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BOOSTER SHOTS

Sleep on It

April 06, 1998|MARTIN MILLER

You need to spend more time in bed, doctor's orders. Americans are woefully out of step with how much sleep they need, according to sleep experts. About 64% of Americans sleep less than the recommended eight hours, and 32% snooze less than six, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Drowsiness is blamed on some 100,000 auto crashes, resulting in 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries a year, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. In the interests of national safety, perhaps workers and students should be forced to nap at least two hours each day.

Blue Mondays

Let's just hope you had one heck of a good weekend. According to studies, you're more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke on Monday morning than at any other time. You're also more likely to have a work-related accident or commit suicide on a Monday. The April Men's Fitness magazine offers these tips to survive Monday: Interact with funny people; eat a low-fat, high-carbohydrate breakfast; wake an hour earlier than normal; and relax before work. Or another idea, in view of the national sleep deficit: You could just sleep through the cursed day.

What's in a Name?

Were your parents trying to tell you something? Men whose initials form negative words or expressions don't live as long as men whose initials mean nothing or have positive connotations, according to an associate professor at UC San Diego. Men with negative initials like P.I.G. or B.U.M. died an average of 2.8 years sooner than the control group whose initials meant nothing. Meanwhile, men with initials like W.I.N. or J.O.Y. lived 4.48 years longer than the control group, Nicholas Christenfeld reported. If your initials spell trouble, remember it's not that difficult to legally change your name in California.

Back Again

Any golfer knows that his real enemy isn't a sand trap, the water element or fast greens. It's back pain. And according to a new study by a pair of orthopedic surgeons, a poor swing increases the chances of contracting the score-crushing condition. The doctors found that a swing that is sideways or connects with the ball during the follow-through phase contributes to back pain. Maybe there's a prescription they can write to correct those swings.

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