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Ask us what we did before boxsets and online streaming, and we probably wouldn’t even be able to tell you – THAT’S how important gorging on TV shows is in our lives, and we’re quite content to have it that way.

Well, at least we were quite happy – until new research from Japan revealed that binge-watching is actually slowly killing us.

Yep, that’s right; a team of scientists from Osaka University just published a report claiming that an adult who watches five or more hours’ worth of TV a day increases their risk of developing a blood clot in the lung by 250 percent.

So it sounds like a lot but, when you break it down, five hours is the equivalent of half a season of Game of Thrones and Gossip Girl (almost) – in other words, that time can pass by in the blink of an eye!

For the research, the team of scientists studied a group of over 86,000 men and women, following them over a period of 19 years. To make their all-important findings, they also consulted surveys the men and women had filled out in relation to their telly-watching habits.

By the end of the study, it emerged that 56 people had died from what are known as pulmonary embolisms, or blood clots in the lungs – which typically develop from long periods of idleness.

Through their research, the team were able to conclude that those who sat and watched five or more hours’ worth of TV per day were two-and-a-half times more likely to die from the blood clot.

How deeply scary and upsetting is that?

For those who are seriously concerned about how they’re going to cut down their telly time, the study’s lead researcher did share some advice: make sure to take breaks during your boxset marathons.

“After an hour or so, stand up, stretch, walk around; or while you’re watching TV, tense and relax your leg muscles for minutes,” advised Dr Hiroyasu Iso.

We hear ya, doc. Now, time to get started on a detailed Netflix time chart!

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Has anyone else been singing along to Last Christmas on your morning commute or have I been bitten by the Christmas bug a little too early?

I adore Christmas music and once December rolls around it’s all I want to listen to.

Whether its Fairytale of New York or Driving Home for Christmas, I’ll sing along to every classic.

And it turns out it’s really good for us.

A recent study has discovered that Christmas music actually has a positive impact on our health.

Researchers at McGill University explained that Christmas music makes us feel happy and upbeat because it can often trigger happy memories in our minds.

The team gathered a group of people to take part in an experiment to prove their point. They split the group into four and got each of them to listen to four genres of music- happy, peaceful, scary and sad.

The researchers discovered that when the people listened to happy music, they thought of happy memories.

Christmas music is one of my favourite things about the holidays so this news has made me feel pretty merry. 

I hate to say I told you so to all of the Grinches out there but… I told you so.

 

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It has long been claimed that flowers have a therapeutic effect on those who surround themselves with them, but science had yet to truly back it up.

Research conducted by the American Society For Horticulture Science has recently revealed that fresh flowers can have the ability to ease feelings of anxiety, and even physical pain. 

The study evaluated whether or not plants have an influence on surgical patients, and we're pretty surprised by these results. 90 participants were split into rooms with plants or without, and those with foliage feelings have different outcomes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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According to the research, those who were exposed to flowers had lower heart rates and blood pressure, decreased ratings of fatigue, anxiety and pain, and harboured more positive feelings and higher satisfaction about their rooms.

It's now suggested that flowers should be 'complementary medicine' for recovering patients. It's time to click your fingers and insist that a crowd of men throw a bouquet at you every few minutes…for health reasons.

Flowers are often the go-to gift for celebrating milestones, or for offering messages of hope or condolences. Good old science has just given us the opportunity to buy our own blooms, for self-care.

According to a study published in Complementary Therapies In Medicine, bouquets of flowers can reduce our stress levels.

The researchers gave college-age women a fresh vase of roses for their accommodation, and the subjects felt more relaxed than they did before. Whether it's psycho-somatic, or true therapy, it seems to work.

It seems like an easy breezy way to experience multiple health benefits while keeping your home aesthetically lush. Apparently, indoor plants and gardening come with health advantages similar to gym workouts.

We like this, we like this A LOT.

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No matter how much you might love your job, there are few among us who don't find ourselves struggling against those classic Sunday Night Blues as Monday morning creeps ever closer.

And such is the extent of our weekly woe, many of us fail to realise the true potential of a well-spent Sunday evening.

Relaxing and unwinding before diving back into the working week is essential, but so too is putting a little prep and planning into ensuring a successful week ahead.

From brisk walks and at-home manicures to goal checklists, reclaiming your Sunday with our simple P plan has never been so easy.

Press pause

There comes a point on Sunday evening when you have to accept that the weekend is coming to an end, and it's time to look ahead and stop clinging to the last vestige of the previous days' festivities.

While it sounds harsh, there is no point in dragging your Sunday Fear into Monday morning because you were unable to draw a line under your days off.

Telling yourself you're simply pressing pause on your down-time until next weekend is a simple way to focus your mind.

Plan your week

Much of the anxiety brought about by Sunday night stems from concern over commitments and responsibilities awaiting us in the week ahead.

Take 30 minutes to sit down and consider the next five days, so you have a clear idea of what is expected from you.

It sounds like a bummer to consider work-related events during time-off, but it really helps to alleviate stress.

Pamper yourself

After you've accepted the fact that work is looming, and dedicated some time to considering the week ahead, it's time to focus on treating yo'self!

Why not indulge your hands with an at-home manicure from Sally Hansen which guarantees a salon finish without the price tag? With an incredible array of products which protect, condition and strengthen your nails, Sally Hansen provides you with all the tools need for a high-quality treatment from the comfort of your own home.

Taking the time to pamper yourself on a Sunday evening is a guaranteed way to relax, and ease yourself into the next five days.

Pound the streets

It's rare you'll return from a brisk walk and not feel much better than when you left.

Shake off the cobwebs from the weekend's excesses by grabbing your runners and going for a 30 minute walk around your neighbourhood.

Not only will it help you sleep better (something that is absolutely vital on a Sunday night), but it will help clear your head if your planning hasn't quite done the job!

Prepare your outfit

A very simple way to rid yourself of Sunday night fear is to prepare an outfit (from underwear to accessories) for the following morning.

Take the time to iron your clothes, and tidy out your handbag so your Monday morning doesn't involve frantically rooting through your laundry bin or fighting your way through mountains of receipts in search of your Leap Card.

Covering the little things makes Monday mornings so much more doable.

Praise and preach

Now is the time to truly relax… because it is still the weekend, after all!

Praise yourself for getting ahead of the game by tending to vital tasks, give props to yourself for taking the time to treat yourself, and remind your friends to do the same by getting straight on WhatsApp and preaching the good word!

 

Brought to you by
Sally Hansen

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There’s one debate that has been dividing women for quite some time.

Bra on or bra off when it come to sleep?

Some of us spend our evening commute dreaming of the moment we finally get to take the damn thing off while others can wear them for 24 hours straight and barely notice they're there. (Sorry, but how?)

Well, according to Mia Talmor, a plastic surgeon at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, neither option is necessarily better than the other.

However, she did confirm that, contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that wearing a bra to bed will prevent your boobs from sagging.

She told SELF: "Bras are designed to help with vertical positioning. But when you’re lying in bed, you need more horizontal support."

However, if you still insist on wearing a bra while sleeping, it is important to get the fit just right.

Plastic surgeon, Matthew Schulman also spoke to SELF, and recommended women wear ‘’a supporting bra made of breathable fabric that does not have padding or underwire’’ while sleeping.

He warned of the possible effects wearing a tight fitting bra could have on your health:

‘Wearing a bra that is too tight can inhibit flow of lymphatic fluid, this can cause lymphedema (swelling) of the breasts, which can lead to pain and some temporary skin discoloration.’

And let's be real, that doesn't sound great.

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So we all love brunch, it's become a bit of a Sunday institution.

There is nothing better than tucking into a perfect plate of Insta-worthy poached eggs.

Now, we don't even have to justify our Sunday foodie splurging, because brunch is good for your health, as discovered by Real Simple

5. Brunch foods often include healthy ingredients.

Eggs, avocados, salmon and whole meal toast make up some of the most popular brunch dishes.

All of these fresh ingredients are chock-a-block full of protein, nutrients and healthy fats, so get that perfect avocado toast picture and bask in your smug healthy glow.

That being said, we'll still be opting for fluffy pancakes and Belgian waffles occasionally. 

4. You get your beauty sleep. 

Making sure your body gets all the sleep it needs is important, so rather than getting up for breakfast, sleeping in for brunch could actually be good for you. 

Sleep is involved in the healing and repair processes of the body, including of the heart and blood vessels.

Sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. 

3. Socialising is good for the mental health.

Humans are social creatures, and brunch brings people together. 

"Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression. Research has shown that one sure way of improving your mood is to work on building social connections," according to Psychology Today

2. Getting out of the house is full of health benefits. 

It's good to actually leave the house during the weekend to do something other than party.

Strolling to your local bistro for brunch is a good way to incorporate a few extra minutes of exercise, and getting some sunlight on that Irish pallor is necessary for a well needed vitamin D boost. 

 

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1. Brunch is well balanced

Most brunch meals have a good mix of carbs, proteins and healthy fats.

A multi-faceted brunch meal is often much healthier and provides you with better nutrients all round than grabbing something quick for breakfast and lunch. 

 

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Causes of Hair Loss in Women (and men!)

Looking for comprehensive information on hair loss in men and women? Hair loss has become almost commonplace nowadays. And while there are several factors and causes, it’s important to understand your treatment options and the different ways to stop hair loss before it starts to severely impact your life and self-esteem.

Whether you’re suffering from male or female pattern baldness, here are the top causes of hair loss and what you can do to treat thinning or bald spots and start stimulating healthy hair growth.

What Is Hair Loss?

Hair loss affects nearly 80 million men and women due to hereditary hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Some people only experience the loss on their scalp and face while others see hair loss all throughout their body.

On average, individuals lose about 50 to 100 hairs each day, which isn’t noticeable given that that most people have 100,000 hairs on their head alone. New hair should grow in where the lost hair falls out, but those suffering from alopecia see an adverse effect.

To detect what an abnormal amount of hair loss looks like, collect the hair that falls out during a shower to see if it comes out in large clumps. It is natural to have a small section of hair come out during scrubbing but finding large rounds of hair stuck in the drain after just one shower may mean there is a bigger problem at hand. Talk to a doctor to see if alopecia is a viable diagnosis and discuss possible treatment plans.

Causes of Hair Loss in Men and Women

Many people begin losing their hair from a hereditary issue rather than it randomly occurring. If that is what is happening, it may be due to a new hair care product or medicine that affects the growth of hair or causes hair loss.

Hormones

Otherwise, it may be due to new hormones the body is producing with age. People going through puberty may find that their hair is thinning or falling out because of the changes in their body.

Eventually, those should level out and allow the hair to go back to its normal state. Other hormonal changes from pregnancy, childbirth, discontinuing birth control pills and menopause are all events after puberty that can have a huge effect on the way hair grows.

Medication

Certain medications to treat illnesses are the main cause for hair loss. For those going through chemotherapy to treat cancer, hair will fall out at a rapid rate but continue growing back as the treatment halts.

Health Issues

High blood pressure, arthritis and heart problems all contribute to hair loss and medications to treat each of them can expect the side effects. Ensure that none of them will be individually life-threatening as it is listing the side effects on the medicine bottles at the time of prescription pick-up.

On the other hand, even exposure to harsh chemicals in your shampoo and conditioner can contribute to skin irritation and loss. Therefore men and women must be very careful about their hair care products. Switching to a good shampoo for hair loss and growth can ensure natural ingredients that will protect and nourish your hair follicles to promote regrowth.

Other Reasons

If none of the previous issues are what is causing the hair loss, consider recent life events that may be physically triggering to the body.

Recently experiencing a traumatic car crash may cause the body to be losing its hair as a physical coping mechanism. A death in the family can cause financial and emotional stress as arrangements for funerals and travel begin filling everyday life.

Again, the body can react in many ways to trauma and hair loss is one of them. Consult a professional therapist and doctor to determine if either of these issues are what is causing recent hair loss.

Treatment Options

Although hair loss is affecting a large portion of men and women in America, there are multiple ways to work against it without damaging existing hair. As always, consult a doctor or dermatologist before seeking out any of these treatment options as they will be able to define the most suitable option.

Medication

Over the counter medicines are the typical way treatment options begin for hair loss. Many include an ingredient called minoxidil (Rogaine), which is the main active ingredient to reboot the hair loss.

Many of these products are taken over the counter and applied directly to the scalp to determine if a topical treatment is all that is needed. Be cautious before using these products as they might create hair growth in places other than the desired area.

Minoxidil can also cause irritation to the scalp that provokes scratching and allows hair to weaken over time.

Procedures

If the hair loss is getting to a point that topical treatments are not the answer, going under the knife may be the only option to prevent it from spreading or continuing.

Hair transplant surgery involves moving small plugs of the hair and inserting some into bald sections. This procedure works well for those who have hair loss running in their families and see the affect hitting the top of their head.

Keep in mind that this method requires multiple surgeries as it is a progressive type of hair loss.

A scalp reduction is also an option for those are experiencing extreme hair loss in one area of their head. A surgeon will remove the section of the scalp without hair and replace it with a section that does have hair.

The surgeon also has the option to fold a flap of the scalp over the area that is balding. On the opposite end of the scalp reduction, there is an option to get a tissue expansion that allows the surgeon to insert an expander in the first surgery and take it out during the second.

Over the span of a month, the expander will allow stretch out the part of the scalp with hair and allow the bald spots to decrease.

Although they promise that the hair growth will come back, there is a chance that the hair will grow back patchy.

Some experience bleeding of the scalp, wide scars, and possible infection. Beyond these side effects of the surgery, there is a possibility that the surgery will not be successful for everyone.

Prevention

Ensuring head health is the number one way to prevent hair loss. Do not have hair in a tight bun or braid on a consistent basis as it encourages the hair to pull back and create a receding hairline.

Chemical treatments, excessive heat and blow dryers have been known to cause hair loss. Using a gentle baby shampoo can be a short-term solution to figure out if a current beauty regiment is not working.

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Operation Transformation is taking a 20/20 vision to health in the New Year.  

Presenter Kathryn Thomas is back to spearhead the latest campaign to get the nation moving. Once again, they are encouraging the Irish public to get up, get active and get healthy. Over the course of the 8-week show, they’ll be giving the nation the tools they need to get moving, lose weight and feel great.

Kathryn Thomas is thrilled to be back. She says, “I can’t wait for the next season of OT! The leaders are what make the show every year. For me, an OT leader is somebody who is really ready and committed to changing their lives. Someone who is sick of feeling stuck and knows that 2020 is the year to change everything! To take back control and to help countless people as they help themselves.”

From September 27, the public gets yet another chance to become a part of the big Operation Transformation journey, as a nationwide search gets underway to find the next five brave new leaders to inspire the country to health and wellness in 2020.

For the first time in its history, OT will be based in the heartland of Ireland – Co. Offaly. They’ll be looking to sort out the mid-rift of the midlands in January and February and inspire the whole country to get fit, get active and get healthy.

Dr Aileen McGloin, Director of Marketing & Communications with Operation Transformation sponsors safefood said: “2020 marks ten years of our sponsorship of Operation Transformation and we’re delighted with the role it plays in helping communities to get healthier together. Our most recent research shows that 1 in 3 people who watched OT reported making a positive lifestyle change as a result of the show. We’re looking forward to inspiring more people to become part of the OT movement and make a start on their own weight-loss journey next year.”

Last year saw the biggest turn-out yet for the hugely popular GAA lights up campaign – helping communities across the 32 counties come together and enjoy getting fit and healthy in the safe surroundings of their local GAA club. The annual nationwide walks campaign also saw people turn out in record numbers all across the country.

This morning, presenter Kathryn Thomas joined former leaders Cathal Gallagher (Donegal), Pamela Swayne (Cork), Siobhan O’Brien (Dublin) and Paul Murphy (Sligo) to announce the call out for the thirteenth season of the show.

Image result for ireland jean tierney

Not available was ex-leader Jean Tierney who won the hearts of the nation with her story of miscarriages and child loss. However last season, Jean had to leave the programme mid-way for the most wonderful reason imaginable. Jean discovered she was in the very early stages of pregnancy and had to withdraw from the show as a leader. Jean welcomed a beautiful baby boy a few weeks ago and they're both doing well.

All four of last year’s leaders forged ahead with their health and weight-loss journeys after the cameras left their homes and communities, and together they have ditched a whopping 13st 13lbs (87kg) since starting the Operation Transformation food and fitness plan in January 2019.

Their success has been amazing and an inspiration to anyone wanting to make that change.

So, if you think the time is right for you to turn your life around. If you want this to be YOUR year to get fit and healthy, then now is the time to apply.

Application Link – https://submit.link/dVNOH

Email – ot@vipmg.tv

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/OpTranRTE/

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A clinical trial testing the first ever vaccine to treat chlamydia has passed the initial round of testing, according to The Journal.

Scientists have now moved closer to a superior treatment for the STI after patients reacted well to a newly developed vaccine.

The Lancet journal have published a study which found that the first trial of the vaccine discovered it was safe and provoked the hoped-for immune system response.

Over 131 million people become infected by chlamydia annually, and the disease is undeniably a global issue. The highest number of new cases are discovered in teenagers and young adults.

Chlamydia is known as the 'silent' STI, as it usually fails to produce symptoms. Scientists are hopeful that a vaccine is the best way to fight the disease, which is reaching epidemic proportions.

National treatment programmes have predominantly failed to curb high rates, including testing and antibiotics. Those infected potentially develop partial or temporary immunity to the STI.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Researchers at Imperial College London and the Statens Serum Institiut, Copenhagen, were successful in their initial vaccine test.

The trial included 35 women, and two formulations of the vaccine were trialed. Scientists advice focusing on just one formulation going forward.

“A global unmet medical need exists for a vaccine against genital chlamydia,” said Prof Peter Andersen of the Statens Serum Institut, who called the extent of the disease an “epidemic”. 

One-in-six women experience inflammation of the pelvis due to chlamydia, which can lead to chronic pain, infertility or ectopic pregnancy as well as increasing susceptibility to other STIs.

“Although many more years of research are needed before this vaccine is marketed, we are planning the next stage of research,” said Helene B Juel of the Statens Serum Institut. 

Almost 8,000 cases of chlamydia were reported between 2017 and 2018 nationwide. Latest figures show that there was a 7 percent increase in sexually transmitted infections during those years.

Men made up a higher number of cases of STIs overall but for chlamydia, men and women were equally likely to become infected. 

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A brand new campaign in England has been launched in order for beauty salons to encourage cervical cancer screenings.

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust released a worrying survey in January revealing that many young women are put off from having smear tests.

According to the charity, eight out of 10 women surveyed stated that they delayed or failed to attend a cervical cancer screening out of embarrassment.

Online beauty marketplace Treatwell has claimed that cervical screening attendance is at a 20-year low, but the number of women choosing to have intimate waxing treatments is on the rise,

To combat the declining amount of women having smear tests, Treatwell has teamed up with Public Health England (PHE) to launch the "Life Saving Wax" initiative.

Over 500 Treatwell partner salons across England will place posters and information about cervical screenings in their salons today.

Beauty therapists are also being supported in their goal to talk to customers about cervical screenings and provide advice on where they can discover the right information.

A study carried out by Treatwell of 1,006 women aged between 25 and 34 revealed that almost half (47 percent) of participants said that they feel comfortable speaking with beauty therapists about personal topics.

Three quarters of the people interviewed stated that they would listen to their beauty therapist's advice.

The director of Screening Programmes at PHE, Professor Anne Mackie, says that the organisation is "thrilled" to be partnering with Treatwell on the campaign.

"Two lives are lost every day to cervical cancer but this needn’t be the case. Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts as the test identifies potentially harmful cells before they become cancerous and ensures women get the right treatment as soon as possible," Professor Mackie states.

"The decline in numbers getting screened, particularly those aged between 25 – 34, is a major concern as it means millions of women are missing out on a potentially life-saving test."

Beauty director at Treatwell, Liz Hambleton, explains that beauticians are "uniquely placed" to discuss personal topics with customers;

"We see thousands of women booking intimate waxes everyday through Treatwell, so when we heard that women aren’t attending a potentially life-saving test due to embarrassment, we wanted to see how we could change this," Hambleton states.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"Just one conversation is all it could take to remind or encourage someone to go for their screening when invited."

Each year in England between 2016 to 2016, about 2,600 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than a quarter of those diagnosed died from the illness.

A study published in the British Journal of Cancer claims that if everyone who was invited for a smear test went to their appointment regularly, an incredible 83 percent of cervical cancer cases could be prevented.

However, more than one in four women who are invited for a smear test don't have the procedure, says Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust.

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Kissing is fun, everybody knows that. But who would have known that the act of smooching can actually give you HEALTH BENEFITS? 

Does it heal your broken heart, clear your skin and boost your immune system? You're about to find out.

Strap yourselves in ladies, here are each and every glorious health benefit of puckering up. You should probably find someone to practice on…you know, for the sake of your body. It's a temple, isn't it?

Just don't do it like this:

mr bean love GIF

According to a 2009 scientific study, when we kiss somebody, our bodies release hormones which can actually ease stress. In the case of men, it increases bonding too. We love a good bromance alert.

Oral healthcare, anyone?

Now, we're not saying that you shouldn't brush your teeth or use mouthwash, but allegedly, a good kiss marathon is great news for your teeth and gums. How? Listen up:

Andréa Demirjian, author of Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures, explains:

“When you’re kissing, you’re secreting more saliva in your mouth. That’s the mechanism that washes away the plaque on your teeth that leads to cavities.” A shift a day keeps the dental plaque away, girlos.

allison janney kiss GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

It acts as a painkiller (Seriously)

Your achy, break-y heart deserves some attention. Especially when you've got some form of cramps, like your time of the month.

Apparently, some lip action actually helps to reduce the effects of chronic pain. Some savvy scientists at Current Pharmaceutical Design conducted some research into smooching, learned that the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin is packed full of analgesic painkilling properties.

Oxytocin s released whenever you kiss and hug your partner, so do it as much as possible, we say. Blood vessel dilation after a good kissing sesh is great for reducing aches and pains, so when you're on your period, pucker up. You NEED it, right?

ryan gosling kiss GIF

Hayfever or Bae-fever?

Anyone who suffers from allergies can rejoice at this news; apparently kissing eases itchy eyes and snotty noses (ew).

Researchers at Satou Hospital in Japan investigated the protective effect of kissing against allergies, and claim that locking lips for only 30 minutes can do wonders for the immune system.

It decreases the release of histamine (the chemical which is produced in response to allergens) as it relaxes you, and also can work miracles for eczema sufferers. Is there anything a great shift can't do?

blooming lisa simpson GIF

No pressure, honeys

So apparently, kissing can even reduce your blood pressure? We've all felt butterflies in our stomachs and a weakening of the ol' knees, as well as a quickening heartbeat, and now we've figured out that kissing passionately does even more:

Demirjian explains: “It gets your heartbeat revved in a healthy way that lowers your blood pressure. It dilates the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely, taking pressure off your organs, especially your heart and brain.”

Hot Diggedy Damn, we're 100 percent HERE for this science.

Feel Better In Love GIF

Let's talk about sex, baby, let's talk about you + me

Your sex life gets some HELLA drastic improvements from kissing; the two go together like Grace & Frankie, like women and vibrators, like Netflix and chill. You get the idea.

Kissing is also WAY more likely to increase your chances of having an orgasm. Lord knows we could use some of those…

As Carol Queen, the staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, explains;

“Kissing is a powerful type of foreplay… it helps increase the chances that both partners will have a good and pleasurable erotic experience.”

sexy nun GIF by Originals

Face the Facts

So BASICALLY, kissing involves more than 30 facial muscles, which can be given a major workout from a good kiss.

According to Demirjian, tongue wrestling can strengthen your neck and jawline – very good news, as these are particularly tricky spots to exercise on a daily basis.

“Your mouth has a number of facial muscles,” she says. “When those are engaged in kissing, you can tighten and tone them.”

Tighten and tone, you say? Sign us up.

muscles what GIF

2019 Mood

A perfectly-timed kiss can be the ideal mood booster. If scientists are saying it, then it must be true, right?

Puckering up can give your body a big-time release of happiness hormones, such as serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. Ooh la la.

Those hormonal bad boys can help you relax, restore and revitalise your system. What more could you need?

romantic lady and the tramp GIF

NOW do you believe us about scientific research? 

Grab that lad or lassie and get your smooch on, it's for your own benefit, and theirs too.

Your doctor has officially given you one prescription to visit the LOVE shack *winks* 

Get it, gurrrlllll…

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Chronic insomnia is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world, where individuals find it difficult or impossible to sleep.

The NHS Inform defines insomnia as a challenge to stay asleep “for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning." While it's treatable and can be targeted in a variety of ways, it can be hugely debilitating for those who suffer with it.

Changing your sleep habits, diagnosing underlying issues like mental or physical health condition or using over-the-counter sleeping medication can combat insomnia, but therapy can also help, according to a new study.

A recent study published in the British Journal of General Practice has found that therapy may actually be the best choice of treatment.

Researchers at Queen's University Ontario, Canada, found that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps to fight chronic insomnia successfully, despite the fact that it's often used to combat mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

CBT can apparently be used to change the way your mind thinks about sleep. It's regularly offered through a therapist with "the number of sessions you need depending on the difficulty you need help with.”

The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies describes CBT as therapy which is “based on the theory that thoughts, feelings, and what we do and how our body feels are all connected.”

The Guardian reports that the study was conducted through “four randomised control trials, with between 66 and 201 participants of mixed ages.”

Researchers from the trials found “that participants fell asleep on average nine to 30 minutes sooner after completing a course of CBT for insomnia and experienced a reduction of between 22 and 36 minutes in the amount of time spent awake after going to sleep.”

In the study, data analysts found that those who received CBT treatment for between four to six sessions found improvement with their insomnia and that these improvements “were generally well maintained for 3-12 months post-treatment.”

This was compared to the results of those who received treatment “in which the format or content veered substantially from conventional CBT which were less conclusive.”

With blue light from laptop and phone screens increasingly causing sleep disruption, and considering how hard it is to switch our brains off from the hectic attention-grabbing modern lifestyle, CBT therapy sounds great to us.

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