Too much napping may be a sign of dementia, how to help someone with an eating disorder, and more health news | Health, Medicine and Fitness

Heath news from the past week: Too much napping may mean dementia, the benefits of alternative sweeteners, and more.

Excessive napping could be a sign of dementia

Frequent napping or regularly napping for extended periods during the day may be a sign of early dementia in older adults, a new study revealed.

Elderly adults who napped at least once a day or more than an hour a day were 40% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who did not nap daily or napped less than an hour a day, according to the study published Thursday in Alzheimer’s and Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. Read more about the association between excessive napping and dementia here:

Alcohol-related deaths spiked during the pandemic

The number of deaths in the US involving alcohol jumped 25.5% between 2019 and 2020, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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This is a sharp incline from prior years; the average annual percent increase in deaths involving alcohol was 2.2% between 1999 and 2017.

There were 78,927 alcohol-related deaths in the US in 2019 and 99,017 in 2020. These deaths also included motor vehicle crashes that happened as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol. Read more facts and figures here:

Alcohol-related deaths in the US spiked more than 25% in the first year of the pandemic, study shows

Ways to help someone with an eating disorder

If you think or know a loved one has an eating disorder, supporting that person can be game-changing for them.

Eating disorders affect at least 9% of the world population, which includes around 30 million Americans. More than 10,000 people die from eating disorders every year, and that’s just in the United States. And the pandemic has led to an increase in the number and severity of cases, according to a January study published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry. Read how you can help, including knowing the signs, here:

Know someone with an eating disorder?  Here are 6 key ways you can help

Alternative sweeteners can help with weight and diabetes risk

In our soda, tea, coffee and juice: We like to drink sugar.

Americans eat about 60 pounds (27 kilograms) of sugar annually on average — and almost half of that comes from drinks, according to the American Heart Association.

For people who are at risk for or have diabetes, drinks sweetened without sugar may help, according to a study published Monday. Check out the study here:

Alternative sweeteners in your drinks can help with weight and diabetes risk, study says

Having trouble sleeping? Check this out

Sleeping for only one night with a dim light, such as a TV set with the sound off, raised the blood sugar and heart rate of healthy young people participating in a sleep lab experiment, a new study found.

What are your sleep myths and facts? You know, the things you are absolutely sure you should do — and not do — to get a good night’s sleep. Studies show that most of us are practicing bad sleep habits without knowing it — which can lead to serious health consequences. How do your beliefs about sleep stack up?

Sleeping with even a small amount of light may harm your health, study says

Sleep myths that may be keeping you from a good night's rest

Check out more of the past week’s health news:

After brain surgery, Montana man returns to playing guitar

BPA linked to asthma in school-age girls, study finds

US drug overdose deaths reach another record high as deaths from fentanyl surge

Most people don't know these possible signs of early Alzheimer's

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