Today’s Headlines: Why You Shouldn’t Use Sleeping Pills for Your Insomnia, 3 Gut-Friendly Beverages, and The Technique That May Help Your Asthma

Ditch the sleeping pills and try therapy instead to eliminate sleeping problems. The American College of Physicians issued new guidelines for insomnia, stating that medication should be avoided at all costs and that alternative methods should be pursued as solutions. “‘We looked at 10 years of very strong research studies that looked at the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy and other interventions in terms of improving sleep for patients who have chronic insomnia,’… sleeping pills don’t work that well and carry risks. One study found that drugs including Ambien and Restoril may double someone’s risk of a car crash.” Other suggestions to help quiet the mind and sleep soundly include turning off electronics. (NBC)

Wine, coffee, and tea may be beneficial for the bacteria in your gut. A new study has shown that certain types of foods and drinks impact the body’s microbes. “Scientists found that consuming fruits, vegetables and yogurt positively influenced microbial diversity in the gut. So did drinking tea, wine, coffee and buttermilk. On the flip side, sugary sodas and savory snacks were associated with lower levels of diversity. So was having irritable bowel syndrome and smoking during pregnancy.” While the cause is unknown, researchers were hopeful that more studies could help doctors begin to analyze bacteria in the body in a whole new way. (LA Times)

Practicing yoga may help relieve your asthma. After analyzing 15 studies, researchers hypothesized that yoga poses and breathing exercises could improve asthma symptoms. “One third of these studies included only yoga breathing exercises, and the rest included breathing, postures, and meditation. The yoga practice lasted anywhere from two weeks to four and a half years, though it was less than six months in most studies. Overall, yoga slightly improved symptoms and quality of life and reduced the need for medications.” More research needs to be done as the studies were small and the results were inconsistent. (Reuters)