Category Archives: Health & Medicine

New issue of Research|Penn State is now online

For those of you who haven’t seen our magazine, Research|Penn State, and those who receive the print magazine but would like to read an e-version, our Spring 2016 issue is now available online in flipbook and downloadable PDF formats. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find.


Continue reading New issue of Research|Penn State is now online

You say you want a (sleep) revolution

Within the past few years, author and media mogul Arianna Huffington has made sleep health her pet project. In her 2010 TED talk, Huffington encouraged her audience to make sleep a priority: “The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is to get enough sleep,” she said. “We are going to sleep our way to the top — literally!”

Earlier this month, she published her latest book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time. To promote the book, and raise awareness about healthy sleep, Huffington has started the Sleep Revolution College Tour. Recently, Schreyer Honors scholar Alayna Kennedy worked with the Schreyer Honors College and alum Lou D’Ambrosio to bring the tour to Penn State, where students learned about healthy sleep habits and received sleep kits.

I touched base with Orfeu Buxton, a Penn State associate professor of biobehavioral health and a sleep health expert who specializes in sleep, health, and society, and asked him a few questions about the particular issue of sleep and college students.  Continue reading You say you want a (sleep) revolution

8 things to know about colorectal cancer

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared as a Medical Minute feature on Penn State News.

March is colorectal cancer awareness month — a great time to test your knowledge about the disease and how it can be prevented and treated. Two doctors from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center highlight eight things you may not have known about colorectal cancer.

1. Colorectal cancer is the only type of cancer that doctors can prevent by screening for it. “Unlike most of the time, when you are trying to find early stages of cancer, we can prevent this disease from even happening by removing polyps,” said Dr. Thomas McGarrity, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  Continue reading 8 things to know about colorectal cancer

Can wearing orange-tinted glasses before bed help you sleep?

By Jordan Gaines Lewis

Editor’s note: Sleep Awareness Week is almost at an end, (March 6-13, 2016), so we are republishing the following article, which originally appeared on The Conversation on April 27, 2015. This also follows up the House of Cards post we published last Sunday.

I recently wrote about the terrible sleep habits of the characters in House of Cards. I disapproved of Frank Underwood’s late-night computer work in the Oval Office, his new midnight iPad gaming habit and Claire taking her laptop to bed with her.

But I must confess my hypocrisy. Despite my preaching – and despite being a sleep researcher myself – the last thing I do before I flip off the lights and snuggle into my bedsheets is play games on my iPhone. I know, I’m bad – but I also know I’m not the only guilty person here.

Although evidence suggests that the blue light emanating from phones, tablets, laptops, televisions and e-readers can affect the quality of our sleep – in turn affecting our health and well-being – many of us can’t help logging in and tapping away when we should be winding down. A Time/Qualcomm poll of 5,000 people worldwide suggests that nearly a quarter of those between the ages of 18 and 24 generally don’t sleep as well because of technology. Even worse, 40-75% of folks across all age groups report keeping their phones within reach while they sleep at night.  Continue reading Can wearing orange-tinted glasses before bed help you sleep?

How much sleep do you need?

It is Sleep Awareness Week (March 6-13) — so what better time to talk about the recommended amount of sleep we should be getting?

According to updated recommendations released by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society (SRS) last June, adults should be sleeping for 7 hours or more every night. This suggestion came after a panel — comprising people that the AASM and SRS considers to be “15 of the nation’s foremost sleep experts” — conducted a year-long project reviewing published sleep studies.

Continue reading How much sleep do you need?