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Paleolithic & Hunter-Gatherer Sleep

Are humans evolved to sleep through the night or is natural sleep bimodal or otherwise fragmented? What can we learn from the sleep of Paleolithic hominins and modern hunter-gatherer societies? Paleo-anatomists studying fossilized skeletons of Australopithecus (3.9-2.9 MYA) and Homo habilis (2.3-1.4 MYA) found they were well adapted to climbing. Although much of their daytime […]

Shift Work and Earth’s Rotation

We evolved on Earth. Simple enough, yet we usually don’t consider how attuned we are to its rhythms, especially its rotation with its night and day cycles. When we are out of rhythm with natural cycles, we are “misaligned.” The metabolic effects of misalignment with the Earths rotation, our circadian rhythms, have been studied in […]

Added Sugar Associated with Risk of Dying from Heart Disease

In a study published in the February 2014 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, and the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed two health database with a total of with42,880 cases (31,147 for the time trend analysis and 11 ,733 for the association study) to determine the association between the amount […]

Plant Neurobiology: “Foolish distraction” or “new science”?

Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and other books, has written an interesting article on The Intelligent Plant in The Atlantic. He begins by recounting the ruckus in the scientific community following the 1973 publication of the “The Secret Life of Plants.” Over the years, most of the claims in the book were discredited. However, the issue has […]

Body Rhythms: What is the Best Time to Exercise… and Tweet?

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on biorhythms and their importance to our health. Columnist Sue Shellenbarger writes: Most people organize their time around everything but the body’s natural rhythms. Workday demands, commuting, social events and kids’ schedules frequently dominate—inevitably clashing with the body’s circadian rhythms of waking and sleeping. As difficult as […]