Egypt Independent: Living-Main news en Sticking to the same sleeping routine is good for our health <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>If possible, it is better to go to bed and get up at the same time during the week and at the weekend, says a new US study which has established a link between changes to sleeping schedules and metabolic disorders.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Difficulty in waking up on Monday morning could mean we are storing up trouble in terms of metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Scientific research has already demonstrated that shift work increases the risk of metabolic disorders. The reason is thought to be the deregulation of our internal circadian clock which drives biological rhythms over a 24-hour day-night cycle and is followed by humans and animals.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sleep disturbance is one of the factors behind the increase in metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, even in people without health problems, says this study published on November 18 in The Journal of Clinical &amp; Endocrinology Metabolism.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania in the US analysed the sleep schedule and the cardio-metabolic risk of 447 men and women, who were participants in phase 2 of the Adult Health and Behaviour Project study.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>They were aged between 20 and 54, worked at least 25 hours per week and wore wristbands measuring their movement and sleep 24 hours a day for a week. The volunteers also filled in questionnaires informing the researchers about their dietary habits and physical activity.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The team noted that almost 85 percent of the participants had a lag in their sleep cycles, waking later on their days off than on workdays, while 15 percent had a shorter cycle, meaning they woke earlier at the weekend than during the week.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The volunteers with the biggest lag in their sleep schedule between working and non-working days had worse levels of cholesterol, higher insulin resistance, a larger waist measurement and greater BMI (Body Mass Index) compared to the others, the team noted.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This &quot;social jet lag&quot; remained, even when the scientists adjusted for other sleep and lifestyle variables, such as physical activity and caloric intake.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Social jetlag refers to the mismatch between an individual&#39;s biological circadian rhythm and their socially imposed sleep schedules,&quot; said Patricia M.Wong, lead author of the study. &quot;Other researchers have found that social jetlag relates to obesity and some indicators of cardiovascular function.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;However, this is the first study to extend upon that work and show that even among healthy, working adults who experience a less extreme range of mismatches in their sleep schedule, social jetlag can contribute to metabolic problems. These metabolic changes can contribute to the development of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.&quot;</div> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 14:23:00 +0000 AFP 2462292 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/07/31/43/sleep-tips.jpg It's not just what you say to your partner, it's the way you say it <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>A computer algorithm developed by a team of US researchers can predict marital success more accurately than human behavioral experts using only the tone of voice couples use when communicating with each other during couples counselling sessions.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>During a two-year period, researchers from the University of Southern California recorded conversations in marriage counselling sessions from a sample of over a hundred couples. They then followed up with the couples for a further five years to determine if there was any change in their marital status.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The results, published in the journal Proceedings of Interspeech, showed that the algorithm could predict improvement or deterioration within a couple&#39;s relationship in over 74 percent of the instances, more than the descriptions of couples therapy sessions that were provided by the relationship therapists.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>To assess the couples&#39; speech the algorithm broke the recordings into acoustic features using speech-processing techniques, looking at pitch, intensity, and also warbles in the voice that could indicate moments of high emotion.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The program was then tested against the behavioral analyses that had been made by experts who had analyzed the couple&#39;s behavior to identify positive qualities such as showing acceptance or negative qualities such as placing blame. Using the vocal gauge forecast the participants&#39; future success as couples more accurately.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>One of the members of the research team, Brian Baucom from the University of Utah, commented on the results saying, &quot;Psychological practitioners and researchers have long known that the way that partners talk about and discuss problems has important implications for the health of their relationships.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>However, the lack of efficient and reliable tools for measuring the important elements in those conversations has been a major impediment in their widespread clinical use.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>These findings represent a major step forward in making objective measurement of behavior practical and feasible for couple therapists.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Lead researcher Shrikanth Narayanan adds, &quot;What you say is not the only thing that matters, it&#39;s very important how you say it. Our study confirms that it holds for a couple&#39;s relationship as well. It&#39;s not just about studying your emotions, it&#39;s about studying the impact of what your partner says on your emotions.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The results follow a recent American study that showed saying thank you and expressing gratitude in a relationship is a good predictor of marital happiness.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>That study, the first of its kind to look at the positive effects of showing recognition and gratitude in married couples, questioned 468 married couples via telephone surveys and found that even small signs of recognition can be powerful enough to counteract negativity in a relationship, helping the relationship to survive the bad times and even avoid heading for divorce.</div> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:48:00 +0000 AFP 2462290 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/11/27/43/20151125_afp_couple_marriage_divorce_argument_relationship_husband_wife_620_438_100.jpg Obama jokes about presidential race at turkey pardoning <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Speaking at his annual Thanksgiving turkey pardoning on Wednesday, President Barack Obama joked about raising teenage daughters, his critics and the 2016 presidential race.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;As you may have heard, for months, there has been a fierce competition between a bunch of turkeys trying to win their way into the White House,&quot; Obama said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Following a long pause and some laughter he added, &quot;some of you caught that.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Obama pardoned two California-raised turkeys, named &quot;Honest&quot; and &quot;Abe,&quot; who will retire to a historic farm in Leesburg, Virginia, rather than end up on Americans&#39; Thanksgiving tables.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The turkeys were raised by Dr. Jihad Douglas, whom Obama referred to as &quot;Dr. Douglas,&quot; side-stepping the man&#39;s first name, which can refer to spreading Islam through violence. Obama referred to a second turkey farmer, Joe Hedden, by his first and last names.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The tradition of the US president pardoning a turkey at Thanksgiving began in 1947 under President Harry Truman, the White House said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Obama was joined by his two teenage daughters, Sasha, 14, and Malia, 17. He joked they &quot;do this solely because it makes me feel good, not because they actually think that this is something I should be doing.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Last year, Sasha and Malia Obama were criticized on social media for not smiling during the ceremony. A Republican congressional staffer was fired after she posted on Facebook that the girls should show &quot;a little class.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On Wednesday, both Sasha and Malia appeared with beaming smiles and chuckled at their father&#39;s jokes.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Obama also used the occasion to roast his critics and the media.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;I&#39;ve got to listen to my critics say I&#39;m often too soft on turkeys,&quot; Obama said. &quot;And I&#39;m sure the press is digging into whether or not the turkeys I&#39;ve pardoned have really re-dedicated their lives to being good turkey citizens.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Following the ceremony, the first family will travel to a local shelter to serve what Obama called &quot;less fortunate turkey brothers&quot; to homeless veterans.</div> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 12:52:00 +0000 Reuters 2462285 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/11/27/43/screen_shot_2015-11-27_at_2.36.13_pm.png IATA expects 7 billion global air passengers by 2034 amid slower growth <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Air passenger numbers worldwide are likely to reach seven billion per year within the next two decades, twice what they are now, IATA said yesterday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The International Air Transport Association said this was 400 million fewer than forecast previously because of a global economic slowdown, notably in China.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>IATA said it now expects air passenger numbers to grow 3.8 percent on average each year through 2034, taking the annual figure to double from the 3.5 billion expected this year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Geneva-based organisation had previously forecast 4.1 percent annual growth in passenger numbers, but said political changes and &quot;negative developments in the global economy&quot; were expected to dampen demand for air transport.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Economic and political events over the last year have impacted some of the fundamentals for growth,&quot; IATA chief Tony Tyler explained in a statement.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;As a result, we expect some 400 million fewer people to be travelling in 2034 than we did at this time last year,&quot; he said, pointing out that &quot;air transport is a critical part of the global economy, (and) policy-makers should take note of its sensitivity.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In particular, the slow-down in the Chinese economy is impacting global passenger growth outlook.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The country is today the world&#39;s fastest-increasing market in terms of additional annual passengers, and is forecast to add 758 million new passengers by 2034 to bring the total to 1.196 billion each year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The United States is the second fastest-increasing market, with 523 million new annual passengers expected by 2034 for a total of 1.156 billion, followed by India, Indonesia and Brazil.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>China is expected to overtake the United States as the world&#39;s largest passenger market (defined by traffic to, from and within) by 2029, IATA said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Although China is not adding new passengers as quickly as previously projected, it has so far this year seen its annual passenger numbers shoot up 12.5 percent.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And it is on course to add 230 million additional passenger journeys between 2014 and 2019, IATA said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>India meanwhile has bounced back from a subdued 2014 with 16.5 percent passenger growth so far this year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Brazil and Russia by contrast are struggling, hit by falling oil and other commodity prices, IATA said, also pointing to the economic sanctions against Russia and sky-high fuel charges in Brazil</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In percentage terms, seven of the 10 fastest-growing markets will meanwhile be in Africa, the organisation said, joined by Serbia, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, with each expected to see passenger numbers swell 7% to 8% each year over the next 20 years and doubling in size each decade.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>IATA also said the prospect of more open travel between the rest of the world and Cuba and Iran as economic sanctions against them are gradually expected to be lifted offers &quot;exciting possibilities.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In 20 years, aviation is expected to sustain 105 million jobs, up from 58 million today, and contribute US$6 trillion to the global economy.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 12:42:00 +0000 AFP 2462282 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/11/13/43/screen_shot_2015-11-13_at_12.15.56_pm.png