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Cooling down a whirring brain can help you sleep, literally. An American scientist has developed a cap that chills the frontal cortex, slowing activity and helping promote a restful sleep. Dr Eric Nofzinger, of the Universitty of Pittsburg, tried his water filled cap on 24 people, half of whom had insomnia. He found that the insomniacs that were treated with the maximum cooling intensity took about 13 minutes to fall asleep and slept for 89% of the time that they were in bed; this was similar to the time spent asleep by those patients who slept normally. This group took an average of 16 minutes to fall asleep and also slept for 89% of the time. Insomnia is associated with increased metabolism in the frontal cortex. Reduced metabolism seems to promote good sleep. The cap could provide those who struggle to sleep well with a safer and healthier alternative to sleeping pills, and it’s hoped that a large scale trial of the cap will begin soon.
Structured exercise has also proven to be very effective in curing or helping insomnia. If you can’t manage to get it done on your own then you might want to think about some sessions with one of the Diets Don’t Work personal trainers in Windsor and Berkshire. They can not only help with exercise but all block bookings of personal training sessions include nutritional assessment and advice. Both exercise and good healthy eating will really help counteract the stresses common to modern life and get you the good night’s sleep that you need!
Our bootcamp is now up and running in Batchelors Acre in Central Windsor. Unlike many other military styled exercises classes in Berkshire our bootcamp is run by advanced REPS (Register of Exercise Professionals) level 3 personal trainers. This has the advantage of not just a well planned and executed class that is suitable and effective for all levels, but our personal trainers can also give nutritional tips, are sports injury qualified so can offer advice of any injuries or niggles that need fixing and also have lots of experience in getting the best out of clients from all walks of life.
Thanks to those who have been coming so far, we have a great group of friendly people and new comers are made to feel most welcome. Well done to Susie, who is the current assault course record holder and looks set to move up from the beginners group to the advanced ones!
Remember that the Windsor class is currently run by our head of training personal trainer Adam Atkinson.
Have a look on the bootcamp page for more information.
An interesting article taken here from the BBC website. Those interested in changing behaviour might want to read some of the books by Allen Carr, whether you are a smoker or not..
Whether or not we opt for “healthy” choices is largely down to our environment according to the LSE’s Professor Paul Dolan. In this week’s Scrubbing Up, he says government does have a role in “nudging” us in the right direction. Did you have a couple of beers too many again at the weekend? Did you skip the gym again last night? Did you buy and then devour that giant size chocolate bar on special offer for a quid? Such choices might make you happier, but they might not. In fact, you might be behaving in all sorts of ways that are not consistent with your overall happiness. And, as an academic interested in human behaviour and happiness, I care about that. I care that, as a result of lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol misuse and poor diet, many people get sick and die prematurely.
Behaviour is ‘not thought about’
Policy-makers care too, of course. For decades, they have provided us with more information about health risks and have used a range of financial and legal incentives that change the consequences of our behaviour. But these interventions can only get us so far, and they nearly always widen the health gap between rich and poor. In contrast to models of rational choice suggesting that we respond to information and incentives in very considered and thoughtful ways, recent behavioural insights suggest that human behaviour is actually led by our emotional and fallible brain, and influenced greatly by the context or environment in which many of our decisions are taken.
Behaviour is not so much thought about; it simply comes about. At the same time as the limitations of traditional approaches have become apparent, policies that change the context or “nudge” people in particular directions have captured the imagination of policy-makers. I have been involved in translating the lessons from the behavioural sciences into practical policy tools. There are some particularly robust effects that influence behaviour in largely automatic ways, which we have gathered up under ‘MINDSPACE’, and which is now being used by policy-makers when thinking about effective nudges.
These are the ways we are influenced:-
Recent behavioural insights shift the policy focus from the idea of an autonomous individual making rational decisions to a “situated” decision-maker, whose behaviour is largely automatic and influenced by context and “choice architecture”.
This raises questions about who decides on this architecture and on what basis.
Many people dislike the thought of government intruding into areas of personal responsibility but they also realise that the state should have a role in behaviour change, especially when one person’s behaviour has consequences for another person’s well-being. So we don’t want the government to stop us enjoying a few beers with our mates, we do want them to do something about anti-social drinking on the streets. There are some complex political and ethical issues here but one thing is certain – we are being influenced – and influencing others – all the time. The choice environment is rarely neutral and “choice architects” will always be shaping decisions whether they like it or not. Given the importance of context on our behaviour where possible, we should be doing what we can to construct an environment likely to improve wellbeing rather than worsen it.
It is hard to disagree with that.
Our new bootcamp has now kicked off in Batchelors Acre in central Windsor, Berkshire. Many thanks to those willing victims who turned up for their free trial, I hope that you all found the class effective and not too punishing. The grouping of the class into three groups of different abilities is working well, the piggy back races were great and we saw some good burpees too!
The Windsor bootcamp runs on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm and there is also a daytime class on Friday mornings at 9:30 am. We would like to encourage not just new clients to try the bootcamp, but for our personal training clients in the Windsor and Maidenhead areas it’s a great addition to having a personal trainer and should provide a new variation to make your body adapt and improve even more.