The human body: An inspiring biological work of art? Or a meaty sack of germs and fluids? Either way, there’s still a lot we don’t know about what goes on in there — and scientists are constantly attempting to find out more. Here are the most interesting things we learned about our bodies in the last seven days…
Stoners Getting Surgery Need Twice As Much Anesthesia
One side effect of full-time stoners being half-anesthetized most of the time is that it’s harder for them to actually be anesthetized when it comes time to be knocked out for surgery. Two hundred and fifty patients in Colorado requiring non-invasive surgery were studied for their cannabis consumption and the amount of medicine required to put them under for colonoscopies. Twenty-five of those patients identified as regular cannabis users. Compared to those who reportedly didn’t smoke weed, the cannabis users required twice as much of the anesthetic propofol, as well as increased amounts of other anesthetics like fentanyl. So if you’re a stoner hoping not to feel anything during your next surgery, make sure you tell your doc about your habit. Happy 4/20!
Workout Now, Be Healthy Later
Feel bad that you last worked out a decade ago? Don’t: As it turns out, people who did regular vigorous exercise 10 years ago are still benefiting from those workouts. Following up on a study conducted a decade ago, where participants were either inactive or participated in mild to vigorous exercise three times a week for eight months, researchers compared waistline measurements, aerobic capacity, metabolism and blood pressure then and now. On the whole, those who exercised vigorously ten years ago remained in similar shape today, even if they don’t continue to work out with the same frequency. Even those who simply walked four times a week a decade ago had better insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and metabolisms than they did before they began the study. On the other hand, the group who didn’t exercise had bigger waistlines, higher blood pressure, lower aerobic capacity and worse metabolism than before. Further evidence that staying healthy now will save you a ton of money on health-care costs in the future.
No, Really, You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep
You know those people who claim they feel great after only five hours of sleep? Science says they’re lying. Researchers at NYU Langone Health’s School of Medicine studied 8,000 websites to assess common “myths” people believe about sleep. One of the most common and concerning is that people can function just fine on five hours of sleep: In reality, getting less than seven to ten hours of sleep on a regular basis is a serious risk to one’s health. Over a third of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep, and 45 percent of the global population is at risk of health problems due to sleep deprivation.
The other sleep myths the researchers found aren’t too fun, either. For example, while alcohol might help you fall asleep, it prevents you from getting the deep, restorative sleep you need. Boooooooooooo.
Breakfast Truly Is the Most Important Meal of the Day
Similar to how exercise keeps you healthier years down the road, eating breakfast regularly significantly reduces your risk of a heart attack. A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that people who skip breakfast and eat late dinners are four to five times more likely to die of another heart attack. The caveat here is that the study only focused on people who have already had heart attacks, but still!
In the study, people with the highest risk for death — or another heart attack — were those who ate nothing before lunch at least three times a week, and those who ate a meal two hours or less before going to sleep three times a week. Of course, these habits could also be linked to situations like high-stress jobs, which could be detrimental to your health in other ways. But even though this study, as already mentioned, focused specifically on people who have already had heart attacks, it’s probably wise to make sure you’re eating regularly.
It’s Not Sugar, Your Kid Is Just Hyper
I’m pretty sure my niece’s sugar consumption does turn her into a greedy maniac with a burgeoning addictive personality, but at least all that sugar isn’t making her hyper. Despite what pretty much every parent thinks, there actually isn’t much correlation between sugar consumption and changes in children’s behavior, according to recent analysis of landmark sugar studies. That doesn’t mean your kid can just go hog wild on candy (it does still need to be consumed in moderation to avoid all the other bad health stuff that can happen, like obesity) but it DOES mean you can bribe your kid to go the fuck to sleep with a cookie and a glass of milk.