also show powerful chemoprotective properties. Do try to always buy or-ganically grown vegetables—the pesticides and chemical fertilizers used on nonorganically grown vegetables may counteract the positive effects of these foods.

Is your Hair Dull and Faded ?

Symptoms

  • Locks that were once radiant now refuse to shine
  • Blondes look ashy; brunettes look dingy or gray; redheads become brassy or orange
  • Hair color looks lighter instead of rich and vibrant


The Cause :

  • When the outer cuticle is roughed up by chemical processes or hot-tool overkill, parts of the cortex are exposed and damaged, and the hair becomes more porous, As a result, strands no longer accept dye as readily and the color pigments seep out in the shower. Also styling-product buildup can give hair a lackluster appearance.


The Cure:

  • Reduce the fading with shampoos and conditioner that help preserve color. "These work by depositing more pigment onto the surface of your strands," Wilson says. "But they don't last the way permanent dyes do, so the result rinse away if you don"t use them regularly," Also try styling products that contain broad-spectrum UV filters; they create a barrier agaist pigment degarding rays.


To bolster your hair's shine, style your do with cuticle-smoothing products that contain natural oil or silicone. "That's how you're going to get that major glossy sheen,"

Other Factors Affecting Body Weight

When it comes to managing weight, however, genes are not destiny. Genes simply create a person’s susceptibility to being overweight or underweight or average. This makes it easier for some people to stay at a healthy weight than it is for others. But the main cause of modern obesity lies in the collision between the body’s ancient means to survive in times of famine and the western abundance and lifestyle.

Modern food is tasty, convenient, moderately priced, and almost always available. That makes the experience of eating more akin to recreation than to survival for many people. Americans also spend more time than ever before
in sedentary pursuits—watching TV, surfing the Internet, playing video games, and driving. That adds up to greater caloric intake than output and weight gain, even among young children.

Urban density is another contributing factor. More and more people leave rural communities to live closer together in bigger buildings and larger suburbs and cities. They have fewer safe places to walk, play, and practice the activities that promote fitness.

Lastly, schools are cutting back on physical education programs. Only 6 to 8 percent of public schools provide what physical education advocates recommend as essential to healthy physical development—gym classes five times a week. And in places where school budgets are tight, physical education is often one of the first programs to be cut. That leaves many students living in cities and suburbs with few chances to exercise at all.

People also must deal with psychological and emotional factors linked with obesity. For some people, overeating has become an easy distraction from negative emotions such as boredom, sadness, loneliness, or anger. Recent studies show that eating foods high in fats and sugars calms nerves and relieves stress, if only for a short while. That may explain why so many people in stressful modern society seem almost compulsively driven to eat junk food. Eating also has profound psychological links to parental love. Nurturing parents are the first to feed us and to worry over us. So eating often carries memories of security and being cared for.

Food is also a form of self-medication for people suffering from the winter depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a condition linked to fewer hours of sunlight and longer hours of darkness in winter. People with SAD report that they are driven to eat and sleep to excess.

Lastly, sleep deprivation (anything less than seven to nine hours within each twenty-four-hour cycle) has been linked to increased cravings for candy, sweets, salty chips, and French fries. Apparently the desire to snack is driven by a sharp drop in leptin levels when people are chronically tired.

Nutrients in Your Diet

What we eat also affects a person’s weight and health. So, what should we be eating to maintain a healthy weight? Certain quantities of key nutrients must be consumed or a person will have reduced energy and be at risk for deficiency diseases—diseases that can stunt growth and development. Some of these diseases are severe enough to be fatal over time.

Consuming certain amounts of key nutrients sounds more difficult than it actually is. Most people living in industrial nations have access to more than enough of all the kinds of foods we need every day. The problem lies in
what people choose to eat from among those foods. Having a little nutrition education comes in handy.

Generally, nutrients are divided into two classes: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients make up the bulk of a healthy diet. They include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. They are the source of calories in the diet.

Proteins supply amino acids, the building blocks that build, repair, and maintain body tissue. Foods from animals-lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs are dense with proteins. They are called complete proteins because they contain all nine essential amino acids. Beans, nuts, tofu (a soy bean product), peanut butter, and grains are some of the vegetable sources of protein. People who consume vegetable protein as their only source—usually vegetarians—must be sure to consume a well balanced variety. All vegetable proteins are lacking in one essential amino acid or another.

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy or calories. They are either complex (starches) or simple (sugars). The body converts both kinds of carbohydrates to glucose (a form of sugar) and sends it through the blood stream to every cell in the body. Cereals, vegetables, fruits, and sugars (sweet snacks, sugary drinks, candies, and all kinds of desserts are obvious examples) are the main sources of carbohydrates.

The third macronutrient includes fats and oils, the most dense energy sources in our foods. Fats, also known as lipids, are made up of differing amounts of fatty acids. Some kinds are much more healthful than others. Monounsaturated fats are found in plant foods such as olives, peanuts, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are found in seed oils such as corn oil, as well as in walnuts, almonds, sardines, cod, pink salmon, tuna, and sardines. Both kinds of unsaturated fats are healthy fats. Vegetable sources of mono- and polyunsaturated fats are easy to recognize because they are liquid at room temperature.

Saturated fats are animal fats and fats that are solid at room temperature, such as butter. Trans-fatty acids found in some margarines and shortenings—are the least healthy forms of all the fats. They should be kept to less than 10 percent of a person’s total calorie intake.

Fats play an essential role in human health. For example, they carry certain vitamins and hormones into and out of our cells. They also add flavor and texture to food. Fats contribute to making us feel full, too, so they help control
our appetite. Fats that gather around internal organs provide insulation. They offer some protection to the heart, kidneys, and other body parts from hard blows and extreme temperatures.

Fats are the raw materials for building cell membranes (lining of the cell) and maintaining nerve function. Therefore, they are especially important during infancy and the early years of growth. Fat is also a lubricant, helping our joints
work more smoothly and our skin stay smoother and softer

Micronutrients, on the other hand, are needed in small quantities, but they are absolutely essential to life. They consist of two categories—vitamins and minerals. Vitamins help control the chemical processes that take place in
the body. Humans need thirteen different vitamins. For the most part, they must be obtained from food.

Minerals also have important roles in health. More than sixty minerals exist in the body, but only about twenty-two are considered essential. Six of these—calcium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, potassium, and magnesium—are needed in larger quantities. The rest are referred to as trace minerals, even though they are all equally important.