In the News: Study Explains Why Insomniacs Sleep Without Realizing, Weight Loss Surgery Linked to Divorce and Marriage, Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked With Deaths

New study explains why some insomniacs sleep without realizing it. Labeled as “sleep misperception”, there is a phenomenon where people with insomnia are clearly asleep but do not experience it, reporting the next morning that they did not sleep at all. To find out more, Professor Daniel Kay of Brigham Young University and his team studied 32 people with insomnia and 30 people without the condition – their sleep patterns, brain wave, and activity patterns during sleep, and participants’ own reports of their sleep experience the next morning. Those with insomnia who reported not being asleep when the polysomnography (technology to track sleep) reported them to be so were confirmed to be experiencing conscious-level activity in their brain during non-REM stages. This suggests that those who suffer from this condition are not receiving the inhibitory neurons that your brain sends out gradually until you eventually lose consciousness and go to sleep. This, in turn, has great implications for the treatment of insomnia, involving a new goal of helping those people experience greater inhibitory activity, and Professor Kay recommends that these people engage in lengthy mindful meditation before sleeping in the meantime. If you’re struggling to sleep, here are the five best snacks for you to choose from. (MNT)

Weight loss surgery correlated to both divorces and marriages. According to a new study from a university in Sweden, weight loss surgery can have a huge impact on interpersonal relationships. The first part of the study compared about 2,000 obese individuals who had weight loss surgery with the same amount of people who had not; the second part compared over 29,000 obese individuals who had weight loss surgery with over 283,000 people in the general population. Interestingly, while unmarried participants who had the surgery were about 35 percent more likely to get married than their general population counterparts, the married participants who underwent surgery were also 41 percent more likely to get divorced. The researchers explained this trend by saying that the surgery makes people more likely to re-evaluate current relationships, and feel that they actually can either begin one or end an unhealthy one. They also speculated that feelings of jealousy or inadequacy in the other partner may play a part. This is an interesting pattern to note as bariatric surgery is becoming only more popular, following revelations that undergoing this treatment option carries fewer health risks than being obese. If you’re trying to lose weight, here are six surprising foods to help you along the way. (REUTERS)

Hospitalizations and deaths across Illinois linked with synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids are manmade drugs designed to produce the same mind-altering effects as marijuana, but they are much more powerful – and much more dangerous, as has been proven in Illinois. More than 70 cases of severe bleeding from many different body parts have been reported, as well as the two deaths of healthy men in their 20s after they used synthetic cannabinoids. Nine of these cases tested positive for rat poison. Though these products are toxic, people are tempted to use them because they are conveniently sold in stores and do not show up in a drug test; this argument has been used for the legalization of the far less dangerous real marijuana plant, which would prevent people from resorting to these manmade products to feel the pain relief and mental effects of marijuana. Though the synthetic products are not fully regulated, government and law enforcement officials urge the public to never experiment with them, particularly not in the wake of this outbreak. Three people have been arrested in connection with these hospitalizations and deaths. (CNN)