Daily Archives: September 15, 2016

Is it better to Study With Music or Without?

Is it better to Study With Music or Without?

Lately I have been thinking about what makes good and bad study habits as I am starting to have more and more exams as the weeks go on. Being in college, and having a roommate, I have realized that two different people can have different study habits. For example, the main one that becomes an issue for me and my roommate is that I like to study and do homework with music playing in the background, and she likes quiet. This got me to thinking if one way was better or more efficient than another.


There are certain times that listening to music while studying is efficient, and times when it is less efficient. Specifically, before studying for an exam or doing homework studies have shown that listening to music allows the student to keep their attention more on the task at hand and for a longer period of time. Listening to music before studying can also help your memorization skills. However, when it comes to the actual memorizing, and not before, listening to music my hinder the student’s ability to remember the information. This is especially true if the music they are listening to has lyrics. This is due to the fact that the music and the task at hand are speaking the same language and the student may get confused as to which one they are supposed to remember. On the contrary, listening to music while doing a task that is in a different language, for example math problems, helps improves the student’s ability to perform accurately and stay focused.

Studies have shown that students thrive in their school work and studying when they are in a better mood. Researchers claim that music is one way student’s can get into that relaxed mood in order to studying most efficiently. Of course, the type of music a student’s listens to while doing work as some effect on the student’s results or ability to retain the knowledge. Researchers suggest that the best music to listen to while studying are ones without lyrics, especially classical music, because the lyrics heard can confuse the student with the information they are trying to learn. However, no one really listens to music without lyrics anymore, so researchers also suggest music that is calming but also has an upbeat tempo so the student doesn’t fall asleep. They suggest not listening to music that it too upbeat because that can just end up being a distraction. The music should not be too loud or too soft, because that can result in falling asleep or a lack of focus.
Overall, listening to music while studying is just dependent on the person as to whether it will help or hinder their performance in school. Personally, I love to listen to music while I study or do work. I tend to listen to songs that I know really well so I can just mindlessly listen to them in the background, while my focus is primarily on my schoolwork.

Elana Goodwin on January 31, 2015. “Do Or Don’t: Studying While Listening To Music.” Uloop. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Effects of Yoga on the Brain

Well I tried something new yesterday and it was awesome! I’d never taken a yoga class before, but my friend was interested so I figured I’d tag along. I had always heard that yoga had calming effects and stimulated some parts of the brain while relaxing others, but I assumed that was just something that people said to get other people to try it. How could an exercise have that much impact on someone’s brain? I always thought of exercise as a way to change your body, not your mind. Well after taking this yoga class, I felt completely different and did a little research to find out why. We did a variety of poses and moves, and I felt like I was completely challenging myself during class because I wasn’t used to it. The instructor kept telling us to breathe through our noses and out our mouths, no matter how hard the position was. I tried to do this as much as possible, but it was a struggle at some points. I couldn’t imagine how people say that yoga makes them feel more focused and less stressed.

After I got home, I did some yoga research. It turns out that regular yoga practice actually does improve brain function! Many studies have shown that yoga seriously benefits mental health. One study shows that it increases the part of the brain in charge of lowering stress and also the part of the brain that is responsible for your sense of self. It also develops the part of the brain that controls attention. According to Scientific American, yoga helps the somatosensory cortex, the visual cortex, and the hippocampus increase in volume.

Another study found that the reason yoga is so beneficial is because it works to reverse the stress response, which is what usually causes people to feel anxiety or tension when they’re in a difficult situation. Yoga encourages deep breathing and relaxation while doing stressful or difficult poses so that when you do it regularly, you reverse your body’s response to stress because it learns to calm down and breathe through challenging situations, and so it can apply these yoga strategies in real life. Also, according to the study, yoga can allegedly improve depressive symptoms and immune function, as well as decrease chronic pain, reduce stress, and lower blood pressure.

Whatever the reason, I certainly think that yoga is worth the time and the practice!


Picture from: http://greatist.com/sites/default/files/styles/big_share/public/free-yoga.png?itok=tR7mLnTD

Battle of the Sexes

I am sure I am not the only girl to ever say this, but guys drive me completely nuts sometimes! How can they really be so different from us? How can they really not understand what we’re thinking and how to do the right thing? But then after I thought that, I realized that I have no idea what guys are thinking because their reactions seem crazy to me half the time, so maybe there really are differences in male and female brains that make it difficult for us to communicate and get along sometimes.

Several studies have shown that there are too many other factors that could affect the differences in people’s brains, so you can’t say for sure that they are because it is a man or a woman. People’s brains can be affected by their upbringing or environment, so that is something that could affect brain function aside from what gender the person is. A lot of research says that male brains are larger, which means they have more volume than a women’s brain, but none of that research has proved that this means they have more cognitive function than women, which is obvious to most of us because there is no way that men are automatically smarter! Either way, there is actually very little evidence to show that male and female brains have different structures, but instead it shows that you can’t really blame behavior on biology.

On the other hand, the same studies show that males and females definitely react differently to different social situations. To me this says that there must be a difference in brain functions! Scientists are looking into why their reactions are different and if it is because males and females see things differently or because they see things the same way and their reactions are just different because of how they process it:

Whatever the reasons are for why we act the way we act, it is clear that there are many differences between men and women. It might not be clear why yet, but I guess it is up to all of us to deal with these differences and try to figure out a way to make things work!


Picture from: http://morebrainpoints.blogspot.com/2014/02/wait-which-color-am-i-supposed-to.html

Is Oversleeping Harmful?

As a person that LOVES to sleep, I find myself asking ‘is sleeping too much a bad thing’? After doing some research, I have found that there are some studies that show that oversleeping can lead to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. But why? Our bodies need sleep in order to function, so where does it become too much sleep?

Generally, it is said that the average adult should sleep 7-9 hours per night in order for the body to rest and restore proper function. In college, I find it extremely hard to get into a regular routine of sleep, due to exams or papers with hard deadlines, etc. Instead, I rely heavily on naps to get me through the day. After sleeping during the night and my naps during the day added together, sometimes I am sleeping for more than 9 hours per day. But on the weekends, I can sleep for up to 15 hours. The only time I feel completely well rested is when I sleep for about 13 hours. Why do I feel more tired when I sleep 8 hours, than when I sleep 13 hours?

Some causes of oversleeping are depression, substance abuse, stress, fatigue, and sleep apnea. During college, I find myself to be a lot more tired all of the time, especially when I have a lot to do. I think this is because I am extremely stressed out, and my main stress relief outlet is sleep. Although I do not see sleeping when I am stressed to be a bad thing, it can be. It has been said that too much sleep can cause depression and increased risk for heart disease. These are due to the fact that living a sedentary lifestyle is bad for the heart, and exercise/normal daily amounts of sleep are needed.

In a recent study, it was shown that oversleeping can cause increases of inflammation in the body. It was said that with each additional hour that is slept over 9 hours, the levels of inflammation causing hormones go up by 8% in women. Although, I think there could be other factors that play into this cause of inflammation. In women in particular, our bodies are more prone to inflammation during stressful periods of life, and lack of exercise.

After doing research, I still believe that some peoples’ bodies need the sleep more than others. I also think that if you are tired, you need the rest.

Fountain of Youth

I always wonder why some people get to have their grandparents around for so much longer than other people. Are they doing something different? Is there something I could have my grandparents do to make sure they stay healthy for as long as possible? People are known to decrease in health and increase in disease after age 65, so the goal should be to continue being healthy beyond your 60s in order to improve overall health and life length. In looking this up, I found that there are several studies that show that there actually are things that people could do to stay as healthy as they can, which may increase their life expectancy. It may not be a fountain of youth, but it’s definitely helpful.

Of course we all know that exercise and eating healthily are essential for everyone, but people who are getting older may not work as hard to do that. One study shows that eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables and low in calories and staying active every day, in addition to reducing stress, even stress related to positive life events, is the best thing we can possibly do to increase our quality of life and the length of our lives. Exercise alone decreases the chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and many other illnesses. Being lazy is one of the worst things you can do for your body and health at any age, but especially as you get older.

While other studies show that occasional fasting and diabetes medications could possibly aid in life expectancy, proper nutrition, lowered stress, and an active lifestyle are guaranteed ways to improve your life and health. I plan on sitting down with my grandparents and finding out exactly what they’re eating and how much they’re exercising, to make sure that they’re around for as long as they ca be!


Picture from: http://mailkoleksi.blogspot.com/2013/03/tips-for-staying-young-and-happy.html


Double the Fun

For as long as I can remember, I have been very fascinated with the concept of twins. It amazes me how two people who are so very similar can be born at the same time. Throughout my lifetime, I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing too many sets of twins, but when I meet them, I am always very intrigued. Twins are very interesting to me for many reasons.


Now, I’m not an expert on how twins are formed, but here’s what I can recall from science class: there are two kinds of twins, monozygotic and dizygotic. These kinds of twins are more commonly known as identical and fraternal. Monozygotic twins begin as one egg that later separates into two eggs, so both eggs share identical DNA. Dizygotic twins result from two eggs that are fertilized by two different sperm at the same time. This creates two babies who have their own DNA, but are still born at the same time.

I think the way that twins act with each other is so interesting. Some sets of twins are best friends, while other sets of twins do their own thing entirely. I have seen both of these situations happen in real life. For example, a set of twins that I went to elementary school with were very different, and had completely different groups of friends. But another set of twins that I went to high school with were absolute best friends, and were never found separate from each other. I especially love when twins are young, and their mothers dress them in matching outfits. One rumor that has become very popular is the “twin telepathy” story. According to this article, there is no scientific proof that twin telepathy is a real thing. Twins cannot actually communicate with each other via mind-reading or intuition. This kind of situation is often portrayed in television shows or movies. While it would be extremely fascinating if this concept was true, there is no proof that that twins can communicate in this way.


According to Baby Center, having twins is not always very likely. Three years ago, studies showed that about 3 in every 100 births resulted in twins. This is not a very high number. Now, however, twins are much more likely to occur. The article I read suggested that this recent spike in women giving birth to multiples is a result in an increase of the use of assisted reproductive methods. From what I’ve learned, twins are more to occur likely when in vitro fertilization is used, or other forms of assisted reproduction. Take, for example, the TV show Jon and Kate Plus 8. The mother, Kate Gosselin, first gave birth to twins, and then a few years later, had sextuplets. This was possible with the help of assisted reproduction. In vitro fertilization is common today, but it is also very expensive. Not everyone has the means that are necessary to have this operation done.

All in all, twins are extremely fascinating. They can either be exact copies of each other, or different types of people entirely. Twins are interesting to learn about, even though they are really just regular people. In any case, double the children = double the fun!



What are we eating?

You’re strolling down aisle 4 of the supermarket in search of food to bring on the family picnic. You decide that you want to get some beef patties to make hamburgers, 10 ears of corn, fried chicken, and soda…

According to this website and film tab, everyday millions of Americans shop at supermarkets or eat fast food, but little do they know where their food comes from or what exactly is in it. To be able to meet the demand of food in the United States, the mass production of food is needed. 


Cattle are raised on factory farms, knee deep in cow manure, and are without 5 feet of personal space. They are treated brutally as they are branded, tagged, and possibly dehorned without painkillers. Unlike chickens, cattle are able to see the light of day in the feedlots and roam around freely outside. However, they are gated, crowded, and drowned in mud, ice, and their own manure.

Cattle naturally evolved to eat grass, but due to budgeting and trying to raise livestock for the least amount of money, corporate organizations feed them corn. Corn-fed cattle contain dangerously high acid levels in their stomachs and other health conditions, which require antibiotics and medication. The lack of basic health care of the cattle can lead to diseases, such as E. Coli. When cattle are sent off to the slaughterhouse, they are butchered and cleaned using an assembly line. When skinning and scrubbing the cattle, there is a possibility that the manure that was adhesive to the cattle from the feedlot does not get fully washed off. Therefore, the manure can get into the meat that the factories manufacture, which causes an E. Coli breakout. There have been many cases of E. Coli in beef. All American Meats, Inc. recently recalled 167,427 pounds of beef, in November 2015, due to E. Coli outbreak. One hamburger patty contains parts of thousands of different cattle; therefore, it is hard to determine how widespread the disease is.


The food corporations often refer to chicken raised in factory farms as “broilers”. To meet the demand of the public, GMO’s are injected into the chickens so that they grow twice as large as natural chickens and can be slaughtered in half of the amount of time. Chicken farms differ from feedlots for cattle because most chicken farms are dark, tunnel-ventilated houses. The chickens are clustered together, unable to move freely, and it is not uncommon for them to die in the farms. Because of the GMO’s and the rapid growth rate of the muscle in the chickens, their bones are unable to keep up with the pace in which their muscles are growing; therefore, they are unable to walk very far before falling. When washing the chickens in factories, they go through chlorine baths, thus adding to more chemicals that humans consume.

According to Food, Inc., food companies easily keep their employees and farmers under their control. Farmers with two chicken houses typically spend $500,000 to build the farm and to continue upgrading it with modern technology. Meanwhile, the farmers only earn around $18,000. The employees who transport the chickens from the farm to the factory are usually undocumented workers, so they aren’t going to complain about the system.


Corn is a multi-purpose crop. Scientists were able to engineer corn to take on new forms, such as ethanol, penicillin, di-glycerides, fructose, sucrose, etc. It can be found in almost every product in the supermarket from soda, to fast foods, to oil, to charcoal. Although it is a very convenient crop, the pesticide used to produce the corn has a negative impact on the environment. Biotechnology giants replaced 86% of US corn with their patented insecticide which is injected into the plant as a seed, therefore the corn grows as a giant pesticide and unable to wash off. These insecticides are harmful to both the human body, and the insects that are supposed to fertilize the crop.

Humans aren’t the only species that eat corn; it is fed to the livestock in factory farms because it is cheapest. As discussed earlier, cattle in factory farms are raised to eat corn, which can lead to E. Coli breakouts. If cattle and chicken are fed corn, then the bacteria injected into the corn, Bacillus Thuringiensis, is absorbed in the livestock, and consumed by humans.

Food corporations know the flaws in their systems. They decline to be interviewed for Food Inc. to talk about chicken farms, deny the harmful effects on people caused by pesticides, and somehow manage to pass sanitary inspections by the FDA. People continue to consume foods produced by large corporate organizations because they don’t know what the food companies are hiding from them. They don’t know what they’re putting into their bodies or the bodies in which they’re consuming, but most of the time, it is the cheaper option when shopping in the supermarket. So, next time you’re shopping for groceries, think about what you’re really feeding yourself.


This website

Should I turn up or turn off my music while I study?

Studying with music playing is a pretty common practice, but I’ve always wondered if it would hinder my ability to remember the information I’m trying to study. I’ve never cared enough to stop listening to music while doing schoolwork, in fact, I’m listening to Otis by Jay Z right now, which probably isn’t the most incredible studying music. So, what makes a song good for studying, and are there even any songs that are good for studying, or should we stick to silence?

USA Today College has informed me that it really depends on what it is that you’re listening to and what subject you’re working on. It’s better to listen to lyric-less music when you’re writing or reading, or otherwise using the language part of your brain. However, if you’re working on math homework, you’re probably okay to listen to all the lyrics your heart desires. This is because it may depend on your mood- if you’re in a angrier mood, you should listen to relaxing music so that your mood becomes more centered, which is the best point at which to study.

In a different study done at the University of Wales, they researched something a bit different. They looked at how much it matters if the test-taker enjoys the music that they’re listening to while taking it. What they found is that it didn’t really matter if the person liked the music or not, but what did matter was if you were listening to music at all. The constant group that took the test without any music got better scores than the people listening to music. It was also found that, although music listeners didn’t have as high of an average score as the non-music listeners, there was a significant amount of variation in the test results. What this means is that there could be a big difference between how music will affect your studying versus my studying.


After finding out more about the correlation between music and studying, I would say it’s safe to do whatever you think is best for you. If you study some nights with music and some nights without, maybe you can find out for yourself if you retain certain information better depending on the night. The cause of the bad scores or the lack of concentration could also be a third, confounding, variable. Maybe the reason your studying isn’t helping you very much is because of the distractions of your phone or the location in which you are studying. It seems like you should look at your own actions and decide yourself how music listening while studying will affect you. But maybe don’t go listening to rap if you’re easily distracted by lyrics.


That girl sitting in a meadow
Very artsy shot of headphones and a book

Is It Harmful To Crack Your Knuckles?

Crack! That’s the sound I love to hear as I pop my knuckles. Now I know that for some, this is the most excruciating sound, and for others it is their biggest pet peeve. We are all entitled to our opinions on knuckle cracking, but I for one am a big fan. I think after a long day of writing, or just a long day in general, coming home and releasing the pressure from your knuckles, your neck, your back, it all feels great. However, I have been warned about this every since I was little. I remember my grandmother telling me that if I continued to do this, I would get arthritis, and she was not the only one to send me this warning. Now as a child, I believed her and was worried I had messed up my fingers forever…Luckily this was not the case. But, I am still curious as to whether or not she was being truthful, or just trying to scare me into stopping. It is possible that she just hated the sound, amongst all the others who told me the same story, and that this was a way to prevent the cracking. I wasn’t certain, but I was determined to discover the truth.

If we read THIS ARTICLE by the Harvard Health Publications we begin to find some answers. They tell us that according to multiple studies, knuckle cracking does not cause arthritis. In reality, cracking your knuckles is basically just releasing the pressure built up in the fluid found in your joints. This is called synovial fluid and it helps show that cracking your knuckles is really not dangerous. However, they do say that it can cause your hands to swell later in your life. I don’t know if I truly believe this, and I hope it is not true because I crack my knuckles quite often. THIS ARTICLE from WebMd also tells us that cracking your knuckles does not cause arthritis, contrary to popular belief. They have a theme very similar to that of the Harvard article, and there are many more you can find backing up the theory that cracking your knuckles does not cause any sort of harm, especially not arthritis.

unknown-1        photo found HERE

So I would advise you to continue cracking your knuckles, if that is what you like to do. It might begin to bother those around you, but that is your call. It will not hurt you, it just might annoy your friends!

images-1  Photo found HERE


HERE is another link to a fun BuzzFeed video that further explains this point. If you are still questioning the facts, watch this video! It tells you what cracking your knuckles actually does and the evidence backing up the “harmless” theory. I hope this didn’t crack you up too much!

To work or not to work

I feel like I’ve always had some sort of job. Since the summer when I was 15, I’ve always been employed in some way. It feels weird to me when I’m not working. However, some days when I’m 3 1/2 hours in to washing your dishes (and trust me, hundreds of college students use a lot of dishes,) I wonder what it would be like if I wasn’t working. Maybe I would spend that time studying, or at the gym (yea right.) Regardless of what I did with the time, it would lower the responsibilities I have a lot, with the only downside being, you know, no money. Now, I never seriously considered quitting, but it got me thinking if having a job was impacting my grades. I mean, I know people who work twice the amount I do, and I’m sometimes overwhelmed, I don’t understand how they do it. When I researched whether having a job affected academic performance, I was a bit surprised.

These three studies all, when mentioning academic performance, cite multiple different studies that state that while working a lot (20 hours+ generally) makes students get worse grades, working less than that actually helps academic performance. What was strange to me is that each site cited independent studies showing this correlation, which leads me to believe it is far less likely to be chance, as the more independent observational studies that have the same conclusion, the less likely it is a fluke. So what this says is that, up to a point, working makes your grades better, but too much work leads to a cliff where your grades are worse than those that do not work.

Find a Job

While I’m not surprised too much work worsens your grades (tiredness, stress, less time to spend studying, etc,) I am surprised that small amounts of work increases your academic performance. While work could lead to more confidence, less concerns about money (less stress) and satisfaction, those are still far-fetched ideas. Perhaps it could be something about the worker. Maybe people who are hard-working but know their limits are the ones working under 20 hours, so they get better grades than those who don’t work but don’t burn themselves out. Obviously this is all speculation, as no study has gone in-depth enough to find the actual answer. In the end, I guess the lesson is: “Work….but not too much!”


Does Kinesiology Tape actually work?

Throughout high school I was a track distance runner that ran up to forty miles a week. This could be extremely taxing on someone’s body. I constantly got injured throughout my years of running. I often got the same injury of feeling pain in my knees. I eventually visited a doctor and he told me I had something called it band syndrome. It band syndrome is when the tissue that surrounds your knee becomes inflamed and starts rubbing against the bone.

I was extremely disappointed that my season had to end but off to physical therapy I went. In physically therapy I did many different exercises. After every session my physically therapist would put this tape on my knee. She was using kinesiology tape. She said the purpose of the tape was to produce circulation in my leg and reduce the inflammation. I wondered to myself how could a piece of tape do all of that? It seemed like some kind of psychological process where if i thought the tape was helping it would stop the pain. I personally did not feel like it helped that much and the tape would constantly fall off. kt-tape                                                      ( image from allindiaroundup.com)

While watching the Olympics this summer I also saw that many of the athletes were wearing this brightly colored tape in many different arrangements on their body. If world class athletes were using this, it would seem as if there would be some truth behind the working of KT tape. In an interesting experiment it shows that the positive effects might be due to a placebo effect. The experiment was performed with thirty people. The experiment consisted of people having the real kinesiology tape or KT tape, a fake tape or no tape at all. The participants were blindfolded and were told to preform different exercises. All the participants performed the same and proved that KT tape does not help in performance. The benefits that many people think they are attaining may be due to placebo effect. The Global Rating of Change Scale shows that there is a low to moderate correlation between the taped used and performance level.

KT tape might just be a hyped up thing that has a psychological effect. Philip Newton, a physiotherapist states that the bright colors of the tape might induce athletes to wear it. Bandage before used to be a dull color that can be seen as a sign of weakness. Many athletes would want to hide this. But now athletes wear the tape as a badge of honor and wear it with confidence. Tim Locke points out in an article that putting on the tape might be a part of an athlete’s ritual before a big game. It almost becomes a part of their uniform to put on the tape. There is really no scientific evidence behind the working of the tape and therefore might all be psychological. Experts also have a tough time wrapping their head around the idea of a piece of tape being able to reap so many benefits.


( image from www.fiterature.com)

The Best Time of Studying: Daytime Vs. Nighttime

I do not know about other people, but I personality love studying at night when I am by myself. So what is actually the best time to study in a day? By the way, the time when I was writing this blog was 9 p.m. already.


It is really hard to say that one side is better than the other because there are people who love to studying during daytime, and there are people who like to study at night like me. I mean both sides have benefits, so there is actually no correct answer to this question in a scientific way.

The number one benefit for studying at night is an empty library! I can not express how much I appreciate the tranquility environments every time I walk into the library at night because it just puts me into that “Studying mood” where I tend to just focus on what I need to finish. By staying in a quiet library, it really helps me on my efficiency. For example, I would probably do twice more work in the library comparing with any other time.

Another benefit would be few distractions. It is really hard to be 100% concentrate during daytime without getting distracted by food, friends, the pool and video games like I always do. I especially can not say no to my friends when they ask me out for a lunch or playing the pool! So night time is definitely the best time for me to just sit down in my chair and do some real works without any distractions.

Studying at night also gives you a silence and quite environment which can makes you put more attention to whatever you need to do and get them done as soon as possible, so this is why I always give myself a three to four hours break just to do my homework or write an essay. Last but not least, studying at night also brings people some really creative ideas because when you are under a really silence environment, it is more easier to come up with generous ideas. So I prefer to study at night!

On the other hand, it also has so many good benefits for people who love to study during daytime. And the number one benefit I am going to talk about right here must be group studying or studying with your friends. It is so helpful and beneficial because you have the opportunity to get help and share your opinions with your friends right away.

Another good thing to study during daytime is that people tend to have more energy in the morning so that they feel motivational.

So there is no such thing as the best time to study during a day because everyone is different and has their own way of studying!

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What Are The Benefits To Napping?

If you are anything like me, napping is your favorite part of the day. Whether my exhaustion is due to my lack of sleep, or my busy schedule, or both, I always find myself beat by the middle of the afternoon.I used to nap when I was in high school quite often, but it was usually during class on my desk. I never had the luxury of going home and sleeping when I had a full schedule from 8 am to 3 p.m., and that was just school itself. So, I would usually nap often and in short periods of time during each class, when I knew I could get away with it. Buy now, being in college, things have changed. Now I find myself staying up late, sleeping in late, and then coming home after class and napping. The duration of these naps vary from  20 minutes, to two hours, and I am curious if this is benefitting or injuring my health. I have found that if I take a 20-30 minutes nap I usually can wake up and feel energized for a while, but once my nap gets long things change. I will be groggy and lethargic for a few hours, but then I am able to stay up much later, which can also be helpful. I just don’t know what I should be doing to regulate my sleep schedule and be sure that my naps are benefiting my health, and bettering my college experience. So, I decided to do some research.

According to THIS ARTICLE on sleep.org,  a nap can be very beneficial to your day, especially if you have had a long night It informs us on the gains from taking a quick nap by telling us that anywhere between 20 to 90 minutes is a sufficient napping time, and any longer will result in grogginess. However, I am not sure I agree. So, I kept digging. I also remember being taught in AP PSychology that 26 minutes is the prime amount of time to nap. If you get to deep into your nap, and reach REM you will be woken up before having cycled all the way through the sleep stages. This is what leads to your grogginess.

THIS ARTICLE from the Huffington Post gives you some tips for napping! So if you are someone who loves to crash for a few minutes, or hours, check it out! It also suggest that the best time for you to nap is 20-30 minutes so you do not become groggy after waking up. There was s tudy done and posted HERE on sleepjournal.org that helps to prove this. It says that 5 minutes ,had little benefits, then from 10-20 the benefits increased. The best however, was a thirty minute nap. This time had the longest lasting effects and had the most benefits.

So I think it is very important to nap, especially if you are busy or a night owl. If you find yourself looking for an afternoon pick me up, turn to sleep instead of other caffeinated drinks. It is a healthier way to get the energy needed to finish out your day feeling happy and accomplished. Just DON”T sleep too long!



Picture found HERE

The Downside of Styrofoam

Recently, my mom ordered a ceramic lamp from some online website. It arrived a few days later in a cardboard box that looked like it was big enough it could fit a child. The lamp itself was not even very large! However, the massive box it came in was filled to the rim with hundreds of packing peanuts; those messy, lightweight foam “nuggets” made out of expanded polystyrene (ESP). I understand that the lamp is fragile and that it needed to be protected during its shipment process. That being said, the use of such a harmful material seems unnecessary and even lazy.7220

Expanded polystyrene is more commonly referred to as Styrofoam–just as how people refer to a tissue as a Kleenex. Simply put, polystyrene is a type of plastic that is used for an array of different manufactured goods from meat packaging to children’s toys. Polystyrene comes from the organic compound Styrene.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Styrene is a Hazardous material. Styrene has many harmful and potentially cancerous effects, both short-term and long-term, on humans and animals. Short term, styrene can cause irritation of the skin and eyes. But its styrene’s affect on our body’s Central Nervous System that is truly threatening; potentially causing lasting affects such as respiratory issues, frequent headaches and loss of balance, and even hearing loss. Styrene has also been shown to have a negative impact on mental health, having shown correlations with depression (though correlation does not necessarily mean causation).

As most people know, Styrofoam is harmful to the environment because of its inability to decompose back into Earth’s soil. In every stage, Styrofoam achieves no positive contributions for the environment. Instead, it continues to add to the mountains of garbage that sits in country’s Landfills. To make matters worse, Styrofoam cannot be recycled. Expanded polystyrene is plastic unlike that used to make water bottles or plastic bags. Think about it, walking around areas, you will never commonly see a recycling bin that says ‘Place Styrofoam here’.

So why do we keep using it? Styrofoam is time and time again chosen over eco-friendly materials such as recycled cardboard or even plastic due to its cheap appeal. When purchased in bulk, Styrofoam can save up to 5 times the amount of money it costs to purchase paper based or other recyclable materials. To put that added cost into perspective, I will use a common and quite relevant example of how Styrofoam is frequently favored everyday because it is the cheaper option; school lunches.  All over the country, students buyor_15425 their hot lunch at school, which is served to them on a Styrofoam lunch tray. According to an article, in Portland, Oregon, it costs the Montgomery School District a measly 3 cents per Styrofoam tray, whereas their other options of trays would cost 7 cents per day. Now, four cents doesn’t seem like much but…Lets one high school serves lunch to 300 students each day, a school year being roughly 180 days. So each day by the end of one school year, it would cost the high school approximately $1620 to use Styrofoam trays, whereas a more eco-friendly option would cost the high school $3,780.

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Can you cure cancer naturally?

Rev. George H. Malkmus, claims that diet can heal cancer. On a natural medicine page he wrote a testimonial claiming that a friend of his helped him become vegetarian; which in turn cured his colon cancer in one year. He exclaimed that the Bible tells us that God created us to be able to “self-heal”. Also he said it is imperative we eat raw vegetables because cooked food lacks nutrition, which increases risk to cancer.

*Sigh* I think it’s best we isolate each problematic statement Rev. Malkums stated and discuss them.

When I read “self-healing” I couldn’t help but think of Wolverine from Marvel.wolf

Yes, the human body has properties to help it heal from injuries, an example are scabs. However to thoughtlessly say that the immune system has a “self-healing” property that combats cancer; reveals a lack of knowledge. Cancer is when body cells abnormally divide and spread throughout the body. This proves that the immune system cannot miraculously “heal” itself.

This idea that a high plant-based diet reduces the risk for cancer/cures cancer is based on prior research about the environment cancer favors.

They claim because cancer cells favor acidic environments, eating acidic foods raise the risk of getting cancer. However scientific research reported otherwise. It is true that diet can affect the pH level in your body; however the human body tries to maintain homeostasis (equilibrium). If the food you ate substantially changed the pH level of your body you can have serious health problems such as  acidosis (too much carbon in your blood, makes it too acidic) or alkalosis (high levels of bicarbonate which means your blood is basic). According to Dr. Yeung, there is no scientific evidence that shows changing your diet affects cancer.

Lastly, Dr. Gabe Mirkin says that cooking food does not take away the nutrients you need. Yes some vitamins may be lost, but as a whole cooked food is does not lack in nutrients.

I am a biased individual. I believe in holistic remedies if it actually helps the well being of a person. A better diet in general is a good idea. But I don’t believe it should be taken over actual science/medicine. I think these “natural remedies” can be very dangerous. According to the Washington Post people who seek holistic alternatives to real medicine run the risk of getting actually worse or even death.

What do you think?

Dip MUST Be Better Than Cigarettes, Right?

When I came to Penn State, the first thing I wanted to do was make some new friends. Everyone says that when you go to college, meeting new people becomes so easy. On my first day here, I was alone for the whole day. I immediately questioned my college choice and wanted my old friends with me. The next day, everything changed. Before I knew it, I made so many new friends that I hope to stay by throughout my entire time here. The one weird thing I realized is that many kids here use smokeless tobacco (the students over 18  years of age of course). At my high school, the only tobacco I saw being used was cigarettes. It is something that I have never seen people use, and I am very interested in the answer to this question; are they better for you than the tobacco you can smoke?


Photo of a can of smokeless tobacco

From the research I have done, it is almost certain that they are equal. Many people may believe, like me, that cigarettes are worse. In fact, they are equally addicting. Nicotine addiction depends on how much you use and how often. An individual can get hooked on cigarettes just as fast as they can with smokeless tobacco. It even says on can’s of dip “This is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes.” Jeez, people need to learn to read their products before they buy them.

Why must we put an end to this?

People are dying! Many people overlook the effects of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The last thing I want to witness is one of my friends get hospitalized due to an addiction they could never stop. According to Action On Smoking And Health, there are about 1.1 billion tobacco users in this world! Also, tobacco KILLS almost 50% of it’s users. How many deaths do you think happened in the 20th century due to tobacco related diseases? Well, there has been a recorded 100 million people. These numbers must decrease, and people need to start realizing the health effects of being addicted to nicotine. Our nation’s population is decreasing due to these products.






As someone who has tried it before, I can honestly say that meditation is as relaxing and stress-relieving as everyone claims it to be. I love taking yoga classes as often as possible; I mainly take it before or after a big test or to try to relieve any anxiety I have related to school work. A major part of yoga, and truthfully my favorite part, is meditation. After meditating, I instantly feel relieved of all my worries and pressures. But why is meditation so relaxing? Does meditation do anything else for your health? I decided to research more on the health benefits of meditation and found the article, “Losing Focus? Studies Say Mediation May Help”, by John Cloud, which explains how studies have found that meditation strengthens functions of the brain.

This article focuses on a study performed by Katherine Maclean and 13 other researchers that tries to show a correlation between meditation and the strengthening of your attention span and overall brain activity. The study included two groups of 30, one group was sent right away to a meditation retreat and the other controlled group had to wait three months to go to their retreat. The study consisted of both groups meditating for a total of 5 hours a day. In addition, they took tests before, during, and after their retreat that measured their concentration (Cloud 2010).

The subjects took a purposely dull and tedious test that evaluated their focus and attention to detail. The results of the test from the group that went on the trip right away were astonishingly better than the results of the group that waited three months before going on the trip. The participants who meditated more were also quicker in picking up little details than the ones who meditated less. This proved that meditation causes your brain to process visual stimuli (Cloud 2010).

The article goes on to discuss how easy it is to meditate and how anyone can do it. Meditation can last as long as you want – it could be as long as an hour or even as short as five minutes. Meditation overall reduces stress, anxiety, and makes you more focused and detail oriented (Cloud 2010). I know that meditation during yoga classes has helped me tremendously whenever I was overwhelmed by school work and gave me a sense of calmness during my hectic schedule. I would recommend meditation to anyone who wants to relieve their stress, clear their minds, and become more focused.




The Truth About Airport Security

Ever since 9/11 airport security has gotten a lot sticker, or so it seems.  This blog post is about whether the changes in TSA procedures are actually making us safer.  According to Jennie Burger the TSA missed percent of fake bombs during random testing.  This percentage was shocking to me and I later found that there is currently no evidence of TSA actually stopping a terrorist attack

TSA procedures are more reactive than proactive.  After the shoe bombing attack which for those who don’t know took place in December 2001 after the 9/11 attack (Wikipedia).  On
it says the shoe bombing attack Image result for tsa body scannerswas unsuccessful because the bomb did not detonate on the plane not because the man was stopped at a security screening.   Now after the shoe bombing attempt passengers have to take off their shoes going through security.  This is a way to stop another shoe bombing from happening again it doesn’t stop other types of threats.

I got the idea to write this blog from a tv show I was watching called Adam Ruins Everything.  He has an episode where he says everything that is wrong with the TSA that can be seen here.  In the show Adam says how since 9/11 the efforts we are making in airports are not helping as much as other things we changed during flying.  What the TSA has been doing is called security theater.  Security theater is when you look like you are making a change for the better but it is actually doing nothing (Wikipedia ).  An example of this is again, how you now have to take off your shoes, this is a counterfort that makes it look like the TSA is trying to make us safe.  The disadvantage of security theater is that it’s really expensive.  Now having people take off their shoes doesn’t cost the TSA money but other changes they have made do.  Now instead of the traditional metal detectors everyone has to go through full body scanners which cost about 160 million in total according to Jennifer Scholtes .  These body scanners aren’t any better than what we had before but it looks more advanced so people feel better.  Security Theater can be dangerous because it gives people the illusion that they are safe when they really aren’t (Wikipedia).  The changes that have been made that are making a difference include more air marshals on flights, better protection of the cock pit, better intelligence of possible terrorist, and ultimately the public being more aware. Going back to the shoe bomber when the bomb failed to detonate the passengers were the ones who stopped him.

Why are Artificial Flavors so Addictive?

As I sit here in the Hub, I’m craving everything unhealthy – Goldfish, Pringles, mac n cheese, pizza rolls…EVERYTHING. I have come to terms that the freshman 15 is a real thing and I’m experiencing it right now, and my junk food cravings aren’t helping me avoid it. Something keeps bringing me back to these fattening foods, and I’m convinced it’s the artificial flavors that are packed into all these snacks.

I have never been one for healthy eating and trying to change my habits in college isn’t the easiest thing to do. I have always wondered why I don’t crave healthy food, but at any given moment I could eat a whole bag of chips or a sleeve of cookies. So why is this?

According to Seattle Organic Restaurants, immediate satisfaction is displayed after consuming junk food with additives and preservatives. Businesses will spend an abundance of money on research to find the perfect combination of artificial flavors to pair with your taste buds. Once you’re hooked, it’s a challenge going back to healthy eating. I found out that salt, sugar, and fat can be just as addicting as drugs or alcohol. Once something with sugar, salt, or fat goes into your body, there is an instant sense of bliss that is activated in the middle of the brain – leaving you want more. Although the junk food tastes good, there are many drawbacks to constantly eating unhealthy.

High blood pressure, weight gain, and heart disease can derive when the kidneys cannot get rid of excessive sodium levels. Salty chips are just as addicting as sugary soda. Soda drinkers can go through withdrawal after trying to give up the sweet drink, and even become depressed or anxious, according to Seattle Organic Restaurants. Even soy milk has been noted to cause migraines if someone is trying to stop drinking it. No matter what habit you’re trying to break, your body will face side effects and withdrawal from the transition.

One of my problems is that if I eat something salty, I crave something sweet right after, and vise versa. I always try to convince myself out of it or grab a piece of fruit, but the ice cream or gummy worms always win. Since the combination of salt, fat, and sugar all at the same time gives your brain and body an immense sense of pleasure, the food industry can work its magic to leave you wanting more – every single time.

Referring to an article posted on lewrockwell.com called Why Is Junk Food So Addictive?, it is stated that sugar can be more addictive than cocaine. Not only do corporations get you hooked by using sugar, but also narrowing their focus on taste, the texture/consistency of the food while being consumed, and the macronutrient content of the food. They know the exact way to combine the ingredients so you finish the bag of Dorito’s in one sitting.

Consuming less junk food will help your body crave less of it (obviously) – but for now, I’ll realistically continue to gain more weight.

This photo is junk food, specifically refined sugar, from the website seattleorganicrestaurant.com.

This photo is junk food, specifically refined sugar, from the website seattleorganicrestaurant.com.


Does Listening to Music Improve Your Memory?

I’ve always had a passion for music. It is something I wish to pursue, though I am not a usic major, and I could not imagen a life wihtout it. One time when I was in about the 6th grade, I had a major history exam approaching. I remember being very nervous, because I, like most people, enjoy getting good grades. However, this test consisted of an extraneous amount of memorizing people, dates, and other various historical events. I spent a lot of time studying, and being attentive in class, but I could not seem to retain the information from class, or the textbooks. Then one day, I had an idea. My friends and I decided to write a song, consisting of all the important historic details from the chapters we were studying. Sure enough, after hours of writing and rhyming, we had the perfect song. Now you might be wondering what this has to do with anything, but that’s what these blog posts are for. You see thinking about this story, I began to wonder if music can improve my memory? Being a college student, the majority of my time seems to be spent studying, and preparing for my classes, and I am somebody who loves to listen to music while I work. Whether it be Mozart, Indie, or alternative rock, I always have something playing in the background. Now I also grew up with seven siblings, so I a very accustomed to noise, but I am still curious whether or not music really does improve my memory,and if I should continue to enjoy the music, or learn to work in silence.
According to this article  located on psychology today.com the answer to this question varies form person to person. They held a study where 73 people, all roughly around the age of 27, were selected to listen to 14 different types of music. They then were told to pick three songs they found pleasurable and three songs that they found neutral to them. Now according to the article, there was a fairly even distribution of people who had musical talent, and those who did not. Then they had the participants listen to the different groups of music, while attempting to memorize 54 different Japanese symbols. In the end they discovered that for those who had a musical background, pleasurable music was better while testing, but it was harder for them to learn while listening to music the truly enjoyed. FOr those who were not musically trained, they found it easier to learn with pleasurable music. The author of the article thinks that this could be due to the analytical process that goes on inside the brain of someone who understands music. They believed that if you don’t have any musical training, you aren’t playing close enough attention to the music for it to be distracting.

Now I am not sure if I agree with this. I have a very strong musical background, and I do from time to time analyze the music that comes on my playlists, however I do not find it distracting. I personally find that when I study with music, I am able to drown out any excessive outside noise, and focus solely on the work that I am trying to accomplish. I also think that music motivates me to work harder, depending on the genre and my mood.


Picture found HERE


Image found HERE

HERE is a link to a video with more information on this topic and whether or not we should be listening to music while we study. If you are looking for some suggestions for study tips regarding music, I suggest you check it out.
What do you think is the correct answer, and what works for you?

Can Keeping Electronics Too Close To You Cause Cancer?

I wonder this a lot – being that I usually have my phone in the waist band of my shorts or right beside my face when I sleep. Even a simple phone call could have the same impact. When I’m home, I constantly get reminded by my dad that keeping my phone too close to me all the time can cause cancer, but I shrug him off and go about keeping my phone on my body.

I recently started sleeping with my phone beside my face here at school, since I don’t have a side stand to put my phone on so I can hear my alarm in the morning and charge my phone at the same time. It has sparked wonder if keeping electronics too close to your body can actually cause cancer.

According to the World Health Organization in 2011, you should send a text instead of call, use your phones speaker or a head set, and keep your phone away from your head while you sleep. CBS News put out an article stating that cell phones give out electromagnetic radiation all the time, boosting your exposure and making you more susceptible to cancer risk. Using the airplane mode feature or simply placing your phone on a night stand could help deduce the radiation exposure.

CBS News also points out that keeping your phone in a pocket or bra isn’t the best idea, but holding a cell phone a small distance away from your body can significantly reduce the phone signals going into your skin. The Truth About Cancer confirms that cell phone radiation can cause two specific types of brain tumors called Acoustic Neuromas and Gliomas. Gliomas are malignant while Acoustic Neuromas are non-malignant, but can still be deadly. However, cell phone radiation can cause many different types of cancer, such as Thyroid cancer, Stem Cell cancer, and Leukemia – just to name a few.

Referring back to The Truth About Cancer, keeping your cell phone too close to your body can cause more than just cancer – it can also damage DNA, which some people consider a myth. PubMed.gov conducted a trial on mice to see if cellular radiation impacted the DNA in male germ cells. The trial showed that the DNA was damaged significantly in the mice that were tested whenever the phone was in dialing mode rather than listening mode.

Bottom line: don’t keep your phone in your pocket, bra, waist band or on your bed during sleep – the damage that can be done isn’t worth it. Maybe I should start listening to my dad more often.

This photo is from thetruthofcancer.com, portraying the detrimental effects of cell phone radiation on the body.

This photo is from thetruthofcancer.com, portraying the detrimental effects of cell phone radiation on the body.

Why Is “Moist” So Gross?

‘Hot chocolate’, ‘bubbly’, and ‘crinkle’ are all words that illicit warm, fuzzy feelings inside. On the other hand, the words ‘moist’, ‘pus’, and ‘curdle’ might completely gross us out. Why does this happen? Is it something about the composition of the word that’s disgusting, or does it have to do with the meanings or connotations they convey? Although there’s many words that are unpleasant, we’ll focus on the word “moist.”

Ah, the great “moist” debate. As nasty as that sounds, it’s a real thing. On one side, we have the people who are absolutely disgusted– myself included- with this word, and on the other side we have nasty people who think it’s beautiful… gross.

Many studies have been realized to try to understand why people loathe the word “moist.” The mo(i)st extensive and comprehensive one is a study done by researches Paul H. Thibodeau and Christopher Bromberg from Oberlin University, and Robby Hernandez and Zachary Wilson from Trinity University (both pairs from their respective university’s Department of Psychology). “An Exploratory Investigation of Word Aversion”  explains that there are two main reasons as to why people loathe this word. The first is that many people have a phonological dislike to “moist.” The researchers argue that the literal pronunciation of “moist” is off-putting, mainly because when we say the word, our facial muscles contract and form a similar expression to that of disgust (the end of the word, moist, requires us to grimace).

Secondly, the word’s relation to bodily fluids is another reason as to why people find it so unpleasant. In this case, it’s the word’s relation to sexual activity that makes people feel uncomfortable when saying or hearing it. The ties it has to wetness and warmth (say, like the inside of your mouth) triggers an involuntary repulsive reaction in many people. The research found that the group of people who avoided the word moist were mainly youthful females. So, next time you casually throw around “moist,” take notice of who’s more grossed out by it- you might find out some interesting things.

P.S.- If you’ve made it through this post without wanting to vomit, here, I hope you can forgive me. Please enjoy these 30 seconds of pure glory/repulsiveness as much as I did.

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Female Athletes: Higher Risk of Suffering an ACL Tear

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament, more commonly known as the ACL, is a ligament located in the center of the knee that functions as the main source of stability for the knee.  An ACL tear is a common injury that is seen in almost all sports, however it most commonly occurs in soccer, football, and tennis.  Roughly a year ago I tore my ACL while playing soccer and since then I have been interested in knowing what factors played a role in my injury. I have heard when it comes to ACL tears females have a higher risk of sustaining an injury than males, but why is that?


Another explanation According to Robert Shmerling, the number of ACL tears sustained by females is six times more common than that of males.  One of the main explanations for this is the difference in body types of the two genders.  To start, females have a wider pelvic width which then changes the configuration of the ankles and knee compared to that of a male.   In addition, females have different thigh bone structures than men do which could also become a factor in the increase risk of injury.  When it comes to the quadriceps and hamstrings males have a better ratio which in return allows for the hamstring to balance out the strength of the quadriceps.  It has been found that female athletes have weaker hamstrings, thus resulting in an uneven ratio of quadriceps to hamstring strength and an increased risk of injury due to stress on the knee.


Another explanation as to why females are at a higher risk is the difference in the way men and females cut and land when wanting to make a change in direction.  When cutting, males cut with both feet along with having a bend in their knees whereas females cut on one foot and in an upright position.  In addition, the majority of female athletes naturally have their knees rotated inward when cutting and landing.  When females do land on their feet, they often do so with their feet completely flat on the ground in comparison to men who land on the balls of the feet.

So now knowing that female athletes may be at a higher risk of sustaining an ACL tear, should they take precautionary measures against a possible tear by participating in ACL prevention programs?  The purpose of ACL prevention programs is to strengthen the muscles around the knee and also enhance the form of athletes when running, cutting, and landing considering the fact that many ACL injuries are non-contact.  While the programs do do that, there is not enough research to conclude that these prevention programs actually decrease the risk of a tear.  However, if there is a possibility that prevention programs do decrease the risk of an ACL tear, I believe it would be well worth it to partake in the 20 minute programs before each practice rather than going through six months of physical therapy like I had to after I tore my ACL.

The differences in body types and the way men and females cut and land when changing directions has an impact on why females may be more likely to sustain an ACL tear, however gender may not be the only risk.  I have come to the conclusion myself that being a female did increase my chances of tearing my ACL and was played a role in it, however it may not have been the only factor that contributed to my injury.






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Are cellphones linked to cancer?

If you’re like me, you can be found almost anytime or anywhere with your cell phone. There have been rumors for awhile about how the radiation from cell phones causes cancer. For awhile I got pretty paranoid and would not keep my cellphone in my pocket or near my bed when I slept. But being as attached to my cellphone as I am, I later chose to ignore these rumors and go along with my technology loving life.

So why are people saying that cell phones are linked with cancer? According to the National Cancer Institute, there is radiation which comes out of the cellphones which can harm the body. By holding cellphones close to your ears is makes it easier for the body to absorb the radiation, which increases chances of cancer. The more someone is on the phone, they are at a  higher risk for cancer or harmful health consequences. In a study done by the National Cancer Institute, the side of the body where the phone was held glucose metabolism was significantly lower than before, and lower than the opposite side of the body (National Cancer Institute). According to the American Cancer Society, people can also be in danger depending on what type of cell phone they use and their distance to surrounding cellphone towers.


picture from http://askdianne.com/talking-on-the-cell-phone

What damages are suspected to be caused by cellphone usage? Because cellphones are normally held next to the head, researchers have also been on the lookout for tumors as well as cancer (American Cancer Society). Researchers have been exposing animals to the same types of radiation to see if tumors of other harmful things will be caused but so far it has been hard to find a direct link between and two and the results have been varying (American Cancer Society). As we learned in class, there is a definite difference between providing evidence and proving something. Another study done exclusively with rats exposed them to radiation for nine hours out of the day for two years (American Cancer Society). The results of this study found small tumors on the sides of the hearts of the rats. Interestingly enough, the number of these tumors was much higher in males than females (American Cancer Society). I personally do not think we can trust the results of this study because no person spends nine hours talking on the phone each day unless it is a requirement of their job. Also, the type of radiation used in the study is much more dangerous than the type emitted from cell phones (American Cancer Society), so this study seems unrealistic.

So what can people do if they are trying to stay safe from the consequences of cell phone radiation? In order to restrict cell phone usage, try talking on the phone with it on speaker, using the bluetooth option in cars, or texting more (American Cancer Society). I for one don’t really talk on the phone that much, so researching this topic definitely calmed my fears a little bit.

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Can Using Bleach Make Your Animals Go Crazy?

Once upon a time, my family bought my dad a mini potbelly pig for Christmas because he had always wanted one and we found an adorable little black potbelly piggy who was in need of a new home so we thought what the hell let’s do it!  Our house has a lot of land for the pig to graze and roam and we had a lot of love to give so we adopted her. Her name was Bacon (Name credits to my dad not me). We originally had her pet set up in the corner of our living room because she was so tiny. Well, turns out there’s no such thing a teacup pig, so she grew to be rather large so we ended up having to move her bed to our basement in order for her to have more room to roam around when she had to be inside.  The basement had to be cleaned regularly to ensure her area was not filthy and was an enjoyable area for her to be in.  My mom would use bleach to clean the concrete because nothing else seemed to be cleaning it effectively enough.  I started to notice that everytime once we would be done cleaning the pig’s living area and let her back in, she would start charging at people and running around frantically and simply acting strange.  My family and I were so puzzled but we just attributed it to her having a lot of energy since she was young and her charging was probably to play.   I started noticing her behavior more and more as we kept cleaning the room and I started thinking she was not being playful afterall, but that the cleaning products, specifically the bleach was making her go crazy. I was not sure how to explain why, but I just noticed when I was around the scent of bleach too long I actually started getting lightheaded and feeling weird myself so I thought maybe the bleach was having an affect on our little piggy as well.  I told my mom to stop using the bleach and try something else, and she stopped acting weird after us cleaning her habitat.  This whole thing had me thinking, okay so maybe the bleach is causing this, but why? How?


Turns out I am not crazy and that it actually was possible the bleach was the cause of her strange behavior.  As stated in this article by Georgianna Lowery, bleach can severely affect animals and a lot of caring pet owners do not even realize it because it is a common household cleaning object.  She states that it can cause animals to face a lot of side effects such as vomiting and in my opinion their strange behavior can probably be attributed to feeling ill.  Most sites and articles I have found just simply say bleach is harmful to use to clean your animals things and that it can cause them to become very ill.  It is possible that this hypothesis is simply due to chance or some confounding third variable such as other cleaning products being used, the type of animal, or how small the room is.  There is not enough evidence to prove that bleach does indeed affect animals when you use it to clean but I think if there is any chance that is could be harming your animal it is best to just do away with using it completely and be aware of if bleach is contained in any other cleaning products you are using for your animals area or for your home in general.  It is a simple thing to do in order to ensure your animals are safe and healthy.

If someone wanted to test this hypothesis that using bleach can cause harm for your animals even if they do not ingest it, one could take a group of animals and randomly allocated them into two separate groups.  They could clean a habitat with bleach and place one group of animals in there and place the other group of animals in a normal room and study how they react or any health issues they begin to show.  Obviously though that is extremely unethical and there is no way someone would volunteer their pet to undergo such tests because if it might be dangerous I personally would not want to put my pet at risk.  I think for that reason not many, if any experiments will ever come into play regarding this issue, I think it is safe to say just to avoid using bleach to clean your pets areas just in case it is causing health issues.

On a happier note, enjoy these pictures of how cute she is.