Sleep Deprivation

Debra Goldschmidt, a CNN writer, stated sleep deprivation is such a widespread problem that last year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called insufficient sleep “a public health epidemic.”

Goldschmidt stated teenagers may be suffering the most.  Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health titled the problem “The Great Sleep Recession” in a new report published in the journal Pediatrics.  They “surveyed more than 270,000 teens in eighth, 10th and 12th grades between 1991 and 2012 and found teens are getting less and less sleep.”  The normal amount of sleep is seven hours a day, which is “two hours less” than the nine hours they should be having.

Goldschmidt stated Katherine W. Keyes, lead researcher and assistant professor of epidemiology at Mailman, says her and her team believe less sleep could be due to increased Internet and social media use as well as pressure and competition from college.

Goldschmidt stated not getting enough sleep effects our minds and bodies regardless of age.  She stated sleep deprivation causes us to eat more and it “shrinks our brains, is linked to Type 2 diabetes, leads to slow reaction time that can impair driving and can even cause false memories.”

Goldschmidt stated there are proven things people can do to fall asleep and sleep better after they fall asleep.  A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine says “mindful meditation helps adults fall asleep and stay asleep.”

Goldschmidt also stated the National Sleep Foundation recommends a relaxing bedtime ritual, settling down before bed and meditation.  The Foundation also recommends “waking up and going to bed at the same time every day and using bright lights to help wake up.”  They also advised to avoid naps; and heavy meals, alcohol and cigarettes at night.

Carnegie Mellon Sends Out 800 Mistaken Acceptance Letters

Carnegie Mellon applicants experienced excitement and aggravation on February 18th.  According to the Associated Press at the Chicago Tribune, the Pittsburgh institution sent an email of acceptance for its master of science in computer science program to 800 students and then sent another saying the acceptances were sent in error and that they were rejected.

The Associated Press at the Chicago Tribune stated Carnegie Mellon spokesman Kenneth Walters said the “Welcome to Carnegie Mellon!” messages were severe errors in the university’s process for making acceptance letters and that the University would conduct a review to prevent future errors.

The university sent a follow-up email to the rejected students Tuesday afternoon, saying its system had “incorrectly flagged” applicants as being admitted.

The Associated Press at the Chicago Tribune stated Carnegie Mellon’s computer science graduate school “tied for No. 1 with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent rankings.”

The Associated Press at the Chicago Tribune stated Elisa Davis, a consultant who helped prepare for the graduate admissions tests, said she had never heard of mistaken acceptance letters at the graduate school level; especially due to the process being much more personal than for undergraduates.

Davis stated “people need to put care into things that affect other people.  I’m very disappointed in them.”

Nestle Dropping Artificial Color and Flavor from its Chocolate

According to CNN writer Chris Isidore, Nestle said they will become the first major candy maker to eliminate all artificial color and flavors from its chocolates.

Isidore stated the company said the change will be finished by the end of 2015.  It will include more than 250 products including “Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger, 100 Grand, Oh Henry and Baby Ruth chocolate bars.”

Isidore stated Nestle do not believe consumers will be able to tell the difference.

Leslie Mohr, the nutrition, health and wellness manager for Nestle, stated “when making these changes to more than 75 recipes, maintaining the great taste and appearance consumers expect from the chocolate brands they know and love is our No. 1 priority.”

Isidore stated an example is Nestle changing the crunchy center of the Butterfinger bars, and change their color to annatto, which comes from the seeds found in the fruit from the achiote tree.  That replaces its use of the dyes Red 40 and Yellow 5.  Isidore also stated that in Crunch bars, natural vanilla flavor will replace artificial vanillin.