Drinking Too Much Soda May Be Linked to Alzheimers

When it comes to the dangers of regularly drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, the science is clear. It rots your teeth, makes you fat, and puts you at a higher risk of diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. The list goes on and on—just ask your doctor.

When it comes to diet soda, the science has been less solid. It will lower your overall sugar consumption to switch from Coke to Diet Coke, but it might cause other problems. Artificial sweeteners have been associated with—but not shown to necessarily cause—weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease

On Thursday, two studies by the same group of researchers gave soda drinkers—both diet and regular—a whole new reason to drop the habit entirely.

The first, published in the medical journal  found that consumption of artificially sweetened beverages was associated with a higher risk of stroke and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The second, published in , found that higher consumption of sugary beverages was associated with markers for pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease. 

Led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine, the authors of the  study conducted a review of data collected through the Framingham Heart Study, a multi-decade observational review that began with more than 5,000 volunteer participants in 1948 and has included their offspring since 1971 and their grandchildren since 2002. The FHS entailed nine examination cycles held approximately every four years; participants logged beverage intake through questionnaires that surveyed their diets over the previous 12 months. In these studies, the researchers looked at the seventh cycle for the offspring, from 1998 to 2001, and the second cycle for the grandchildren, from 2008 to 2011. 

In the study cited in , the researchers found that higher consumption of sugary beverages was associated with a pattern consistent with preclinical Alzheimer’s, including smaller total brain volume and poorer episodic memory. The authors called the findings “striking” because they were found in a middle-aged sample and withstood statistical adjustment for such factors as physical activity and total caloric intake. The results align with earlier research done with smaller samples, including one with 737 middle-aged participants in the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study, which found that higher sugar intake was cross-sectionally associated with Alzheimer’s-like behavioral patterns.

The study notes its limitations, including that it doesn’t establish causality, the homogenous population sample didn’t include minorities, and questionnaire-based consumption data are inherently unreliable. 

Responded William Dermody Jr., vice president of policy at the American Beverage Association, the chief lobby for soda makers: “The Alzheimer’s Association points out that the greatest risk factors for Alzheimer’s are increasing age, family history of Alzheimer’s, and genetics—not sugar intake, from any source.”

The  study, meanwhile, found an association with artificially sweetened beverages and stroke and dementia, while not finding a similar association for consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, an observation the authors characterized as “intriguing.” An editorial accompanying the study noted this finding—and that it contradicted other studies that found the opposite. This study, the authors noted, has the same limitations as the  analysis, as well as another important one: The association could be a case of reverse causality, “whereby sicker individuals consume diet beverages as a means of negating a further deterioration of health.”

That concern is based on the way diabetes status partially mediated the association between artificially sweetened beverage consumption and dementia. In other words, having diabetes may be more of a risk factor for dementia than consuming artificially sweetened beverages is. The relationships among beverage consumption, diabetes, and dementia remain unclear.

All this, said Dean M. Hartley, director of Science Initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association, points to an important reminder: Correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation. Dermody of the American Beverage Association emphasized this point: “The authors of this study acknowledge that their conclusions do not—and cannot—prove cause and effect.” 

Still, Hartley said, this study provides an important starting point for further studies. “Many of our first understandings of a disease come from associations,” he said. “It’s why it’s critical to get more funding at a national level.” The Alzheimer’s Association has been advocating increased research funding, including a $400 million boost for 2017 through the National Institutes of Health, currently pending before Congress, and at least another $414 million for 2018. (The Trump administration budget proposal calls for a $5.8 billion cut (PDF) to the NIH for 2018, which is about 20 percent.)

Hartley also recommends the association’s 10 Ways to Love Your Brain for proactive steps towards brain health, including exercise, a healthy diet, and keeping up education, and he advises everyone to speak with physicians about their specific health conditions. Still, when it comes to soda—diet or regular—the safest course is to skip it. “I think they’re both bad,” he said. “Pure water is always a very good thing.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-20/drinking-too-much-soda-may-be-linked-to-alzheimer-s

Beating Human Hearts Grown In Laboratory Using Stem Cells

Right now, there are 4,186 people waiting for a heart transplant in the U.S., but with a huge donor shortage not all of these patients are likely to survive. Growing transplantable hearts in a laboratory has been a long-standing dream within the medical community, and a study in the journal Circulation Research has moved it one step closerto reality: A team of researchers have successfully grown a beating human heart in the laboratory using stem cells.

Previous research has shown how 3D printers can be used to manufacture 3D heart segments using biological material. Although vacant of any actual heart cells, these structures provided the scaffold on which heart tissue could be grown. Now, a team from both Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School has taken this scaffolding concept and combined it with stem cells for some truly spectacular results.

The main problem with heart transplants, other than a lack of donors, is that theres a chance that the receivers body will reject the new organ. Their immune system will often register the foreign tissue as a threat, whereupon it will proceed to attack and destroy it. The only way to stop this from happening are drugs that suppress the immune system, and this is only successful in some cases.

For this study, 73 human hearts deemed unsuitable for transplantation were carefully immersed in solutions of detergent in order to strip them of any cells that would provoke this self-destructive response. What was left was a matrix (or scaffold) of a heart, complete with its intricate structures and vessels, providing a new foundation for new heart cells to be grown onto.

This is where pluripotent stem cells come in. These primitive stem cells have the ability to become almost any type of cell in the body, including bone, nerve, and even muscle including those found in the heart.

For this research, human skin cells were reprogrammed into becoming pluripotent stem cells. They were then induced into becomingtwo types of heart cells, which were shown to readily develop and grow on the lab scaffold when bathed in a nutrient solution.

Roughly 610,000 people die from heart disease in the U.S. every year. Could this revolutionary technique one day save many of those lost to this killer? DeReGe/Shutterstock

After just two weeks, the networks of lab-grown heart cells already resembled immature but intricately structured hearts. The team gave them a burst of electricity, and the hearts actually started beating.

Significantly, any heart cells grown in this way would be recognized by the patients immune system as friendly, as long as the original skin cells were sourced from their own body in the first place. This means that these lab-grown hearts would not be rejectedand, of course, theres no donor to wait for.

Among the next steps that we are pursuing are improving methods to generate even more cardiac cells, said Jacques Guyette, a biomedical researcher at the MGH Center for Regenerative Medicine and lead author of the study, in a statement.Although this study manufactured a whopping 500 million stem cell-derived heart cells for the procedure, regrowing a whole heart would actually take tens of billions, Guyette added.

So despite falling short of growing an entire, mature human heart in alaboratory from a patients own cells, this is the closest anyone has come to date to reaching this goal and that in itself is a breathtaking achievement.

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Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/beating-human-hearts-grown-laboratory-using-stem-cells-made-skin

World Health Organization: Processed Meats Cause Cancer

Very sad news for bacon lovers.

The World Health Organization announced Monday that cured and processed meats like bacon, sausage, hot dogs and ham cause cancer, adding the foods to a top-tier list of carcinogenic substances that includes alcohol, cigarettes, asbestos, and arsenic.

Processed meats can be bundled with these threatening carcinogens because of their link with bowel cancer, according to a report from WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, though their inclusion doesn’t mean that bacon causes cancer at the same rate as, say, smoking. 

“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” IARC epidemiologist Dr. Kurt Straif said in a statement.

The agency estimates that a 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increased the risk for bowel cancer by 18 percent. That’s about three slices of cooked bacon. 

The report also links red meat to cancer. It classifies beef, lamb and pork as “probable” carcinogens in a second-tier list that also includes glyphosate, the active ingredient in many weedkillers.

The findings, which are based on more than 800 studies, are already receiving pushback from meat industry groups that argue meat is part of a balanced diet and that the cancer risk assessments needs to expand to include risk in the context of lifestyle and environment. 

“We simply dont think the evidence support any causal link between any red meat and any type of cancer,” said Shalene McNeill, executive director of human nutrition at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Such lifestyle and environmental risks have been studied extensively, however, and the IARC noted this broader context was included in the study: 

In making this evaluation, the Working Group took into consideration all the relevant data, including the substantial epidemiological data showing a positive association between consumption of red meat and colorectal cancer and the strong mechanistic evidence. Consumption of red meat was also positively associated with pancreatic and with prostate cancer.

Both processed and red meats have been linked with cancer in the past. A 2013 study from researchers at the University of Zurich found that consuming processed meats increased the risk of dying from both heart disease and cancer. In 2012, a review published in British Journal of Cancer linked meats like bacon and sausage to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, a disease with particularly poor survival rates. It’s no secret that red meat is rife with bad cholesterol and fats that are tied to diabetes and heart disease. 

Unfortunately, the average American consumes about 18 pounds of bacon each year. Our nation eats more red meat than most of the world, though consumption has begun to dip in the past couple of years. In 2014, chicken was more popular than beef for the first time in over 100 years, showing that the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations for feeding on “leaner meats” may be making an impact on the national plate. 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/10/26/world-health-organization-processed-meats-cause-cancer_n_8388732.html

10+ Unbelievable Before & After Fitness Transformations Show How Long It Took People To Get In Shape

Back in 2015, at the height of the notorious ‘dad bod’ craze, people started to realize that Drake was ripped. He had been training for over 3 years, but the world only noticed when his Instagram page suddenly started heating up. Like most other things Drake has turned into a trend, his followers flocked to gyms around the world on a quest to get ‘swoll’ like Champagne Papi.

Now, this is not to say that everyone who takes fitness seriously these days is doing it because of Drake, but it’s clear that ‘making gains’ is back in style, and people are going from skinny to shredded faster than half of us can blink. If it’s done right, building muscle can actually prolong your lifespan and improve cardiovascular and bone health – as well as increase your chances of people sliding in the DM. Faster isn’t always better, though. Each person inherits different strengths and weaknesses from the gene pool, so it’s important to take your time and found out what works for your unique body. To dispel that last little thought in your head, no – steroids are never a good option, unless you want to add the increased risk of heart disease and stroke to your routine.

Here at Bored Panda, we decided to compile a list of people who bulked up big-time, and barely look like the same people in their ‘before’ photos. We’ve also included the timespan of their progress, but keep in mind that everyone builds at a different pace! Vote for your favourite transformations below, and upload your own at the bottom.

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/before-after-body-building-fitness-transformation/

Deadly gene mutations removed from human embryos in landmark study

Groundbreaking project corrects faulty DNA linked to fatal heart condition and raises hopes for parents who risk passing on genetic diseases

Scientists have modified human embryos to remove genetic mutations that cause heart failure in otherwise healthy young people in a landmark demonstration of the controversial procedure.

It is the first time that human embryos have had their genomes edited outside China, where researchers have performed a handful of small studies to see whether the approach could prevent inherited diseases from being passed on from one generation to the next.

Crispr atom

While none of the research so far has created babies from modified embryos, a move that would be illegal in many countries, the work represents a milestone in scientists efforts to master the technique and brings the prospect of human clinical trials one step closer.

The work focused on an inherited form of heart disease, but scientists believe the same approach could work for other conditions caused by single gene mutations, such as cystic fibrosis and certain kinds of breast cancer.

This embryo gene correction method, if proven safe, can potentially be used to prevent transmission of genetic disease to future generations, said Paula Amato, a fertility specialist involved in the US-Korean study at Oregon Health and Science University.

The scientists used a powerful gene editing tool called Crispr-Cas9 to fix mutations in embryos made with the sperm of a man who inherited a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM. The disease, which leads to a thickening of the hearts muscular wall, affects one in 500 people and is a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young people.

Humans have two copies of every gene, but some diseases are caused by a mutation in only one of the copies. For the study, the scientists recruited a man who carried a single mutant copy of a gene called MYBPC3 which causes HCM.

This sequence of images shows the development of embryos after injection of a gene-correcting enzyme and sperm from a donor with a genetic mutation known to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Photograph: (OHSU)/OHSY

When the scientists made embryos with the mans sperm and healthy eggs from donors, they found that, as expected, about half of the embryos carried the mutant gene. If the affected embryos were implanted into women and carried to term, the resulting children would inherit the heart condition.

Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers describe how gene editing dramatically reduced the number of embryos that carried the dangerous mutation. When performed early enough, at the same time as fertilisation, 42 out of 58 embryos, or 72%, were found to be free of the disease-causing mutation.

The work has impressed other scientists in the field because in previous experiments, gene editing has worked only partially, mending harmful mutations in some cells, but not others. Another problem happens when the wrong genes are modified by mistake, but in the latest work the scientists found no evidence of these so-called off target effects

Theyve got remarkably good results, its a big advance. said Richard Hynes, a geneticist at MIT who this year co-chaired a major report on human genome editing for the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS). This brings it closer to clinic, but theres still a lot of work to do.

Today, people who carry certain genetic diseases can opt for IVF and have their embryos screened for harmful mutations. The procedure can only help if there is a chance that some embryos will be healthy. According to Shoukhrat Mitalipov, who led the latest research, gene editing could bolster the number of healthy embryos available for doctors to implant.

More work is needed to prove that gene editing would be safe to do in people, but even if it seems safe, scientists face major regulatory hurdles before clinical trials could start. In the US, Congress has barred the Food and Drug Administration from even considering human trials with edited embryos, while in the UK it is illegal to implant genetically modified embryos in women. The procedure is controversial because genetic modifications made to an embryo affect not only the child it becomes but future generations too. Its still a long road ahead, said Mitalipov. Its unclear when wed be allowed to move on.

In the latest study, the mutation was corrected by a route that scientists have not seen before, with the cell copying healthy DNA from the mothers egg instead of the template. One question scientists need to explore now is whether mutations carried by eggs can be corrected as easily as those carried by sperm.

If all of this holds up for different genes and is also true when the mutation is inherited from the mother, it will be a major step forward, said Janet Rossant, senior scientist and chief of research emeritus at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Asked about the potential for gene editing to produce designer babies, Rossant, a co-author of the NAS report on gene editing, said it was a distant prospect. We are still a long way from serious consideration of using gene editing to enhance traits in babies, she said. We dont understand the genetic basis of many of the human traits that might be targets for enhancement. Even if we did, a genetic alteration that enhanced one trait could have unexpected negative consequences on other traits, and this would be an inherited feature for the next generation.

The NAS report came out strongly against any form of gene editing designed to simply enhance human potential, she added.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/02/deadly-gene-mutations-removed-from-human-embryos-in-landmark-study

New Study Stomps Over Stigma By Showing Just About Anyone Can Develop A Mental Illness

Whether you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or an eating disorder, rest assured, you’re not alone. In fact, new research shows it’s more common to struggle with a mental illnessthan it is to never experience one. In a studypublished in the ,researchers followed a generation of New Zealanders from birth to middle age. After running diagnostics every several years in order to look for signs of mental illness, the results showedover 80 percent of participants had struggled at some point or another with mental health issues throughout the study.

Meanwhile, a mere 17 percent of people remained mentally well throughout the course of this long-term study.

Translation: Mental illness is more common than mental health.

Basically, experiencing some sort of mental illness has become the norm.

When I first opened up about my eating disorder to a group of friends, I found that starting the conversation led them to admit they, too, had beenstruggling with a mental illness of some kind. The more I discussed what I was going through, the more I realized I wasn’t alone.

While it’s undoubtedly difficult at times to deal with any form of a mental illness, there is certainly comfort in knowing we’re not alone in ourcircumstances.

The issue, then, is not that someone has a mental illness, but that stigma continues to persist anyway.

The stigma around mental illness is not only unfair it’s unyielding.

In 2014, RAND Corporation issueda California Well-Being Survey that studied how the stigma surrounding mental illness affects those suffering. The results showed that more than two-thirds of those surveyed chose to hide their mental health conditions from family, friends, and co-workers to avoid discrimination.

Additionally, one in five admitted to delaying treatment out of fear of someone finding out about their condition.

And this stigma likely won’t go away until we can talk aboutmental health the same way we discuss physical health.

President of Mental Health America Paul Gionfriddo toldBusiness Insider

At a time when we have recognized the importance of early intervention for cancer or for diabetes or heart disease, why would we say, OK, for mental illness we aren’t going to screen or do early intervention?

This should be as common for adults as blood pressure screening. Putting our head in the sand and waiting for a catastrophe is not a health care plan.

As diagnosable mental illness becomes more common, treatment for those mental illnesses need tofollow suit.

At the very least, this new research brings us one step closer to breaking the stigma around mental illness.

Though we clearly have a long way to go, mental illness has now been shown to be a common diagnosis, so it is even more crucial that we continue to normalize the conversation surrounding it.

The truth is, big or small, we’ve all got something going on in our heads.

There’s no shame in your suffering, and you should feel comfortable standing by and talking about your mental health.

Don’t let the stigma stop you speak up, and speak often.

Clearly, we’re all in this together.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/new-study-stomps-stigma-showing-just-anyone-can-develop-mental-illness/2026490/

From Acne To Pregnancy, Here’s Every ‘Preexisting Condition’ That Could Put Your Insurance At Risk Under The Senate’s Healthcare Bill

Republicans in the Senate released an updated version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, their plan to overhaul the US healthcare system.

Included in the revised bill is an amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee that critics say could make plans with adequate coverage unaffordable to those who have certain medical conditions.

The amendment would allow plans to exist that don’t comply with two regulations set up under the Affordable Care Act: community rating and essential health benefits. The latter could have a big impact on preexisting conditions.

So what counts as a preexisting condition that could get you denied coverage under the new plan?

A lot.

A preexisting condition is a term insurance companies used before the ACA, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare, to classify certain diseases or health problems that could cause a person to be denied coverage or make their coverage more expensive than that of people considered healthy.

Before the ACA
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 27% of Americans under 65 have health conditions that could leave them without access to insurance. Some of the pre-existing conditions that insurers declined coverage because of before the ACA, according to the foundation, include diabetes and heart disease, which affects millions of Americans.

Skye Gould/Business Insider

Under the ACA

One of the critical parts of the ACA was that it prohibits insurers from denying coverage to or charging more for people with pre-existing conditions. That has been in effect since 2014.

That means that if you had any of those conditions listed above asthma, for instance you still could have the same insurance as someone who had a clean bill of health and someone who is a cancer survivor, pregnant, or obese.

How preexisting conditions could return with the Cruz amendment
The House of Representatives ran into a similar situation with the American Health Care Act, which passed a vote in the House with the MacArthur amendment attached. The amendment would allow states to avoid some of the regulations imposed by the ACA. Experts say that could weaken the regulations around preexisting conditions.

With the Cruz amendment, because some health plans wouldn’t have to necessarily adhere to the community rating, and essential health benefits, those that do would receive funding to offset the higher premiums that would result relative to the plans that don’t cover the regulations.

Whether that funding would be enough to make the plans affordable remains to be seen.

Read the original article on Tech Insider. Copyright 2017.

Read next: Teslas Model 3 is coming on Friday and its going to be the largest consumer-product launch ever

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/from-acne-to-pregnancy-heres-every-preexisting-condition-that-could-put-your-insurance-at-risk-under-the-senates-healthcare-bill/

Former Polish president Lech Wasa in hospital with heart trouble

Hero of Solidarity movement said to be unfortunately weak days after being booed by crowds at Trump speech in Warsaw

The former Polish president Lech Wasa, the leader of the Solidarity movement that helped overthrow communism, has been taken to hospital with heart problems.

His son, Jarosaw Wasa, said on Saturday his father was feeling unfortunately weak. The former president was being treated in the heart disease ward of the Gdask University clinic, in his home city.

On Thursday, the 73-year-old former Solidarity movement leader was booed by government-supporting crowds when he attended a speech by President Donald Trump in Warsaw.

Lech Wasa leads a crowd at a shipyard in Gdask in 1983. Photograph: Jacques Langevin/AP

Polands administration is critical of Wasas role in the countrys politics. Wasa, a Nobel peace prize laureate, accuses the government of threatening democracy and hurting Polands ties with the EUs leading nations.

He had been expected on Monday to lead a demonstration against monthly observances that Law and Justice (PiS), the ruling populist party, holds in memory of the former president Lech Kaczyski and 95 others killed in a 2010 plane crash in Russia. Kaczyskis twin brother, Jarosaw, is the head of PiS and Polands most powerful politician.

Wasa says the monthly observances are used to rally support for the ruling party.

The protest planned for central Warsaw will proceed even if Wasa cannot attend, said another pro-democracy activist, Wadysaw Frasyniuk.

In 1980, Wasa led a massive strike against Polands communist government, giving rise to the Solidarity freedom movement. Solidarity peacefully ousted the communists from power in 1989, ushering in democracy.

But Kaczyski claims that the transition included a secret deal that allowed the communists to retain some influence and wealth.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/08/polish-president-lech-walesa-hospital-solidarity

Is marriage making men gain weight?

Tying the knot can come with a slew of benefitsbut settling down might have one big downside: Being married could make you gain weight, according to a new study from the University of Baths School of Management in the U.K.

Using more than a decade of data from nearly 9,000 men in the United States, study author Joanna Syrda, Ph.D. discovered that married men had a significantly higher average body mass index (BMI) than men who were not married. And when looking at men who became dads, their most significant weight gain occurred right after the birth of their kids. (This new workout will completely change your definition of dad bod.)

But for guys whose marriages tanked? Their BMIs actually got lower following the divorce, potentially due to the effects of stress.

Related: This Is The Biggest Strain On Relationships, Survey Finds

So why does shacking up bump up your pants size? Syrda believes her findings might support past theories about relationships and weight gain. For instance, you might start eating your meals more regularly after you get married. Or, being married could expose you to more social situations that involve richer (AKA more caloric) foods.

Plus, people who are single, but looking for a long-term partner, might have more of a reason to put in the extra effort to stay fit, Syrda suggests. 

But letting yourself go can quickly become a problem. Being overweight puts you at greater risk for a number of serious diseases and health conditions, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related: Why Staying Up Late Makes You Gain Weight

Thats why understanding how different parts of your life influence your weight gain is important. It allows you to make better, more informed decisions about your health and eating habits, Syrda explains in a press release.

Just keep in mind that being a husband and father might not be the only thing contributing to the number on the scalethese 10 everyday traps can make you gain weight, too.

This article originally appeared on MensHealth.com

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/2017/06/23/is-marriage-making-men-gain-weight.html

8 Ways To Sleep Better When It’s Blistering Hot Outside

Jenni June raised four kids as a single mom, in homes in Oregon and Southern California where she wasnt able to have air conditioning. She says it was hard to see her kids struggle to sleep in the summer heat.

As a result, she developed some creative tricks to cool down her kids before bedtime, like dampening and freezing a teddy bear that they could take to bed.

It definitely broke my heart for my kids. It was hard to keep them cool and comfortable, and to protect their sleep, said June, who now works as a child and family sleep consultant. When a room is overheated because its warm outside, its a little more of a challenge to keep your core body temperature cool. And thats absolutely necessary for us to be able to segue into those deeper, more restorative stages of sleep, and transition from one sleep cycle to the next without full arousal in the middle of the night.

Cooler temperatures actually help your bodyproduce more melatonin, the powerful hormone that work to make you feel sleepy, she explained. So sleeping in a hot room where its nearly impossible to cool down will be an obstacle to a good nights rest. The effects of poor sleep are varied but often catastrophic, fromavoidable motor vehicle accidentsto increased risk of developing heart diseaseand Type 2 diabetes.

We chatted with a couple of sleep experts, including June, to find out some cheap and easy ways to sleep when its hot outside no air conditioner required.

1. Close the windows and draw the blinds

gpointstudio via Getty Images

This may seem counterintuitive. But June notes that closing windows, drawing shades and sealing up any drafts can help keep your bedroom cool before sundown.

As it cools off in the evening … thats a good time to have your windows open [and get some air circulating], she said. When your windows are closed, the best thing to do is circulate the air in the room with a good fan.

2. Open your bedroom door

Increasing air circulation is critical to cooling down your bedroom, June says.Opening your bedroom door to allow more airflow throughout your house can help keep you cool. She also suggests running as many fans as possible to create movement, and to help wick sweat away from the skin.

3. Sleep downstairs

Heat rises, which means its probably going to be cooler in a downstairs living room than an upstairs bedroom. June recommends building a makeshift bedroom for yourself if you have a cooler room downstairs layering blankets on the floor, inflating an air mattress or just spreading a sheet on the couch.

4. Eat lighter foods

Lisssbetha via Getty Images

Believe it or not, what you eat during the day can affect the quality of your sleep. Dr. Joyce Walsleben, a sleep expert and retired professor of medicine at New York University, recommends eating a bit less during the day and choosing lighter foods so your gut isnt working overtime and creating more heat.

5. Freeze your sheets

Or a towel, or a teddy bear, or a water bottle the point is to take something cold with you to bed to help cool your sleep environment.

One of my favorite tricks of all time that worked great with my four kids … was to take their top sheet, get it damp and wring it out and stick it in the freezer, June said. It wasnt so wet that it soaked the mattress, but it was damp enough that it helped them sleep well at night.

6. Take a cool shower or bath before bed

Adjusting your core body temperature is key to sleeping well, and taking a cool shower or bath before bed can help to facilitate that.

A cool shower or bath can significantly cool the body down, especially if its a longer, cool bath, Walsleben said. [That] also removes the oils of the day and allows your skin to breathe out toxins, too.

7. Drink plenty of cold beverages close to bedtime

PeopleImages via Getty Images

Walsleben recommends sipping an icy beverage while unwinding for an hour before bedtime. Like a cool shower, drinking ice-cold water can help bring down the bodys core temperature. (Just make sure the drink is caffeine-free and nonalcoholicotherwise, it can disrupt sleep.)

8. Sleep naked

If youre a never-nude, this tip may not work for you. However, June points out that sleeping in your birthday suit means you have less insulation when youre sleeping, which helps keep your body cool. If you just cant sleep without your PJs, try jammies that are 100 percent cotton. Its the most breathable fabric and will carry sweat away from the body.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/heat-and-sleeping_us_59494ffde4b0b90e99aa24b9