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‘Arrogance' of ignoring need for sleep - BBC

Thursday 12th June

We bring you the explanations behind the latest health headlines…

What’s the problem?
According to experts from some of the world’s top universities, we are getting between one and two hours less sleep per night than we did 60 years ago.

What you need to know.
Lack of sleep can affect our health in many ways - including increased risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, infections and obesity. Day to day, you may also find you are less productive, more impulsive and more irritable.

How much sleep we need varies from person to person - the well-known guide is eight hours, but some people need more and some less. As a good rule of thumb, if you’re finding yourself tired when you wake up and spend the day feeling like you need a nap, you need more sleep.

The study suggested that we are not giving ourselves enough time to sleep. We live in a world that is always on, and it can be difficult to make sure you get the sleep you need.

To get a good night’s sleep, make sure your bedroom is tidy, dark and cool, with no TVs, computers and mobiles. Don’t exercise close to bedtime. And if you really can’t sleep, don’t lie there getting frustrated - get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy again.

Useful links

Unmanned sunbeds should be banned: MPs - The Telegraph

What’s the problem?
There is no way of monitoring who is using unmanned sunbeds in the UK, and there is growing concern that this is putting people at risk - particularly the under 18s. Unmanned sunbeds are already banned in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and MPs want this to be extended to England.

What you need to know.
Exposure to UV rays, like those used in sunbeds, increases your risk of developing skin cancer. There has been a significant rise in the number of people developing skin cancer - over 13,000 people are diagnosed with the disease every year - up considerably from around 1,800 in 1975.

It is particularly important to protect young people, as those exposed to high levels of UV light before the age of 25 are at greater risk of developing skin cancer later in life. It is an offence for someone operating a sunbed business to allow access to those under 18, however, these MPs are calling for greater control to protect all users.

If you use sunbeds, or know someone in your family who does, there are guidelines from the NHS on safe use. These include not using sunbeds if you have fair skin, if you have a lot of moles or have been badly sunburnt in the past.

Useful links

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10827378/Unmanned-sunbeds-should-be-banned-MPs.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-27393917
http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/852.aspx?CategoryID=87

Trust your doctor, not Wikipedia, say scientists - BBC

What’s the problem?
Many people refer to Wikipedia for information on all sorts of topics - including health. However, Wikipedia is not compiled by medical experts - anyone can upload and change information on the site. A study suggested that nine out of 10 articles contain errors.

What you need to know.
When it comes to your health, it’s important to get information from reliable sources. In many cases, you need to speak to your doctor to get specific advice for you. If you are looking for online information, the NHS website covers a wide range of health issues and its information is up to date and in line with the latest guidelines. If in doubt, visit your GP or, if you’re a benenden health member, ring the GP helpline for more information on any health matter.

Useful links

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-27586356

This article has been brought to you using public health information freely available online (click on links in the article for more information).   benenden health has not provided any direct medical advice within this article.  Please consult the sources provided if you would like further information or support.

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